What is distinctive about an international studies major at Illinois College?
A major in international studies is a valuable resource in today’s global market. By examining the political, economic, cultural, and religious systems of other nations, students gain a greater understanding of world problems and possible solutions. A major in international studies should be attractive to students interested in pursuing careers in international business, teaching, diplomacy, and nongovernmental organizations.
The international studies major is flexible in that it is tailored to fit the interests and needs of each student. Majors are required to complete a set of core courses, gain proficiency in a foreign language, and choose a concentration in: political science and government, international business and economics, art and civilization, environment, or a regional area of special topic.
What opportunities are available for students?
The distinctive BreakAway program provides opportunities for students to experience different cultures, environments and ideas though short-term, experiential learning trips. Each trip has a topical focus and is led by a team of faculty members representing academic disciplines relating to the trip’s theme.
International studies majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad for one semester to become immersed in a foreign culture. Students may choose from a wide variety of programs available through Illinois College partners or other institutions. Students have had the opportunity to study in France, Wales, Spain, Germany, Japan, and China among many other global locations.
The goal of the International Club is to raise international awareness on campus. Activities held in the past include the annual International Food Festival, hosting a reception for the Japanese students of the Intercultural Exchange Program, and sponsoring guest speakers as well as dinners for guest speakers.
Model United Nations strives to enrich the knowledge of its members in the arenas of economics, human welfare, global politics, and environmental causes. Each semester, the students are given the opportunity to travel to the American Model United Nations, and the Midwest Model United Nations. Erin Laytham (2007) states, “Model UN is a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of other nations and the inner workings of the United Nations.
What opportunities are available after graduation?
Students graduating with a major in international studies are well equipped to enter the work force or attend graduate school. International studies majors have attended law school at American University, pursued graduate degrees at University of Illinois Springfield, joined the Peace Corps, and taught English to students in Japan. Others have gone on to work for companies such as Wells Fargo Financial and A.G. Edwards.