International Studies

Program Overview

 

Mission Statement:

The International Studies Program provides students with a broad, interdisciplinary training in the theories, methods and practice of the political, socio-cultural, and economic global affairs. It prepares students to engage in critical thinking, policymaking and analysis, and ethically grounded action.  The program invites students 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. To learn about our Learning Outcomes, please click here.  

About the International Studies Program:

Please follow the exciting activities of our students, alumni and faculty on our Tumblr blog by clicking on the "Global Stags Blog" link above, or join our Global Stags Facebook page!  

‌Through a wide range of courses, the program aims to heighten global awareness while addressing conflicts stemming from gender, race, nationality, class, environment and development. In collaboration with the College of Arts & Sciences and the Dolan School of Business, International Studies is offered as both a ‌‌‌major and minor.

‌‌International Studies requirements include foundational coursework in geography, international relations, economics, and‌ sociology/anthropology. Students also take five electives that often meet requirements for a dual-major or minor in disciplines from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dolan School of Business. Most electives also satisfy general core requirements for our majors.

Our program offers faculty with diverse international research experiences. Our faculty bring expertise from an array of discplines ‌within the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Business fields. You can find ‌faculty with expertise in countries that span the world, including  Brazil,  China, Germany,  Guatemala,  Jamaica,  Morocco, and Russia.‌    

We require our majors and minors to have at least one experiential learning activity that could include an internship, 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.  In 2017, our Global Scholars Program established a set of summer international internship opportunities available to students.  

Our students graduate with the skills necessary for a successful career in public service, education, business, law and nonprofit ‌services, as well as the background to pursue a range of graduate programs. During the academic year, we organize events that give our students ample ‌opportunities to meet successful alumni and other regional employers through roundtable lunches and evening presentations. ‌‌ We have a thriving Model United Nations Club that meets regularly, hosts a high school event on campus, and travels to one or two conferences per semester. Students are welcome to join the International Business/International Studies Club on OrgSync for networking and career development opportunities.  Finally, the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship gives students an opportunity to publish their work, or to become an editor of this widely viewed publication.  

Have questions? Contact Dr. David Crawford, Director of the International Studies Program, or Anita Deeg-Carlin, Associate Director of the International Studies program. 

Requirements

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.

Complementary Studies and International Opportunities

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.

 

Graduation with Honors in International Studies

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.

 

Requirements

International Studies Major

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

  1. Complete the following foundational courses in the major:
    • IL 50: People, Places and Global Issues
    • IL 51: International Relations: Theories and Challenges
    • IL 52: Culture and Political Economy
    • IL 53: Introduction to Economics (or EC 11 and EC 12, as required for International Business majors)
    • IL 300: Senior Capstone Seminar
  2. 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 in study abroad may take approved courses to satisfy these electives. However, students are encouraged to complete IL 50, 51, 52, and 53 in their Freshman and Sophomore years, as described below. Students may also complete 15 credits of electives through a self-designed study, with approval of the director.

 

Suggested Course of Study

Freshman Year

  • IL 50

Sophomore Year

  • IL 50 (if remaining)
  • IL 51
  • IL 52
  • IL 53 (usually offered in the Fall Semester)
    (students may also take EC 11 and EC 12 to fulfill the IL 53 requirement)

Junior Year

  • IL 51, 52, or 53 (if any remain)
  • Choose 5 electives from the thematic areas

Senior Year

  • Complete any remaining electives from the thematic areas 
  • IL 300: Capstone

 

International Studies Minor

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

  • IL 50: People, Places and Global Issues
  • IL 51: International Relations: Theories and Challenges
  • IL 52: Culture and Political Economy
  • IL 53: Introduction to Economics (or EC 11 and EC 12)
  • Two electives from the thematic areas

 

Course Offerings

See International Studies course descriptions from our catalog for more information. 

Foundational Courses

  • IL 50: People, Places and Global Issues
  • IL 51: International Relations: Theories and Challenges (cross-listed with PO 130)
  • IL 52: Culture and Political Economy (cross-listed with AY 52)
  • IL 53: Introduction to Economics (or EC 11 and EC 12)
  • IL 300: Capstone

Electives

Global Development 

  • AY 130 Cultures of Africa
  • AY 135 Refugees and Culture in the Modern World
  • AY 152 Islamic Societies and Cultures
  • AY 200 Anthropology Research Methods
  • CO 241 Communication & Culture: East & West
  • EC 230 Comparative Economic Systems
  • EC 231 International Trade
  • EC 233 International Economic Policy and Finance
  • EC 235 Economic Development of Third World Nations
  • EC 237 Fair Trade and Microfinance
  • FI 200 Global Capital Markets
  • FI 240 International Finance
  • HI 284 20th Century Russia
  • HI 285 Modern China: 1800 to Present
  • HI 289 Modern Latin America, 1800 to Present
  • HI 366 Gender, Cultures, and Representation: Women in China and Japan
  • IL 154 International Issues in International Business
  • IL 298 Internship in International Studies
  • IL 299 Independent Study
  • IS 310 E-Business Applications
  • MG 350 International Law
  • MG 390 Cross Management: Non-Western Business Cultures
  • MK 312 Global Marketing
  • PO 253 Latin American Politics
  • PO 255 Middle Eastern Politics
  • PO 259 The Development Gap
  • PO 274 International Environmental Policies
  • PO 277 Globalization: Who Rules the World?
  • SO 188 Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Society
  • SO 190 Globalization
  • SO 191 Social Change in Developing Nations

Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace Building 

  • AE 293 Ethics of War and Peace
  • AY 200 Research Methods
  • CO 240 Intercultural Communication
  • HI 251 The American Century? U.S. Foreign Relations since 1900
  • HI 265 The History of the Indian Subcontinent: Colonialism, Nationalism and Democracy, c. 1857-today
  • HI 273 Cultural and Historical Aspects of Post-Communist Transition
  • HI 274 Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Global Crises
  • IL 197 UN Security Council Simulation
  • IL 298 Internship in International Studies
  • IL 299 Independent Study
  • MG 360 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
  • PH 263 The Concept of Human Rights
  • PO 251 Islam and Muslim Politics
  • PO 252 African Politics
  • PO 257 Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace
  • PO 258 Political Violence
  • PO 276 U.S. Foreign Policy
  • PO 278 Introduction to International Law
  • PO 279 Threats to Global Security in the 21st Century
  • PO 303 Gender, War, and Peace
  • SO 189 Sociology of Europe

Humanitarianism and Social Justice 

  • AY 163 Culture and Inequality
  • AY 168 Women and Men: The Anthropology of Gender
  • AY 180 International Research Practicum
  • AY 200 Anthropology Research Methods
  • EC 120 Environmental Economics
  • HI 270 History of Global and Humanitarian Action
  • IL 150 International Operations of Non-Profits
  • IL 152 International Human Rights
  • IL 298 Internship in International Studies
  • IL 299 Independent Study
  • LAC 300 Justice and the Developing World
  • MG 370 Managing Nonprofit Organizations
  • MG 385 Managing People for Global Business
  • PH 263 The Concept of Human Rights
  • PO 102 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PO 201 Introduction to Peace and Justice
  • PO 272 Politics of Humanitarian Action
  • PO 280 Border Politics
  • RS 235 Liberation Theology
  • SO 185 International Migration and Refugees

Student Spotlight

Mahfouz Soumare

'22

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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.

 

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Jessica Castillo

'21

 

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

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 international affairs helping developing communities thrive, specifically in Latin America.

 

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

I am president of the Model United Nations Club and will intern in DC this summer at Atlas Corps while participating in the International Affairs track of the TFAS summer programs. I also participate in the Fairfield’s annual Human Library and Flavors of Asia events.

 

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Internships

We encourage all of our majors to have at least one internship that complements their interests in international studies or international business. Internships provide students with practical skills and the beginning of a professional network, both of which are essential to a successful transition to employment. By registering for IL 298, students can earn up to 3 credit hours for their internships, and count the experience toward an applied elective.  To register, please fill out the agreement form and the enrollment form and return them to Associate Director Anita Deeg-Carlin at adeeg-carlin@fairfield.edu.  For more information on the requirements of the course, please see our IL 298 syllabus.  Summer interns will receive a summer syllabus. Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.8 in order to enroll in an internship.  

 

For information about Summer International Internships, please see our Global Scholars Program website or see the Office of Study Abroad's opportunities. 

Our students (generally during their junior or senior years) have taken internship opportunities with a variety of employers in the non-profit sector, private sector, and with local goverment. 
Below are examples of recent internship placements:

 

Americares - Stamford, CT‌

‌Americares is an international non-profit relief and humanitarian aid organization. This semester, one of our students is working with program managers to support operations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

 

BRAC USA - Manhattan, NY

As the largest development organization in the world, BRAC reaches over 135 million people in 11 countries. BRAC is recognized for its expertise in scaling up programs rapidly and effectively and for its innovative approach to tackling seemingly intractable problems. BRAC USA was formed in 2006 with the dual mandate of raising funds for BRAC programs and building the profile of BRAC in the United States and Canada. BRAC USA has directly raised $100 million and facilitated an additional $300 million for BRAC entities.

 

Bridgewater Associates - Norwalk, CT

Bridgewater is one of the largest and most successful asset managers in the worl, managing more than $150 billion in investments for many of the largest institutional investors globally.  The foundation of Bridgewater's success is our open, honest culture, centered on creating rich meaningful relationships built on radical truth and transparency.

 

CIRI - Bridgeport, CT

The International Institute for Connecticut is a statewide nonprofit organization that assists refugees and immigrants resolve legal, economic, linguistic and social barriers so that they become self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of the community. Interns help with the Refugee Resettlement and Employment and the Survivors of Torture Programs.  

 

Estimize - Manhattan, NY

Estimize is the first crowdsourced financial estimates platform.  By crowdsourcing data from buy-side, sell-side and independent research analysts, alongside industry experts and academics, Estimize data is able to better represent the true expectations of the market. Required skills are financial literacy, strong writing and research skills, proficiency in Excel, and self motivation!

 

IBM - Greater NYC (Multiple)

IBM offers student internships in a variety of fields related to technology.  We are proud to have several alumni currently working at IBM, who began as undergraduate interns.  

Tauck - Norwalk, CT

Tauck operates and guides exclusive travel tours all over the world. Our students have worked in a variety of offices at Tauck. This semester, one of our majors is working with their tour management division, supporting efforts to help tour directors provide safe, quality progams for participants.‌‌

 

WWE - Norwalk, CT

The WWE is a global sport-entertainment company. This semester one of our students is supporting their international marketing and social media efforts in markets across the globe.  

 

Youth Assembly at the UN - Greenwich, CT

The Youth Assembly at the United Nations is a unique platform created to foster dialogue and generate partnerships between exceptional youth, UN high officials and staff, private sector, and civil society. 

 

Other internship opportunities

For more information about our internship program, please contact:

Anita Deeg-Carlin
Associate Director, International Studies Program
Donnarumma Hall Room 251
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2865
E-mail: adeeg-carlin@fairfield.edu

Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the passionate members of our International Studies Department.

Alumni Spotlight

International Studies/International Business graduates pursue careers in a myriad of international-related career options with private and non-profit/public sector employers. Our program also has an outstanding record of Fulbright awards for students to conduct research abroad after they graduate from Fairfield. Students have also pursued graduate degrees at leading institutions.

Career Placements: Americorps, Catholic Relief Services, Clinton Global Initiative, General Electric, Save the Children, & Teach for America
Graduate School/scholarships: Brooklyn Law School, Quinnipiac University School of Law, St. John's Law School, Suffolk University Law School, University of Connecticut MPA 

Alumni Profiles

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Emma Cannon

'14

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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. 

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Katelyn Riconda

'12

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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. 

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Julianne Whittaker

'12

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‌‌Julianne Whittaker '12, an international studies and economics double major, received a Fulbright teaching scholarship to Jordan. Watch the video!

 

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Nicole Davidow

'15

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Name:  Nicole Davidow '15
Undergrad Degree: International Studies and Philosophy, minor in Catholic Studies  
Hometown: Southington, CT
Extracurricular Activities: JUHAN, Students for Social Justice, Eucharistic Minister, Women’s Basketball Manager, Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassador

 

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

I chose to attend Fairfield University because I wanted the experience of a Jesuit education. While in the process of considering my options for continuing my education I was intrigued by the way in which Fairfield appealed to my academic, social, and spiritual interests. Ultimately, I decided on Fairfield because I felt that it would be the best environment to challenge and support me through further personal and professional development. 

 

How/why did you select your major/minor?

Deciding to become an International Studies major was something I put a lot of thought into. Being undeclared going into sophomore year was liberating, but also challenging. I had always been really passionate about service and justice, and so when it came to choosing a major I really wanted something that would honor what truly mattered to me. The curriculum and concentrations offered within the International Studies program have definitely enabled me to pursue my career goals in a way that complements my interests well. Looking back as a senior, I realize that a background in International Studies facilitates an interdisciplinary education which has provided me with an essential foundation of understanding that can be applied to a variety of professional fields. 

 

Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of.

I am currently enrolled in my International Studies Senior Capstone course and although I have yet to complete my project, it has been striking to me to see how much progress I have made within the program since I started with the foundation courses my freshman year. Before taking my first Internationally Studies focused courses, I had never been exposed to an international material other than what I saw in the news and the generic history classes I took in high school. Theory, especially through an international perspective, was completely foreign to me. However, now as I prepare for what will come of my Senior Capstone project, I am proud at the confidence and passion I have in formulating my argument and engaging others in a topic of great interest to me. 

 

What attributes regarding the faculty did you find particularly helpful/encouraging?

One of the best qualities regarding the faculty that fall under the International Studies program is that they are all so diverse. Not only are the faculty as inter-disciplinary as the courses offered, but they also come from a variety of different research fields and backgrounds which truly compliments the needs and questions of the students. In addition, I have always found the faculty to be both intellectually challenging and constructively supportive. I find it helpful and encouraging that the faculty is passionate about what they teach while also being invested in the success and development of the students. 

 

Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth

One of my favorite courses has been "Culture and Political Economy," taught by Professor Crawford. I think it sticks out in my mind especially because of the way in which it involved actively applying the theory we were reading about to more contemporary case studies. This created a really interesting learning dynamic and stimulating class discussions. Overall, I think this course helped me academically in terms of developing my critical thinking skills. The texts could be challenging or complex at times, but as a result of this course and subsequent course work, I have a greater confidence in the way that I approach material, and therefore I am more self-sufficient in terms of being able to comprehend complicated material and draw conclusions on my own. 

 

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

The Jesuit mission has been central to my Fairfield experience. On an academic level, the Jesuit mission not only exposed me to a variety of disciplines, but it did so in a way that engaged me and met me where I was at. The Jesuit mission did more than just put me in contact with material I wouldn’t typically encounter, it also opened my eyes to the way in which I am affected by or have an effect on the world around me. On a personal level, the Jesuit mission enhanced my experience at Fairfield by providing me with the opportunity to immerse myself in a community that encourages individuals to see their future as a vocation. As a result, my experience has been about growth and development while allowing myself to continue to pursue my own interests and passions. 

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Camille Giacovas

Camille Giacovas

'17

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Name: Camille Giacovas
Undergrad Degree: International Studies Major 
Hometown: Westchester, New York
Extracurricular Activities: Coordinator for Fairfield University’s Refugee Youth Mentoring Program, Pre-Law Society, Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship, JUHAN, Bryant Schools Pencil Pal, Alpha Mu Gamma

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

Throughout my college search, I always wanted a small to medium-sized liberal arts college with access to NYC for internships, as well as a strong faculty and core curriculum. I also knew that I wanted a school that would allow me to explore my interests beyond the classroom through study abroad, extracurriculars, research opportunities and community service. Fairfield was simply the perfect match.

 

How/why did you select your major/minor?

I selected International Studies as my major because of its interdisciplinary nature, which has effectively allowed me to take a broad range of classes in politics, economics, sociology and anthropology. By doing so, I have been able to tailor my classes to my interests which have always been globally focused. I am fascinated by the complex connections between countries, communities and individuals across the world.

 

Describe a project or an activity that you have been involved with through the program that you are particularly proud of

I am proud to be the Coordinator for Fairfield University’s Refugee Youth Mentoring Program. I took on this responsibility after taking African Politics for an elective in the International Studies major. Every week, we welcome 30 middle and high school aged refugee students through the International Institute of Connecticut to campus for homework help, college prep guidance and fun games and activities with 40 Fairfield student volunteers. It has been wonderful to see this program grow into a University-wide initiative.

 

What attributes regarding the faculty do you find particularly helpful/encouraging?

I love the enthusiasm and wisdom of the International Studies faculty. Each professor has a unique background and story of their own global journey that has led them to Fairfield University -- and all of them are incredible. They are not only enthusiastic about their own area of study, but also of the projects, ambitions and ideas of their students.

 

Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth

I can honestly say I do not have a favorite course because every course I have taken in the IL program has contributed to both my academic and personal growth as a student and young adult. That is the beauty of being an IL major - each class, from the foundational courses to the electives, are designed to fulfill a holistic approach that organically transforms into a specific area of interest based on the student. On top of that, the activities, speakers and panel discussions the IL department organizes throughout the year make being an IL major the most rewarding experience. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of!

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Reinier Terwindt

'09

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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 thinkining 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.

 

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Events Calendar

From alumni and internship panels to special guest lecturers and field trips, the International Studies program offers a wide variety of enriching and educational events throughout the year. Learn more about the many events being hosting on and off campus this semester.

Student Resources

Academic Information

Summer International Internships

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

Scholarships and Fellowships

For useful information on scholarships and fellowships related to global learning, please see this site.

For information regarding grants and fellowships for graduate students, please see: Fellowship Finder →

Professional Associations and Organizations

The following international institutions and organizations are relevant to the field of International Studies

Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

International Studies Association (ISA)

United Nations (UN)

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The World Bank Group

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Accurately summarize in writing the key points of scholarly work.
  2. Identify different "theories", analyses, or perspectives on social behavior.
  3. Accurately juxtapose two different analyses of a situation or event.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between local phenomena and global processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of career might I have with an International Studies major?

From careers in multinational organizations to non-profit and government institutions, a degree in International Studies prepares students for a multitude of careers. Check out our alumni spotlight to see how some of our graduates have applied their degrees.

 

What are some relevant internships I could do?

Our students have participated in internships with companies like UBS and Sikorsky Aircraft, among many others. Our list of internship opportunities can give you a look at what exciting opportunities your International Studies degree can bring.

 

Where do International Studies students typically study abroad?

We encourage International Studies students to try something new! There are a wide variety of opportunities, including

 

When should I take the IL foundational courses? Should I take them in sequence?

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.

 

When should I take the capstone?

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.

 

What are some examples of capstone topics?

  • Terrorism in the Global Economy
  • Great Pacific Garbage Patch
  • The Darfur Crisis
  • Water Scarcity in Jordan
  • Civil Society in Latin America
  • Building China’s Intellectual Property Regime
  • North African Assimilation in France
  • Democracy in Albania

 

What if I want to double major?

Many International Studies students double major or add minors. Common complementary majors include, but are not limited to Foreign Languages, Communication, Politics, Economics, and Environmental Studies.

 

What is an Individually Designed Major in International Studies?

An Individually Designed Major allows students to build an academic program dedicated to their desired career path. This means International Studies students can tailor their education to their unique interests with the help of faculty advisors. Visit the program overview page to learn more about Individually Designed Majors, classes offered and program requirements.

 

What are some common complementary minors to the International Studies major?

 

What scholarships opportunities are available for International Studies majors?

A host of international and national scholarship opportunities are available and can be found on our scholarships page.

 

What do International Studies alumni typically do after graduation?

  • Start a career in public service
  • Attend Graduate school in an international affairs field
  • Attend Business School
  • Attend Law School
  • Work for a global non-profit
  • Teach abroad
  • Volunteer

 

What should I be doing during my Freshman year?

Freshman 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.

 

What should I be doing during my Sophomore year?

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.

 

What should I be doing during my Junior year?

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.

 

What should I be doing during my Senior year?

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.

Model UN

Fairfield's Model UN is 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. An average of two or three conferences per year (national and 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.

Peace Corps Prep Program

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

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