International Studies: International Affairs
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Multinational. Multicultural. Multilingual. Our world is diverse and interdependent. BW's international affairs program prepares you for success in an increasingly global society where political, economic and cultural insights can enhance career opportunity.
An interdisciplinary major, international affairs is a rigorous program that combines strong academics with enriching experiential learning.
Comprehensive coursework in international studies combined with courses in sociology, geography, political science, history and economics, and others provides you with a solid foundation for understanding today's global issues. Coursework in Spanish, French, German, Chinese or Arabic builds language competencies and insights into cultural practices and sensitivities, making this an ideal major for those with global interests.
International affairs offers a flexible format where you can customize your coursework and experiential learning to areas of career interest.
Real-world application is integral to the program. Internships build valuable networking contacts and proficiencies. An interdisciplinary introductory course and a capstone seminar synthesize your studies and hone critical thinking, research and communication skills.
Study abroad offers outstanding opportunities for year-long, semester, or shorter immersion experiences. Also complementary are service learning activities and co-curricular involvement that includes Model United Nations, Model African and Model NATO conferences.
Faculty-student mentoring is inherent to the program. With years of scholarly experience, BW professors offer impressive credentials and professional connections.
BW's international studies major was the first to be established in Ohio and its new national security major is one of the first to be offered at the undergraduate level. The major has an impressive track record that spans student recognition, alumni success, and faculty awards, including many of BW's most prestigious honors.
- Diplomacy/Peace Corps
- Air marshals
- International business
- Teaching and education
- National/international civil service
- Homeland security/customs
- Travel and tourism
International affairs is offered as a major and minor focused on understanding global interactions. It is one of two majors that comprise BW's international studies program. The other interdisciplinary major is national security.
The curriculum includes a required introductory course provides foundations for elective courses in sociology, geography, political science, history, economics, religion and foreign language. You are encouraged to study abroad or participate in a related field experience.
The capstone seminar is an interdisciplinary course that investigates current global issues and in-depth research at an advanced level to enable students to better understand the complexity of global interactions.
International affairs can provide a more global focus to a major or minor in foreign language, business, political science, history, sociology, public health, sustainability and other programs of study.
Students who minor in international affairs select a reduced number of courses which allow them to develop a more global perspective in areas related to their major.
Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.
Student success is a top priority. Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's international affairs major.
International affairs students are regularly recognized for their achievements. Students in the program repeatedly receive top honors at the campus awards program as well as many other recognitions.
The Alpha Mu chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, the international honor society for international studies, promotes scholarship and service among students, faculty and others interested in international relations.
Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:
Study Abroad and Internships
Study abroad provides first-hand knowledge of other societies and cultures. Semester-long internships based at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., help students develop professional skills, earn academic credit and gain valuable job experience domestically in settings that include the United States Congress, news organizations and law firms, and abroad with intergovernmental and nonprofit organizations.
Make career contacts through an Advisory Committee formed to support Political Science, International Studies, and Legal Studies majors and minors. BW alumni and other professionals serve as resources for informational interviews, shadowing and other networking opportunities. Students participating in Model AU or NATO conferences also meet with BW alums informally while in Washington, D.C., Students can learn about careers in politics, policy, government, law and foreign service while obtaining information about attending graduate or law school.
Student Clubs & Organizations
Model United Nations/NATO/African Union
A successful program in existence at BW for 40 years, these simulations are run as conferences where participating student teams from different universities undertake international diplomacy and experience the difficulties of intergovernmental interactions as the teams tackle current global problems through negotiation and debate. The training in communication, negotiation and public speaking skills makes Model UN relevant for students of all majors. Over the years, the BW team and individual members have won multiple awards at these conferences, including Best Delegation.
Model United Nations Testimonial
Charles Henderson '14
International studies and political science major
I was able to meet with embassy staff from the country we were representing. As the Model North Atlantic Council member for Bulgaria, I was the "head" member of my team. I spent countless hours doing research in order to discuss Bulgaria's foreign policy positions with the actual Deputy Chief of Mission (#2 in charge beneath the ambassador) for the Bulgarian embassy to the United States.
He discussed with us the different policy positions of Bulgaria in NATO. He even disclosed to us some of his personal opinions on the subjects. This really helped us to better understand the sentiments of the Bulgarian people toward the rest of Europe and the world. Sitting down and discussing current policy issues with a real diplomat helped us stay in character and perform well at the NATO conference.
Through this experience, I learned the value of thorough, solid research and how it helps enliven discussions with experts in the field. I learned the importance of being well organized and how critical that is for understanding the complex systems, events and motivations in international politics.
Nikita Martin '17, International Affairs and Political Science
As a current BW student, Nikita is active in the honors program, serves as a justice on the Supreme Court, and is a student assistant for the political science/international studies department. She is the vice president of the Middle Eastern Culture Club, President of Sigma Iota Rho, and has participated in BW's Model UN team. She studied at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco in the spring 2015, where she traveled widely and explored North African culture. She is currently a course assistant for a First Year Experience course and a peer adviser for explorations/study abroad.
Amanda Van Gilder '15, International Affairs and Spanish
Amanda was an honors program participant, active in student government, a Center for Innovation and Growth Student Fellow and a course assistant in Spanish. She published a co-authored article based her research covering the democratization of the Philippines and studied abroad in Seville, Spain. She was selected for a competitive summer internship with a human rights group in Cusco, Peru which served as the basis for her Senior Honor's Thesis. Amanda was chosen as a semifinalist for a Fulbright Fellowship and graduated summa cum laude. She is attending Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies, spending the first year of Master's study at the Bologna Center in Italy.
At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.
Recent BW International Affairs majors are finding their success at:
Daniela Muhaj '14, International Studies and Mathematical Economics
While at BW, Daniela was a member of the honors program, president of the Muslim Students Association, travelled to China, and part of a BW faculty-student collaborative scholarship team funded by ASIA network for research in China in 2013. She participated in Model African Union, winning the Outstanding Delegate award for representing Nigeria, and was also awarded the Outstanding Senior award upon graduation in 2014. In fall 2015 she began a master's program at John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy. During summer 2015 she served as a Financial Statistics Analyst at the Bank of Slovenia in Ljubljana and will complete her master's work at SAIS in Washington, D.C., in 2016.
Kris Smeage '14, International Affairs & Political Science
Kris served as BW's student body president, a CIG student fellow and award-winning participant in the Howard University Model African Union program where he was chosen to chair the plenary session of the conference in 2014. Kris studied at BW's partner university in Ghana and following graduation spent a year in Dijon, France as a French government teaching assistant. Accepted into a competitive master's program in development practice at Columbia University in New York, he spent summer 2015 in the Philippines on a project advancing accountability and transparency in the mining industry. Kris was also part of a winning team selected to consult with civil society and Indian government representatives in fall 2015 on a project to clean up the Ganges River.
Selena Ventura '13, International Studies and French
A top student at BW and a member of both the international studies and French academic honoraries, Selena built on her double major to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence and was hired at graduation by Sherwin Williams to work as the French-speaking liaison for the company's expansion into Quebec, Canada. Her responsibilities at Sherwin Williams include travel to Canada and work with a variety of countries.
Faculty and Staff
The international studies program is administered by an interdisciplinary committee drawn from departments offering courses in the major. The committee includes:
Judy Krutky, Ph.D. - (Director) - International Studies
Indira Gesink, Ph.D. - History
Alan Kolp, Ph.D. - Religion
Maria Marin, Ph.D. - Foreign Languages
Michael Melampy, Ph.D. - Biology
Javier Morales-Ortiz, Ph.D. - Political Science
Kay Strong, Ph.D. - Economics
Liya Wang, Ph.D. - Sociology