Undergrad program launched in international affairs

May 12, 2005, vol. 33, no. 2
By Stuart Colcleugh



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SFU's arts and social sciences faculty has launched an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in international studies as a first step toward creation of a school of international studies later this year.

“It's a regular undergraduate major, minor and honours program in which students beginning next fall will be able to choose from a long list of internationally focused courses in different areas and tailor their choices to their particular career interests,” explains arts and sciences associate dean Tom Perry.

“We see it as a stepping-stone in a couple of different directions. One is obviously graduate study in an international discipline such as international business or law. The other one is for people who simply want to go abroad and work, and for that we wanted to have an undergraduate option.”

The key difference to other majors options is that international studies majors will be required to complete part of their studies abroad, either at one of SFU's international field schools or through enrollment in a foreign university program, short-term foreign visits, or an international co-op internship. They will also have to be proficient in a language other than English, to a level equivalent to four semesters in one of SFU's language programs.

Core faculty for the program will be drawn from numerous fields including political science, economics, public policy, history, geography, anthropology and sociology.

The curriculum will include training in, and exposure to subjects such as foreign relations, strategic intelligence, international security, globalization, international communication, economic development and the environment, ethnic and religious extremism, technology, migration, business trends and health studies.

Perry says the program will provide excellent preparation for careers in government and civil service, international law, global non-profit organizations, education and academia.

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