International Studies - From Classroom to Career Freshman Year

cas_flag_freshmanAcademic Advising

Use your academic advisor and the peer advising program to explore International Studies and other potential majors, minors, programs and courses, given your interest. What core courses fit best with your career goals? Work them into your schedule. What knowledge, skills and values do you need?‌


ctc_intl_fresh_1My goal as an International Studies major is to leave college with the skills needed to create effective change and find innovative solutions on a global scale to the many issues and challenges our world faces. Without foresight and comprehension of how our decisions will most likely impact the international community, our generation cannot adequately resolve any major issues. The first step to improving the world we live in is educating ourselves and thinking critically about the diverse, complex, and incredible world we live in.

Kathryn Keane '11; International Studies


Real World Experience
The International Studies program, a collaborative effort of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dolan School of Business, offers a major and minor in International Studies, and a major in International Business with a complimentary major or minor in the Dolan School of Business. The program offers you the flexibility to integrate courses in both schools into your plan of study, and reinforces multidimensional learning with real-world experience through Service LearningThe Eurasia ProjectInternshipsModel United Nations, Study Abroad opportunities, Advanced language training, Academic Partnerships, and International Scholarships and Fellowships.‌

ctc_intl_fresh_2I chose to be an International Business major because of all the opportunities it provides. It gives you not just a background in the business world but a foundation in the humanities as well. In the changing world economy, international business provides the flexibility to work in a variety of fields. My interests are leading me to the fields of international government organizations as well as the not-for-profit sector. At Fairfield, I have been able to explore these interests through the International Studies department as well as through the International Business/Studies Club and Sigma Iota Rho, the International Studies Honor Society. With International Business, the opportunities are endless and I encourage others to take advantage of them. 
- Tara Hurley '10; International Business & Management


Dream Job
What is your "dream job" after graduation? What are you passionate about? Talk to your faculty advisor and other mentors. As an International Studies major, how can you use your time at Fairfield to prepare for it through class work, internships, volunteer activities, summer jobs, leadership positions with clubs and organizations, and other relevant out of class experience?.

Because of my internships and some of the courses that I took during my time at Fairfield University, I found that it was very important to have an International Business Degree. Globalization is changing the way companies do business. Now, more than ever, we should inform ourselves of the global world, as every business and individual is affected by global events. I believe that with a degree in International Business, I will set myself apart from my colleagues because I will have the tools for understanding the global environment and the way different countries do business. My goal is to eventually work in Brazil, and be able to use my International Business Degree to facilitate communication between the U.S. and Brazil. 
- Marina Barbosa '11; Accounting & International Business; Deloitte & Touche

Get Published!ctc_intl_fresh_4

The International Studies Program reinforces multidimensional learning with real-world experience through language studies, service learning, Model United Nations, the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship, internships, and study abroad opportunities, and through work with our faculty in research projects and as student teaching assistants.

Use the Core Wisely
Consider a variety of possible language options, including Portuguese, or critical languages such as Mandarin Chinese and Russian, both of which are connected to the Eurasia Project.

Model UN
Get started early with a student club that operates under the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA USA) and is open to all undergraduates in any major. A minimum of three conferences per year (two national and one international) enable selected members to compete with peers from all over the world, while feeding their interest in current events, increasing their public speaking skills, and opening up their minds to the political, social, and economic landscape of other countries.ctc_intl_fresh_5

The Eurasia Project
The Critical Languages Eurasia Initiative encourages the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese and Russian, as well as the cultures, history, and politics of Central Asia. Critical languages are languages that business, non-profit and government leaders identify as critical to the economic, humanitarian and political interests of the United States.

Employers in international business and law, global humanitarian action, media and communication, and government seek individuals who are able to work in these language. Students involved with the Eurasia initiative typically major in International Studies, History, Modern Languages and Literature, Politics and related disciplines, and minor in Russian and East European Studies, Asian Studies, Modern Languages, or International Studies.ctc_intl_fresh_6

Student Resources
Get plugged into our many professional associations and organizations:

Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)
"The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) comprises 34 member schools in North America, Asia and Europe dedicated to the improvement of professional education in international affairs and the advancement thereby of international understanding, prosperity, peace, and security." (From APSIA website, "About Us," 2008).

International Economics Association (IEA)
"The IEA was founded in 1950 as a Non Governmental Organization, at the instigation of the Social Sciences Department of UNESCO. It has since its creation maintained information and consultative relations with UNESCO and is since 1973 a federated member of the International Social Science Council. Its aim from the beginning has been to promote personal contacts and mutual understanding among economists in different parts of the world through the organisation of scientific meetings, through common research programmes and by means of publications of an international character on problems of current importance." (From the IEA website, "About the IEA," 2008).

International Political Science Association (IPSA)
"The International Political Science Association (IPSA), founded under the auspices of UNESCO in 1949, is an international scholarly association. Its objectives are to promote the advancement of political science through the collaboration of scholars in different parts of the world. It has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and with UNESCO." (From the IPSA website, "About Us," 2007)

International Sociological Association (ISA)
"The goal of the ISA, is to represent sociologists everywhere, regardless of their school of thought, scientific approaches or ideological opinion, and to advance sociological knowledge throughout the world. Its members come from 109 countries." (From the ISA-Sociology website, "ISA Home," 2009).

International Studies Association (ISA)
"The International Studies Association (ISA) was founded in 1959 to promote research and education in international affairs. With well over four thousand members in North America and around the world, ISA is the most well respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. ISA cooperates with 57 international studies organizations in over 30 countries, is a member of the International Social Science Council, and has nongovernmental consultative status with the United Nations." (From the ISA website, "About the ISA," 2009).

International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES)
"The I.U.A.E.S. is a world organization of social and biological anthropological scientists and institutions working in the fields of anthropology and ethnology, but also of interest to archaeologists and linguistics specialists, among others. Its aim is to enhance exchange and communication among scholars of all regions of the world, in a collective effort to expand human knowledge. In this way it hopes to contribute to a better understanding of human society, and to a sustainable future based on harmony between nature and culture." (From the IUAES website, "History," 2009).

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
"UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded on 16 November 1945. For this specialized United Nations agency, it is not enough to build classrooms in devastated countries or to publish scientific breakthroughs. Education, Social and Natural Science, Culture and Communication are the means to a far more ambitious goal: to build peace in the minds of men." (From the UNESCO website, "About UNESCO," 2007).

Studying in Brazil
Fairfield University, in coordination with the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) of the Department of Education, offers a study abroad opportunity in Brazil. Fairfield has recently entered a consortium of universities including:

  • Washington and Lee University in Virginia
  • Universidade do Amazonas in Amazonas
  • Brazil Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fairfield students are eligible to study at our partner institutions, participate in all University-sponsored events, and benefit from the expertise of well-recognized faculty abroad. Each Fairfield student studying in Brazil will work closely with our hosts, Professor Alexandre Rivas, UA and Professor Carlos Rezende, UNF.

Study the unique environment and culture.

The jointly developed curriculum focuses on environmental studies and/or sciences with supporting experiences through faculty led field trips, internships, travel, and independent study. Each student will have the opportunity to explore the Amazon forest, Amazon river region, and beautiful Brazilian coasts through visits with each host institution. Other potential study and travel opportunities include:

  • The endangered Pantanal wetlands region
  • The southern highlands including the famous Iguacu falls
  • Numerous culture-rich cities, including Salvador, Ouro Preto, or Paraty, to name just a few

Students participating in the program will study one full semester at a Brazilian partner institution and receive Fairfield credit for their course work. A variety of courses are offered at each university and could possibly count for credit toward a student's major, minor, or core curriculum requirements.

In order to prepare students for this unique and challenging experience, Fairfield is offering introductory Portuguese during the spring term of each year prior to the term of travel, the following fall semester. Our Portuguese instruction team is native Brazilian with several years' experience teaching Portuguese in the United States. Brazilian exchange students will also be on campus each spring to interact with our students and prepare them for the new culture and lifestyle. In addition to the formal language training on campus, the students will travel to Brazil a few weeks before the fall semester is to begin to take an intensive Portuguese language course with language professors at their host institution.

Fairfield University students would pay usual Fairfield tuition fees and would be expected to contribute as much as they normally would for a semester's worth of room and board. The FIPSE grant provides for additional funds specifically for student mobility. Each student would be eligible to receive up to $3,000 scholarship monies for additional in-country travel or to defer costs of airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, or food.

Fairfield University, in conjunction with Washington and Lee University and the University of Virginia, is currently formulating a 4-week, 6-credit study abroad at the University of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. Students will take 2 3- credit courses of their choice, taught by either U.S. professors with several years of experience of research in Brazil or Brazilian professors. All courses will be taught in English. Students will have the option of taking an additional course in Portuguese while in country. Students seeking additional information may contact Dr. Dina Franceschi.

That's just the start. Take a look at this career information from other University offices that we think is also valuable to International Studies majors.


International Studies career activities by class year

Freshman Year | Sophomore Year | Junior Year | Senior Year