Are you interested in learning about different cultures and people around the world? Would you like to study, live, or work abroad someday? Do you wonder why some countries are wealthy, while others are poor and some places are war-torn while others are peaceful? Would you like to understand how different regional civilizations have evolved and how these characteristics continue to affect people today? If you answered yes to any of these questions, International Relations may be the major for you. The course of International Relations is a unique course of study because it combines classes from three different departments – economics, history, and political science to create a coherent curriculum that allows students to develop their understanding of both different areas of the world (“area studies”) and the nature of interactions between people, groups, nation-states, and international organizations (“globalization”).
International relations students have many different strengths. Some have a flair for foreign languages, others are fascinated by particular regions of the world and still another set of students may have a long-standing interest in an aspect of global affairs. Some students are attracted to the major because it allows them to combine courses from multiple departments, allowing them to study world regions or phenomena (like conflict, revolution, economic development, or human rights) from different disciplinary perspectives.
International Relations is the study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities — for example, bureaucracies, political parties, and interest groups. Viewpoints from other academic disciplines are often taught, including political science, geography, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.
Our world could do with a little more love and care right now. From war to poverty, deforestation to epidemics, we are living in demanding times and facing detrimental challenges. The world needs individuals who have great ambition and want to make a positive impact. Studying international relations is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of global issues. It’s an intriguing and important subject that places great emphasis on economics, culture, education, and political science and examines the impact they have on society. You’ll also learn how and why nations, governments, and individuals respond accordingly to such issues.
International Relations introduce you to the world of politics and the social-historical impact of global development. You will learn about the different political systems and governing policies around the world, understanding how they connect with a broad range of international issues, such as human rights, global poverty, climate change, global ethics, etc.
During a Bachelor’s in International Relations, you can expect to take classes on Economics, Politics, Government, Explaining Society, Public Policy, Business Behaviors, Global Conflicts, Global Security, Environmental Sustainability, etc. You won’t study all these subjects, but most undergraduate programs combine them in various ways and have a different approach based on their curriculum and academic objectives.
There are other titles used to refer to International Relations (IR), such as International Studies, Global Studies, International Affairs, or Global Affairs. Because International Relations is a relatively new discipline, the academic approach, curriculums, and courses can vary significantly from one university to another.
Why Study International Relations?
Address Contemporary Global Issues
We live in a world where the overall living standard is higher than it has ever been. Yet, humanity is facing numerous problems and challenges despite our constant technological advancement and discoveries. Think in terms of poverty, hunger, inequality, environmental concerns, human trafficking, human rights, and so on.
Whether you will help to implement a new public policy or collaborate with other people to implement welfare projects and events, you will improve people’s lives, change their environment and reduce the suffering and injustice which are present in the world. It’s a massive task, extremely challenging and demanding; but at the end of most of your days, you’ll feel fulfilled and proud of your work.
Develop Key Transferable Skills
The skills you’ll develop while studying International Relations can be applied in many other areas and industries. Even if you have a change of heart and decide that you no longer want to work in the International Relations field, your abilities will help you succeed in any other career. Here are some of the most important skills you’ll develop and improve as an International Relations student:
Public speaking, verbal & written communication
Gather, organize, and analyze data to gain insights
Cooperate with people who have different personalities, jobs, and goals
Evaluate ideas, concepts, and proposals and offer constructive feedback
Find solutions considering different cultures, interests, and mentalities
Handle conflicts, find common ground, and reach mutual agreements
Enjoy a Table and Lucrative Career
International Relations jobs are in high demand. This is not surprising, considering the ongoing development of the globalization process and how companies cooperate across borders and try to expand in new markets and countries.