International Studies (BA)
About the programme
Your programme begins with broad introductory courses; in your second semester you choose a world region to focus on. You gain the academic, practical, language and professional skills essential to your future studies or career.
In the first semester of your first year of International Studies you follow core courses. These compulsory courses give you a general introduction of the relevant theoretical and methodological approaches in the various disciplinary perspectives. Moreover, you will start to develop your academic skills: reading and thinking critically, writing and speaking clearly and concisely. In the second semester you start to specialise in the region of your choice through courses that focus on its history and culture; and begin your language training.
The first semester of the second year gives you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of your chosen area (East Asia, Africa, Russia and Eurasia, South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, North America, Middle East, or Europe) by learning more of its economic and political condition, as well as gain a global perspective on cultural interaction. You continue to improve reading, writing and speaking skills in your chosen language, and select your first elective from a broad range. In the second semester you learn about international relations and global political economy, and you have the opportunity to practice your research skills in a second elective.
The first semester of the third year of the programme offers you the so-called discretionary space in which you can freely choose between an international exchange, an internship, or a university minor. The second semester is where you show off your practical and academic skills: In the PRINS course you compete in teams to solve real cases presented by such organisations as Unilever, Workplace Pride, the European Space Agency and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Further you write a final thesis with a topic agreed upon by you and your supervisor.
Student International Studies
"Because I’m going to focus on Europe, I have the chance to learn a new language, so, besides International Studies, I’m also learning French. This programme really does enrich you as a person."
Dr. Paula Jordão
Tutor and tutor coordinator International Studies
"The tutorials are one of the most important components of the BA International Studies. In small groups of 12 to 15 students, it is in the tutorials that students put into practice what they learn in the lectures, under the guidance of a group of young international tutors who have already obtained their PhD or Master’s degree. Tutorials are interactive, lively and dynamic!"
Chair International Studies
"Opportunities for professional development are integrated into the curriculum throughout, including internship possibilities and one of the programme’s great diff erentiators, the Practising International Studies (PRINS) course in which you act as a consultant to international organisations and businesses."
As an International Studies student, you can expect a full working week of about 40 hours. You will spend an average of 14 hours in-class, both lectures and tutorials, and the rest of the time in independent study. You attend lectures focused upon a particular topic; the lectures are complemented by small-scale (12-15 students) tutorials in which the material is discussed in greater depth and with more student input, for example in solo or group presentations.
Student support services
The coordinator of studies of the programme advises students about their programme, arranges all kinds of practical things (such as the schedule) and help students in case of personal issues.
You have support beyond your programme too, from the dean of students or student psychologist. And if you experience chronic illness, physical or psychological disabilities or dyslexia you can contact Fenestra Disability Centre for personal advice before or early in your application process.
During the introduction days, all students will be divided into different mentor groups. A second or third-year International Studies student will be assigned to your group as your mentor. You will not only take part in the introduction days with your mentor group, but you will also share all tutorials in the first semester with this group.
In your first year of International Studies your mentor will also provide you with practical information, such as how to register for exams. Furthermore, during your first year you will have a couple of meetings with your mentor group. During these meetings several important subjects will be addressed, such as study skills, time management and you will obtain practical information you can use to get the most out of your studies.