Many students believe that international opportunities are only available to undergraduate students. This is not so. There are many opportunities for students to make their graduate experience an international one. Taking advantage of the multiple graduate scholarships available to study abroad is an effective way to internationalize your graduate program. Scholarships such as the FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) are specifically geared toward graduate students who want to study abroad as a part of their program.
However, some schools do not have the funding or infrastructure to support students abroad. Therefore, finding ways to give your graduate school work an international perspective is a plausible alternative.
Choosing courses with an international focus is a great way to internationalize your graduate experience. In many graduate programs, students have the flexibility to choose some general courses such as foreign language, international business, and area studies as a part of their program. Students can also talk to their professors or academic advisors about receiving independent study credit to take classes that would be unavailable otherwise.
You could make international focus a part of your graduate focus. This could be done as simply as giving the subject of your research an international theme. Rather than doing your graduate thesis on a particular subject in the United States, you can relate it to a situation in a foreign country. If you want a degree in political science and you are interested in Ireland, why not focus your thesis on a comparative analysis of the U.S. and Ireland’s political structure? With enough ingenuity you can find some way to connect your area of focus to your country of interests.
“I wanted to study Arabic in order to connect with my family, history, religion, and culture. I previously lived and worked in an Arabic-speaking country and wanted to learn Arabic more formally in order to maintain personal and professional...”
American Councils for International Education