International Studies

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Program Overview

Offered as both a major and a minor, Fairfield University’s International Studies provides students with a broad, interdisciplinary training in the theories, methods, and practice of political, socio-cultural, and economic global affairs. By preparing students to engage in critical thinking, policymaking, analysis, and ethically grounded action, the program invites undergraduates of all traditions to a maturing of self-knowledge and respect for the dignity of themselves and others. It calls for a commitment to socially responsible behavior encompassing a devotion to peace and justice, addressing poverty, and a passion for truth, reflection, and lifelong learning as part of the global community.

‌Through a wide range of courses, Fairfield’s International Studies program aims to heighten global awareness while addressing conflicts stemming from gender, race, nationality, class, environment and development. Our students graduate with the necessary skills and global education to obtain a successful career in public service, education, business, law, and nonprofit ‌services.

Majors and minors are required to complete at least one experiential learning activity before graduating, which can include domestic internships or Global Internships, a semester or summer abroad, or participation in a service-learning project. The majority of our majors and minors usually opt to enhance their ‌language and cross cultural skills through a study abroad experience.

Our program faculty brings expertise from an array of disciplines ‌within the social sciences, humanities, and business fields and offers years of international research experience in countries around the world, including Brazil, China, Germany, Guatemala, Jamaica, Morocco, and Russia, to name a few.

International Studies | Fairfield University


Students majoring in International Studies begin with foundational coursework in international relations, economics, geography, and sociology/anthropology, and complete their degree requirements with a senior capstone research project. To prepare for this, they develop their own specialization drawing on courses in the thematic areas of Global Development; Conflict, Diplomacy and Peace Building; and Humanitarianism and Social Justice. The challenges and perils that face the global community are multifaceted and complex. Students acquire different sets of knowledge, skills and values that deal with the complexities facing local and global communities.

Students complement their International Studies major with coursework in related departments like Politics, Economics, Sociology and Anthropology, History or Modern Languages, and in the Dolan School of Business. Many students also pursue related interdisciplinary programs, such as Environmental Studies, Women's Studies, Peace and Justice, Humanitarian Action, and area studies programs with which International Studies works especially close - Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Russian and East European Studies

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. Therefore students are expected to engage in one or more of these forms of experiential learning.

Fairfield University has a campus chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, the national honor society for international studies. Students must have attained a junior standing and completed at least twenty-one hours of course work toward the International Studies/Business major or the International Studies minor. Students with an overall GPA of 3.3 or greater and a GPA of 3.4 or higher in their International Studies/Business major, International Studies minor are nominated for membership.

For a major in International Studies through the College of Arts and Sciences, students:

  1. Complete the following foundational courses in the major:
INST 1050 People, Places and Global Issues
INST 1051 International Relations: Theories and Challenges
INST 1052 Culture and Political Economy
INST 1053 Introduction to Economics
(OR ECON 1011 and ECON 1012, as required for International Business majors)
INST 4999 Senior Capstone Seminar
  1. Complete 15 credits of electives selected from any of our suggested three thematic areas to develop a specialization in International Studies. These electives may be taken any time during the student's undergraduate studies, though students may wish to spread these courses over their junior and senior year. Students are encouraged to complete:
    • INST 1050
    • INST 1051
    • INST 1052
    • INST 1053
    in their First and Sophomore years. Note that ECON 1011 and ECON 1012 may serve as an alternative to INST 1053. Students may also complete 15 credits of electives through a self-designed study, with approval of the director. Students in study abroad may take approved courses to satisfy the required electives, but foundation courses must be taken on campus.

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a six-course, 18 credit minor in International Studies consisting of:

INST 1051 People, Places and Global Issues
INST 1052 International Relations: Theories and Challenges
INST 1053 Culture and Political Economy
INST 1054 Introduction to Economics (or ECON 1011 and ECON 1012)
Two (2) electives from the thematic areas

Course Offerings

INST 1051 People, Places and Global Issues
INST 1052 International Relations: Theories and Challenges (cross-listed with PO 130)
INST 1053 Culture and Political Economy (cross-listed with AY 52)
INST 1054 Introduction to Economics (or EC 11 and EC 12)
INST 4999 Capstone
ANTH 1115 Cultures of Africa
ANTH 2015 Refugees and Culture in the Modern World
ANTH 1120 Islamic Societies and Cultures
ANTH 3710 Anthropology Research Methods
COMM 2241 Communication & Culture: East and West
ECON 3230 Comparative Economic Systems
ECON 3231 International Trade
ECON 3233 International Economic Policy and Finance
ECON 3235 Economic Development 
ECON 3237 Fair Trade and Microfinance
FNCE 3200 Global Capital Markets
FNCE 4240 International Finance Management
HIST 2284 20th Century Russia
HIST 2285 Modern China: 1800 to Present
HIST 2289 Modern Latin America, 1800 to Present
HIST 3366 Women in China and Japan
INST 1054 Contemporary Issues Affecting the Global Business Environ
INST 3980 Internship in International Studies
INST 3990 Independent Study
ISOM 4310 E-Business Applications
MGMT 4350 International Law
MGMT 4390 Cross Management: Non-Western Business Cultures
MKTG 3312 Global Marketing
POLI 2253 Latin American Politics
POLI 2255 Middle Eastern Politics
POLI 2259 The Development Gap
POLI 2474 International Environmental Policies
POLI 2477 Globalization: Who Rules the World?
SOCI 1160 Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Society
SOCI 1145 Globalization
SOCI 1165 Social Change in Developing Nations
AETH 2293 Ethics of War and Peace
ANTH 3710 Research Methods
COMM 2240 Intercultural Communication
HIST 2251 U.S. and the World Since 1900
HIST 2265 The History of the Indian Subcontinent: Colonialism, Nationalism and Democracy, c. 1857-today
HIST 2273 History and Culture of Central & Eastern Europe Since 1945
HIST 2274 Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Global Crises
INST 2471 UN Security Council Simulation
INST 3980 Internship in International Studies
INST 3990 Independent Study
MGMT 4360 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
PHIL 2263 The Concept of Human Rights
POLI 2251 Islam and Muslim Politics
POLI 2252 African Politics
POLI 2257 Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace
POLI 2258 Political Violence
POLI 2476 U.S. Foreign Policy
POLI 2478 International Law
POLI 2479 Threats to Global Security in the 21st Century
POLI 4303 Gender, War, and Peace
SOCI 1155 Sociology of Europe
ANTH 2100 Culture and Inequality
ANTH 1125 Sex, Gender, Sexual Orientation
ANTH 3700 Grant Writing in the Social Sciences
ANTH 3710 Anthropology Research Methods
ECON 2120 Introduction to Environmental Economics
HIST 2270 History of Global and Humanitarian Action
INST 2150 International Operations of Non-Profits
INST 2481 International Human Rights
INST 3980 Internship in International Studies
INST 3990 Independent Study
LCST 3301 Justice and the Developing World
MGMT 4370 Managing Nonprofit Organizations
MGMT 4385 Managing People for Global Business
PHIL 2263 The Concept of Human Rights
POLI 1102 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLI 2331 Introduction to Peace and Justice
POLI 2472 Politics of Humanitarian Action
POLI 2480 Border Politics
RLST 2335 Liberation Theology
SOCI 1150 Introduction to International Migration

Student Learning Outcomes



Accurately summarize in writing the key points of scholarly work.



Identify different theories, analyses, or perspectives on social behavior.



Accurately juxtapose two different analyses of a situation or event.



Demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between local phenomena and global processes.

Stag Spotlight

Kevin Parsons headshot

Kevin Parsons

Class of '22

Get to Know Kevin

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Politics and International Studies with minors in American Studies and Spanish

Hometown: Braintree, MA

Extracurricular Activities: Model UN, Campus Ministry, Alpha Mu Gamma, Ignatian Leadership Residential College

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

I chose to attend Fairfield because the University offers a Jesuit education that cares for the whole person. At Fairfield, I am not a number in a lecture hall, but rather a friendly face to professors who know me and are available inside and outside of the classroom. With an engaged student body, talented corp. of professors and a beautiful campus, Fairfield has all the tools for any student looking to grow in their education.

What interested you about the International Studies Program?

I have always loved meeting new people with different ideas, perspectives and values from around the world. The program offered at Fairfield is interdisciplinary, diverse and gives its students opportunities to travel. With an initial interest cultivated during my time working with the Hyde Center for Global Education in Boston, MA, I knew a program as robust as the one at Fairfield would give me endless opportunities to learn and grow with people from around the world. As a sophomore, I had the privilege of studying the German immigration system under Professor Marion Knödler, a visiting professor who worked in state and federal immigration offices in Germany. The International Studies program at Fairfield University truly open the door to the world.

Are there any classes you've really enjoyed so far or are looking forward to taking?

I really enjoyed my “Comparative Politics” class. I had the opportunity to do a case study of Germany, Russia, and China, comparing the vastly different political systems and how it impacted people on the local level by following news outlets in each respective country. I also really enjoyed my “Culture and Political Economy” class with Dr. Crawford where we compared vastly different ideas of how to think about the world and society in general.

What is something unique that you bring to the International Studies program?

I am a highly motivated, open-minded individual with a passion for meeting new people and experiencing new things. I have gone to the Dominican Republic twice on service immersion trips, traveled to Ireland on an academic exchange, traveled to Rome on a concert tour, have worked extensively with special needs students at home and abroad, actively participant in Model UN, and am involved with Fairfield University's Campus Ministry. With a love of travel, commitment to social justice, and passion for learning, I am always looking to expand my horizons and learn something new.

What are your future plans?

I am currently exploring several options once I complete my undergraduate work at Fairfield. I have explored opportunities in the Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corp, law school, Fulbright Scholarship applications, and the Navy JAG Corp. It’s safe to say at this point I have no real plan but lots of ideas and am looking forward to working with my advisors and professors at Fairfield to help focus my post-grad direction.

Anything else you'd like other potential International Studies students to know?

If you can learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, it will become easier to explore a large, diverse, and ever-changing world. My time thus far with International Studies has proven this to be true time and time again.

Mahfouz Soumare headshot

Mahfouz Soumare

Class of '22

Get to Know Mahfouz

Undergrad Degree: International Studies and Economics
Hometown: Ivory Coast
Extracurricular Activities: Model UN, Boxing Club
Fun Fact: Mahfouz can speak five languages: French, Bamara, Soninke, Nouchie, and English

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield?

I came to the United States in 2016. In March 2017, my schoolmates encouraged me to take the SATs to get into a good college. I got good scores and applied to over 30 colleges. I knew I wanted to major in International Studies, because I want to work for the UN or something bigger. I got into more than 20 schools, and the hardest decision was choosing where I wanted to go. I couldn’t decide on my own, and I had people close to me help me decide the best choice for me. I narrowed it down to five schools, checked into all the programs, and after visiting Fairfield, I knew I really liked the program, the people, and the size.


What interested you about the International Studies Program?

I wanted to be in a place where I could contribute something to the school. I didn’t want to be a number. I wanted people to know my name, know what I’m interested in and what I want to achieve. Fairfield was the place for me. The International Studies Program offers great internships and great opportunities, and after meeting with the faculty, it was the best fit for me.


Are there any classes you've really enjoyed so far or are looking forward to taking?

I love my “Intro to Politics” class, and my IL 50 class. I love getting the opportunity to discuss things with professors and ask any questions. I also really love current events, and being able to talk about what’s going on in the world with my classmates.


What is something unique that you bring to the International Studies program?

I’ve been to a lot of countries and I want to go to a lot of countries. I really want to travel to the Middle East. I’m currently working with my professors on how to do that, and I also have plans to make two documentaries: one about the crisis in Venezuela and Syria, and another about the conflict in the Middle East. I’ve made connections with some journalists from Venezuela who are interested in working with me, and I’m trying to travel to both of those places.


What are your future plans?

Working closely with all my professors because by the time I graduate I want Fairfield University’s International Studies Program to be one of the Top 10 programs in the nation! I believe that I owe something to this institution, because they believe in my potential.

I also want to graduate Fairfield with a 4.0 GPA and eventually get my PhD. My dream job is to work for the UN, travel to Middle Eastern countries, and open a school there and work with refugees -- I was one of them, and I want to be able to give back. My biggest dream is to become Secretary of the UN.


Anything else you'd like other potential International Studies students to know about you?

Coming here wasn’t easy. I recently learned English and that has been very difficult for me. But I’m excited to connect with the people here. I hoped Fairfield would change my life, and it’s already starting to. I’ve made great friends and I have some mentors -- everything’s been wonderful so far.


Caroline Timmerman headshot

Caroline Timmerman

Class of '22

Get to Know Caroline

Undergraduate Degree: BA in International Studies with Anthropology minor

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Extracurricular Activities: Club Field Hockey, Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship

What interested you about the International Studies Program?

I was fortunate enough to come into college knowing exactly what I wanted to study, and the community built into the International Studies program affirms my decision every day. Fairfield’s International Studies program has an incredibly knowledgeable and diverse teaching staff that has a lot of ethnographical, political, and humanitarian experience. Fairfield’s interdisciplinary approach to teaching has allowed me to gain a broader perspective on the world. I was initially impressed by the study abroad opportunities the program affords and the degree to which professors and advisors care for their students. The extensive alumni network is willing to help and communicate with students, which is an additional and reassuring tool to have.

Are there any classes you've really enjoyed so far or are looking forward to taking?

So far, I’ve really enjoyed my IL 0050 course “People, Places, and Global Issues” and AY 0135 “Refuges and Culture in the Modern World.” I’m looking forward to taking IL 0150 “International Operations of Non-Profits” and HIST 2274 “Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Issues.”

What is something unique that you bring to the International Studies program?

I am able to bring my ethnographical and cultural interests, derived from my anthropology background, to the International Studies program. While the connection between International Studies and Anthropology may seem obvious, this is a relatively rare combination in the program and is something unique I present.

What are your future plans?

I’m particularly interested in British and EU politics and culture, so following undergrad, I’m hoping to apply for a Marshall Scholarship and attend Graduate School abroad. I hope to eventually get my PhD.

Anything else you'd like other potential International Studies students to know?

I am really excited to take advantage of all the study abroad available to me. I am slated to spend my entire junior year abroad, and despite the COVID roadblock, I am hopeful I will be able to see the world.

Jessica Castillo headshot

Jessica Castillo

Class of '21

Get to Know Jessica

Undergrad Degree: BA in International Studies and Politics, with minors in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, French, and Peace & Justice Studies
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Extracurricular Activities: Model UN, Campus Ministry

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield?

I chose Fairfield University because of its great International Studies program, small class sizes, club options, alumni network, and great post-grad opportunities available through the Office of Academic and Career Development.

What interested you about the International Studies Program?

What interested me was the interdisciplinary approach to the world you can achieve with this major and how it is applicable to any concentration you wish to have. This adaptability is great to have today, especially in our current job market. Also, this major prepares me for a career in any field involving an international element, such as foreign service, nonprofit work, and think tanks, which would be my preferred jobs once I graduate.

Are there any classes you've really enjoyed so far or are looking forward to taking?

I really enjoyed taking “People, Places, and Global Issues.” I took this course during my first semester at Fairfield and enjoyed every minute of it. We discussed current issues that occur worldwide, and it assured me that this is what I wanted to study.

What is something unique that you bring to the International Studies program?

As an international student, I already have knowledge of what is happening in the world, so I bring a new perspective to the International Studies program regarding how the events and situations we study affect lives and individuals that are not unlike ourselves.

What are your future plans?

My dream job is to be Secretary-General of the United Nations one day, but once I graduate, I would like to work in the Department of State or USAID helping them manage international issues through one-on-one bilateral conversations with other countries.

Anything else you'd like other potential International Studies students to know about you?

I am president of the Model United Nations Club and have interned in DC previously in Atlas Corps while participating in the International Affairs track of the TFAS summer programs. I will be participating in the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University.

Emma Cannon headshot

Emma Cannon

Class of '14

Peace Corps Volunteer

Get to Know Emma

A JUHAN fellow at Fairfield, Emma double majored in international studies and Spanish with a focus on Latin America. Emma was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala for two years, where she worked in support of the Healthy Schools Project, a national initiative that aims to improve basic health and hygiene in primary school students in rural Guatemala. She received the JUHAN Humanitarian Citizenship Award in 2014. She currently works at University Research Co., LLC (URC) & Center for Human Services (CHS) Support Zika Response activities in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador and Jamaica. She is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.

Undergrad Degree: International Studies and Spanish with a focus on Latin America
Hometown: Georgetown, MA
Extracurricular Activities: Jesuit University Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) Fellow, Fairfield Volunteer Corps (FVC) Co-leader, Service Learning Associate, City of Bridgeport Department of Sustainability Intern, AmeriCares Latin American Department Intern
Post-graduation: Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala 

Tell us about your experience as a member of the Peace Corps

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, I work in support of a national project called the Healthy Schools Project. The goal of the project is to improve basic health and hygiene in primary school students in rural Guatemala. As a volunteer under this project, I work in a school district for the superintendent of its rural primary schools. Within the schools, I work to train and support teaching in creating a healthy physical and psychosocial school environment for the students. Improvements to the physical environment can include hand-washing sinks, proper trash disposal, planting schools gardens, health corners in classrooms with personal hygiene items for each student, etc. Psychosocial improvements can include talks and activities with kids on topics such as self esteem, goal setting, etc. I also train teachers in a teaching format called 4MAT as a means to teaching health topics in a dynamic and interesting way that appeals to a number of different learning styles. Finally, within the schools I also work on the strengthening of relationships with outside groups and institutions such as parent associations, local government, and NGOs. 

Outside of the schools, I am also working to help set up a Healthy Schools project infrastructure that will endure beyond my service. This includes a municipal Healthy Schools committee, as well as a departmental level Healthy Schools committee. In conjunction with the National Healthy Schools committee, these committees will be a means of support for schools. Actors of the committees come from different ministries (health, education, food security, agriculture, etc.), NGOs, and other groups that can support the schools in the development, expansion, and sustainability of the project.

And of course, as with all Peace Corps volunteers, a big part of my work is community integration and building relationships of trust and understanding. By living in the community that I work in, I am able to do so. As a volunteer, I also work to learn about Guatemalan culture and society with the goal of sharing my knowledge with friends, family, and others back in the United States. I also work to share US culture and promote a great understanding of it among the Guatemalan people.

Describe the ways that the university’s Jesuit mission and identity had a positive influence in your academic and personal experience while at Fairfield.

Fairfield University’s Jesuit mission and identity were not initially what appealed to me about Fairfield. Instead, it was something that I internalized over my four years as a student. As a Magis scholar, ‘magis’ meaning, ‘more,’ I was often reminded that more was expected of me- academically, in my extracurricular activities, and in how I chose to conduct my Fairfield experience. Shortly after becoming a student, I came to find that I no longer needed the external reminder, because I had come to set that bar for myself. I took service learning courses, became involved in volunteering in Bridgeport, and became a member of the humanitarian action group JUHAN, through which I learned about the complex humanitarian crises of our world today and the small but important impact we could create as a group on the Fairfield campus. In sum, I believe that the influence that the Jesuit mission and identity had on my college experience led me to work hard and constantly strive for more. It led me to think of the impact my decisions have on others and the impact that I can have on others through conscious decision-making. It is that last part that led me to Peace Corps.

When you were at Fairfield, what attributes regarding the faculty did you find particularly helpful/encouraging?

I found it helpful that my professors constantly challenged me and expected excellent work from me. Whether it was a paper, a test, or a presentation, I always felt that my professors would not accept mediocre work from me. We all need an extra push sometimes when it comes to doing our best work, and I always felt that my professors were there to give me that extra nudge. At the same time, I also felt that they trusted me, and that they often treated me as a peer. I was able to build personal relationships with them, seek advice from them, and even spend time with them outside of the classroom or during the summer. As a senior in college deciding on my next step, they were there for far more than letters of recommendation. I felt that they were invested in helping me to achieve success and finding work that I am passionate about. My Fairfield professors have been mentors, resources, cheerleaders, and friends. And now, graduated from Fairfield and living abroad, I still communicate with a number of them and know that I can always reach out for advice and support. 

Katelyn Riconda headshot

Katelyn Riconda

Class of '12

Get to Know Katelyn

Major: International Studies and Sociology (Double Major)
Graduate degree: MPA, Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, NYU - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Current hometown: Brewster, NY
Name of employer: NYU Wagner – Research Center for Leadership in Action
Job title & brief description of duties: Research Fellow, A Ford Foundation Freedom of Expression Grant. The initiative is designed to highlight the roles religious communities and their leaders play in American political life and to equip a new generation of religious leaders to constructively promote greater civil discourse and pluralist democratic values.

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

One of the main reasons I chose Fairfield University was because of the Fairfield community’s dedication to service. Some of my favorite moments and memories at Fairfield are from my volunteer and internship opportunities. I was fortunate to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club in Bridgeport, CT and the Malta House in Norwalk, CT, a center for domestically abused women, and intern with the CT Quest For Peace, an organization that provides aid to the poor in Nicaragua. 

Other reasons I chose Fairfield were because of their multi-disciplinary approach to education and small class sizes. Fairfield allowed me to get to know my professors on a first name basis. I was not just a number in a huge seminar style class, which I really appreciated. Even if you are more of a humanities person, and may dread math and science courses, Fairfield provides many options for courses in all subject areas. 


How did you select your major? And how did that contribute to your professional/personal life?

I originally began my studies solely as a Sociology major. Prior to declaring a minor in International Studies, I realized that almost all of the classes I was taking, including my electives, could be counted towards a major in International Studies. It wasn’t until halfway through my junior year at Fairfield that I declared my second major in International Studies. Both majors complimented each other. I chose my majors because I am passionate about social justice and human rights. I also believe that adding an international lens to any work and field is important, and was particularly for me in my future career endeavors. 

After college, I worked at Save the Children USA, which is located in Fairfield, CT. In January 2013, I began my Master of Public Administration, Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with a specialization in International Policy and Management. My degree prepares the next generation of public service professionals, working mainly in government agencies and the nonprofit sector. My major classes, specifically the theoretical foundation I was given in sociological theory and the international experiences of my professors’ and classmates’, prepared me for the coursework in my graduate degree as well as all of the professional opportunities I have had thus far, including the research I have been involved in for the past two years. This past year, I was also able to travel to South Africa to study educational and social reform post-Apartheid and work with an NGO in Uganda to determine which social enterprises are the most valuable to the communities where they work; all which I was prepared for because of my studies and experiences at Fairfield. 


How did you come to work in your current career field and what inspires you about your work?

I don’t have it all figured out, even at the age of 25. As I continue to look for positions in government and the nonprofit sector, I am consistently drawn to positions that involve community outreach and engagement, as well as advocacy and policy work. I am constantly growing and learning every day. I have been fortunate to meet amazing people with inspirational stories that have in turn, inspired me. One of my favorite classes in graduate school was a Community Organizing class that I took. The professor was beyond engaging, got us out of our seats, made us question our choices, empowered us to initiate positive progressive change, and even made me cry from the stories he told. Fortunately, my professor at the time, was looking for a Research Fellow to help him with a Ford Foundation Freedom of Expression Grant he had received. Having grown up Catholic, but considered myself spiritual, not religious, I was intimated, but also intrigued to join his team. Through out my two years on the project, I have learned so incredibly much and have become friends with people I never thought I could have a conversation with (like a Pentecostal Pastor from Tennessee). A life lesson I learned is that if you don’t think you fit a position perfectly, but are intrigued and eager to learn, it’s beneficial to take a chance, you will learn more than you ever expected to. Also, major in a subject area that you are passionate about! I can’t tell you how many times fellow students asked me, “What are you going to do with that degree?” Don’t let that frighten you! There are plenty of opportunities out there. Continue to network and learn where your interests are and what major would lead you to be most happy in your career. 

Julianne Whittaker '12 headshot

Julianne Whittaker '12

Fulbright Scholar
Get to Know Julianne

Julianne Whittaker '12 worked in the Humanitarian field in Jordan after completing an English Teaching Assistantship Fullbright in that country in 2013 and is the founder and co-director of the Amal Foundation which provides university scholarships for Syrian refugees in Jordan. She completed her Master's in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University in 2017. After graduating, she was a Catholic Relief Services (CRS) International Development Fellow in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza and currently works for CRS as Livelihoods Program Manager in Iraq.

‌‌Julianne also received a Fulbright teaching scholarship to Jordan. Watch the video!

Reinier Terwindt headshot

Reinier Terwindt

Class of '09

Get to Know Reinier

Name:  Reinier Terwindt ‘09
Undergrad Degree: BA in International Studies, Minors in Anthropology and Economics
Name of employer/organization: STIR Education


Job title & brief description of duties:

I head STIR Education's monitoring and evaluation work. STIR aims to reignite intrinsic motivation among students, teachers, and officials in India and Uganda. It's my responsibility to assess whether we're on track to realize our vision and to make sure that the evidence that is generated feeds into improvements in our program and strategy.


Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

Primarily because of the Jesuit values and proximity to New York City, a global hub for international development - although in all honesty, the proximity to the beach also might have played a role.


How did you select your major/minor and has it contributed to your professional/personal life?

I chose international studies because it's so broad and therefore gave me a holistic understanding of some of the major global issues and ways of thinking about the world. I realize in my current role how important being able to connect the dots and think across disciplines really is.

I became very passionate about anthropology after a course with Dr. David Crawford, which then led me to do a Masters in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies in Anthropology of Development. I think everyone should take a course in anthropology at some point. It helped me to think more critically about the world around me, and that sense of critical thinking and constantly questioning my own beliefs has been fundamentally important in all that I do. It was also a ton of fun!


How did you come to work in your current career field and what inspires you about your work?

After Fairfield, I spent a number of years in Africa working with different NGOs on education programs. I eventually returned to New York to do a second masters at Columbia University in international education policy. I then started a job at the United Nations on private sector engagement in the sustainable development goals. After years of travels and many different jobs, I ultimately landed on wanting to be part of a fast-growing organization that's looking to create impact on a large scale. I joined STIR Education, initially in Uganda and later on in New York. What inspires me most about my work are my colleagues. I feel lucky to be part of a great team of talented people who genuinely want to improve educational outcomes for children globally, thereby opening doors for them to fulfill their potential.


How did Fairfield’s Jesuit education prepare you for your future?

If I had to think of one thing that characterizes my time at Fairfield, it'd be "open doors." I think the University does an incredible job at opening doors for you, whether it's sitting with a professor for an hour after class to go a bit deeper into certain topics, working with a career adviser on internship opportunities, or traveling to South Africa for a study abroad program. Fairfield opened so many doors for me, and all I had to do was walk through them! I'm really thankful for my time at Fairfield, as it honestly changed everything for me.


Student Resources

Academic Information

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Academic Information

Best Bets Research Guide - International Studies

Fairfield Fulbrights

Fellowships and Scholarships

Study Abroad

Writing Center

Scholarships and Fellowships

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Scholarships and Fellowships

For useful information on scholarships and fellowships related to global learning, please visit the Office of Scholarly Development page.

For information regarding grants and fellowships for graduate students, please visit the Fellowship Finder website.

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Professional Associations and Organizations

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Professional Associations and Organizations

Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs


International Monetary Fund


International Studies Association


United Naton


United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization


The World Bank Group

More About International Studies


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The International Studies program partners with Fairfield Dolan and the Career Center to support students professional development. Our international and domestic internships prepare students for careers in diplomacy, development, politics, finance, service industries, non-profit, and government work, among others.

Summer International Internships

Please see our Global Scholars Program webpage for more information about this exciting new program.

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fairfield is dedicated to diversity and inclusion; to radical hospitality in service of racial, social, and economic justice.

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The College of Arts and Sciences is home to a vibrant community of faculty and staff devoted to the process of invention and discovery. Meet the passionate members of our International Studies program.

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Global Stags Blog

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Global Stags Blog

Follow the exciting travels and activities of our international studies students, alumni, and faculty on our Tumblr blog.

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Model UN

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Model UN

This unique student club operates under the United Nations Association of the USA and combines public policy and politics with culture, diplomacy, research, and public speaking. Members attend an average of two or three conferences per year and compete with peers from all over the world.

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International Business/Studies Club

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International Business/Studies Club

This student club offers a variety of networking and career development events designed to bring together international studies students with international business students.

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Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship

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Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship

This widely-read University publication welcomes undergraduate submissions on diverse topics such as global awareness, interdependence, environmental responsibility, social justice, humanitarianism, and other themes that promote the understanding of global citizenship.

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Peace Corps Prep Program

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Peace Corps Prep Program

Fairfield University is please to collaborate with the Peace Corps to offer a unique interdisciplinary preparatory program that prepares students for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You do not have to take them in sequence, but you must have completed all of them before enrolling in the IL 300 capstone course. Since you are required to take these courses on campus, we recommend you take them as early as you can to accommodate study abroad opportunities. Additionally, these courses will introduce you to many new regions and topics that may be of interest to you. Identifying those interests early will help you plan the rest of your academic pathway.

You can take the capstone during the fall or spring semester of your senior year, as long as the prerequisite foundational courses have been completed. We recommend limiting your schedule to one capstone per semester, if possible, if you have a double major or minor that also requires a capstone.

The first year is a time to explore all of the fantastic programs and opportunities Fairfield has to offer its International Studies students. From taking part in Model UN to working with your faculty advisor to plan your next three years, students have a world of resources at their disposal. Learn more by visiting our Classroom to Career page.

While meeting with your faculty advisor is still a must, students can also begin seeking out and planning for internships in their Sophomore year. To check internship eligibility requirements, visit our Classroom to Career page.

Junior year marks the halfway point in your college journey, and that means planning for life after Fairfield. Juniors are encouraged to apply for internships and even start considering graduate school options, all of which are outlined on our Classroom to Career page.

Seniors in the International Studies program have the world at their feet. Whether seeking more internship opportunities or applying for Fulbright scholarships, seniors have a host of options to pursue in their final year at Fairfield, all of which are detailed on our Classroom to Career page.

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