• Who should major in International Studies?

    Certain students who are interested in studying international affairs without going into great depth within any particular discipline. For students who have broad interests in international issues but not in the methods of any particular discipline, the program provides a way of doing that under faculty supervision that protects against the student's ending up with a hodge-podge of unrelated courses.

    What can I do with an International Studies major?

    International Studies, like most majors at Trinity, is a liberal arts major that lays a foundation for many kinds of advanced study and careers. It is aimed at creating habits of the mind and qualities appropriate to a lifetime of curiosity and learning, and not for any particular type of career. Many International Studies majors do go on to work in international careers, and some go on to International Affairs programs in graduate school. However, others end up doing things that are not particularly 'international.' The wide variety of career paths taken by International Studies alumni is evidence of their adaptability. Specialists---professional international economists, for example---are made in graduate school, and students find that a Trinity education is superb preparation for that kind of advanced training.

    I want to live and work overseas. Will the International Studies major help me?

    Trinity's International Studies advisors are interested in helping individual students lay plans for their futures and are well situated to give advice on international careers. Trinity also has a Career Planning office that is full of resources to help students investigate career paths. Ultimately, however, it is up to students, as individuals, to investigate and develop their own future possibilities. Certain overseas careers such as the U.S. Foreign Service are accessible through entrance exams. Others require experience within the organization before qualifying for assignment to overseas operations. The International Programs Office, like the Career Planning office in Coates Center, maintains many resources for career planning. However, it is essential for students to start early, in their first or second years of college, to sort out how people get "international" jobs and to set their sights according to the futures they want to develop for themselves. The faculty can help with this by counseling students about possibilities and showing them how to prepare for the career futures that interest them most. For more information on international careers visit the International Programs website and click on "International Careers Opportunities."

    Do many International Studies majors have double majors in another discipline?

    Yes. Since International Studies is a mixture of courses from many departments, it overlaps readily with other majors. French majors, for example, find that their advanced French language courses count for International Studies, as do courses taken abroad when they study in France. However, they still have to take the International Studies core and the Senior Seminar, so there is a limit to the overlapping. Political Science majors might find that PoliSci courses in the International Studies core count for both majors, as do electives in their regional concentration.

    What's the purpose of the International Studies core?

    The core is meant to answer the question 'What kind of knowledge should all International Studies majors have?' Out in 'the real world,' people assume that someone with an 'International Studies major' in college will know something about economics and trade, foreign relations and diplomacy, and main trends in today's world such as expanding communications and basic ideas behind major religious movements. In addition, people assume a knowledge of U.S. interactions with the world and expect graduates to have competence in a foreign language and some experience abroad.

    Is there an introductory International Studies course?

    History 3303, U.S. Diplomatic History, is the basic course in the International Studies Program and is a virtual requirement. It is taught during all semesters and during summer sessions, and should be taken as early as possible in the student's Trinity career.

    Looking at the course lists in the Courses of Study bulletin I don't see some courses I think are "international" and appropriate for my major. How can I get them included in my own program of study?

    You can make a case in writing to the Director and explain why you think the course should be added to your program by special action.

    Do all International Studies majors study abroad while at Trinity?

    Not necessarily. A student whose early life was spent abroad or has an extensive travel background might prefer not to have his/her college years interrupted by a term away. But in general it seems consistent with the purpose of the International Studies program to experience life in a foreign country and studies in a foreign institution. Accordingly, virtually all International Studies majors study abroad before graduation.

    I don't speak a foreign language? Can I still study abroad?

    Yes. There are excellent programs in many countries that are taught in English. There are programs in England, Australia, and Hong Kong, among other places. There are also English speaking study abroad programs in such places as Hungary and MŽxico.

    What about courses I take while abroad?

    These may also be added by petition, if there's a logical reason.

    May I take core courses for the major while abroad?

    The core is to be taken at Trinity. Those courses. No others. Exceptions are extremely rare.





Questions or comments?


International Studies Department
One Trinity Place,
San Antonio, Texas 78212-7200
(210) 999-7313
(210) 999-7305 fax