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Master of Arts in International Studies


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Purpose

The international field experience provides first-hand knowledge of a foreign culture through an employment internship, study abroad, military service, or other experience appropriate for your career goals.

A work placement abroad offers the advantage of obtaining professional knowledge and work experience. This experience may be the single most valuable component of the MA in International Studies Program. A work placement also provides an opportunity to use your theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. Work experience is also a good way to test whether your career plans fit your personality. Students who need additional foreign language skills development should consider including a foreign language immersion program in an international settings as (part of) their international field experience.

Your field experience should provide an opportunity to practice using your language of interest and, if possible, advance you toward your professional goals.

Students should expect to spend a minimum of ten weeks in an international setting during their field experiences. Typically these field experiences take place during the first summer after students enter the program.

Credit for the field experience is based on a portfolio of materials, including a background statement of intent, several reflective/analytical essays on aspects or incidents of their field experience with cultural significance, official documentation of experiences (e.g., work reports, letters from supervisors, academic transcripts, or annotated lists of contacts), and a total outcome summary. The grade for your international field experience will be based on this written portfolio, which will be evaluated by the MA in International Studies Field Experience Supervisor.

In exceptional cases, students may use prior experience in a second culture as the basis for the portfolio. Students with prior international experience may want to discuss this possibility with the MA in International Studies Field Experience Supervisor.