International Relations and Affairs  Interviews


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dotWhat to Expect

International relations students go on to work in government, industry, politics and academia. Students in this program often complete part of their studies overseas.

Students generally have core classes in math, physical sciences, social sciences, history and communications. After that, students hone in on a certain discipline, such as development or government.

On average, political science students have about four to six hours of homework a night.

"A student of international relations has to take general political science courses to gain an understanding of the main concepts in the discipline," says Kellie Templeton. Templeton got a bachelor's degree in political science and took a master's degree in international relations.

Templeton says international relations students take "courses on international organizations like the UN system, international relations theory, international law, trade, peace and conflict studies, or courses which compare the political systems of different countries."

Many students are involved with international organizations on campus as well as the many national political science associations.

How to Prepare

"Because the field is very broad, a student must have a specific area of interest and a clear focus. But economics [classes are] definitely a must, [and] statistics and subjects dealing with globalization will help," says Markus Krisetya. He took a master's degree in international relations at Syracuse University in New York.

High school students need to read the newspaper every day and get involved in leadership activities, students say.

Templeton spent four months working in West Africa, which greatly broadened her perspective. "It gave me insight into the development needs of less-developed countries and into the work and effectiveness of international organizations," she says.