Off-campus study is an integral part of the International Relations major. The International Relations faculty recognizes that student understanding of the complexities of the field can be greatly enhanced by exposure to people, languages and cultures different from their own. Off-campus study directly relates to the department’s third learning goal of developing cross-cultural learning. In fact, International Relations is one of the only majors at Wooster that requires students to study abroad.
IR majors complete a term or more of off campus study from a long list of Wooster-endorsed programs. Normally, the off campus experience should be the equivalent of at least one academic semester in length. Summer programs of eight weeks or more in length will also be approved.
Academic work in international settings often motivates Wooster students to develop Independent Study projects on topics of global concern. In 2009-2010, for example, senior Olivia Parsons is researching micro-credit lending programs in Ecuador as an extension of her study abroad experience there in her junior year. Alex Jue is linking his study abroad experience in Senegal with an examination of Senegalese sustainable development practices. In summary, off-campus study can complement the International Relations curriculum in powerful ways.
The Off-Campus Study Office at Wooster has information on all approved overseas opportunities. Director Jessica DuPlaga advises students in selecting programs and making arrangements for such study. The College of Wooster recognizes several types of overseas opportunities:
- Programs sponsored by the College through third-party academic programs such as School for International Training (SIT);
- Programs sponsored by the College through sister institutions such as Dickinson and Kalamazoo College;
- “Wooster in” programs led by College of Wooster faculty;
- Direct exchange programs with foreign universities.
More details from the Off-Campus Study office can be found here.
International Relations majors have studied abroad in a variety of different locations, including Jordan, Ecuador, China, France and Senegal. Here are some profiles of recent International Relations majors and their off campus study experiences: