As an international relations student, you might have a keen curiosity about particular countries, cultures and/or languages. You might be fluent in multiple languages or well-versed in specific economic principles that dominate in some areas of the world. Whatever your possible plans with an international relations degree, be they enrolling in law school, a next-level international relations program or seeking work in a field such as education, nonprofit organizations or the government, the idea that you want to study international relations abroad seems like a natural complement to your classroom study. [i]

In fact, many degrees in international relations require you to get hands-on experience, whether it is domestic or involves international relations study abroad. One big potential advantage of an international program is the opportunity to combine your personal and professional passions for international relations. For example, if you have a minor in French, you could study in Paris. If your interest is women’s human rights in Africa, you might want to study in Nigeria.

When you study international relations abroad, you might gain a better understanding of the various aspects that go into international relations. Seeing international aspects in person is different than learning about them in the classroom. Of course, your opportunities go beyond formal and structured study programs to encompass internships and volunteer work. You might leave your experience with an enhanced understanding of your possible career goals in international relations.

Study International Relations Abroad: Graduate Programs

If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, you may want to check to see if your school already offers prospects for you to study international relations while maintaining your enrollment and tuition rates at that school. For a more long-term and immersive experience, you could consider directly enrolling in an international school or going to one for study on the master’s level. Whatever course of action or actions you are thinking about, make sure to take a look at program timetables, locations, requirements, course offerings and financial considerations. Studying abroad in international relations might turn out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to meld your schooling and your passions.

International relations programs

You may have known for a long time where you want to study international relations abroad, or perhaps you are keeping your options open. Factors to think about include whether you have a minor in a certain language and want to practice it, your area of focus and your future career goals. For example, if you desire to help women advocate for themselves and you have a language minor or double major in, say, Chinese, you could consider a program in China. On the other hand, if you enjoy business and want to explore French culture, you could try to find a program opportunity in France. Someone who enjoys politics might like to intern with an embassy or to try to find a mentorship program with a foreign government official.

Types of international relations programs abroad

Many options exist to study international relations abroad, and as you scour potential programs, you might want to ponder criteria such as whether you would be more comfortable with a summer program to get a taste and then possibly a longer experience later on, or whether you are ready for a semester or more in an international location. Depending on your preferences, the thought of setting out alone in an area where you know no one and where no one knows you may be enticing, or you might relish the thought of experiencing a new culture with good friends from school. Many factors go into program selection, so turn to the Resources section here for help if you need it.