Universiteit Leiden

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International Studies (BA)

Career prospects

In this time of globalisation, the job market offers plenty of opportunities for people with a global view. Graduates of our International Studies programme not only have expert knowledge of a specific world region, but also possess professional and consultancy skills that are much sought after. With your International Studies diploma you are fully equipped to either continue your studies with a master’s or to start your career in the public or private sector.

Your starting position on the labour market

As a graduate of International Studies you have a lot to offer. Your language and intercultural skills are extremely valuable for organisations working in, or with, the region in which you have specialised. The career orientation of the programme, in which the third-year PRINS consultancy course is a key element, provides the foundation for your future.

Our alumni choosing to enter the job market immediately upon graduation (31%) have very good career prospects. 76% find employment within 2 months after their graduation, and 100% are employed within 6 months.

Nassim Abba


Nassim Abba

"I am currently working as a policy advisor at the Vereniging van Samenwerkende Nederlandse Universiteiten (VSNU), a Dutch association of cooperating universities. During my bachelor I discovered that within the spectrum of history, culture, economy and politics, I found politics very interesting. That is one of the strengths of this study: you have the opportunity to focus more and more during three years. In this bachelor you learn what your strengths and interests are. During my thesis I did a project to prepare pre-university students for university. That was voluntary work, but I already came into contact with higher education and policy issues. I noticed that I found that very interesting. After completing my thesis, I started applying for jobs that touched those subjects."

Martina Carlucci


Martina Carlucci

"I work at a think tank in International Affairs, Chatham House, in London. Undertaking a career in International Affairs is not straightforward, but my time at Leiden University contributed to creating a solid foundation. I was amazed by how each tutorial during my BA aimed at making us students reflect, contrast, and compare, pushing us to form our own opinions while understanding different ones – which I soon realised is exactly what think tankers do. Following graduation, I continued my education with the MSc Emerging Economies and International Development at King’s College London, keen to improve my understanding of the Global South."

Pim Teeuwisse


Pim Teeuwisse

“I graduated in 2015 and in less than a month I found a job as a consultant in the financial sector. In my first job interview I was able to tell them about the consultancy experience I obtained during my study and that proved very useful. The presentation and intercultural communication skills that I acquired were also a big advantage. Alongside my current job, I’m now following a part-time MBA programme.”

Where do graduates find work?

Our alumni have gone on to follow a wide range of career paths. While some of them went on to pursue a master’s degree, others started their career after graduation. Many of them began working as an intern with an (international) organisation, gaining extra work experience, before taking their next step on the job market.

  • 20 % (Semi-)governmental institutions
  • 17 % Consultancy
  • 16 % Financial organisations
  • 8 % Non-profit
  • 7 % Education
  • 5 % Research
  • 3 % Media and journalism
  • 3 % Communications and marketing
  • 3 % Culture, sports, and recreation
  • 18 % Other

Source: Job market survey 2020. Research by Humanities Career Service.

Possible career paths

Examples of careers pursued by our alumni:

  • Policy officer
  • Diplomat
  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Advisor on diversity issues
  • PhD position at a university

Are you curious about our alumni’s career paths? Read more on this website.

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