Frequently Asked Questions About International Studies
1. How do I get started on the INT major?
For both tracks the recommended first course is an overview which provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary approach which characterizes the critical thinking skills associated with the INT major. For INTA majors the course is Introduction to International Studies (INT 200I). For INTN majors the course is Security, Technology and Threat Assessment (INT 250I) Each course introduces a variety of global challenges arising from increasing interdependence and, through case studies and simulations, helps students to understand different approaches to understanding and dealing with the issues presented.
2. How do I know which courses to take?
You choose your courses based on your own interests and experiences to this point in your academic career. You may be drawn to a particular area or have a concern about some international issue or you may be interested in more broadly based courses. Read the catalog descriptions, think about your interests and potential career choices, and then consult with your advisor about alternatives.
As you choose courses, you should be aware that a number of the INT requirements can double count toward fulfilling BW core requirements. For example, INT 200I and INT 250I will count toward the International Studies and Social Science core requirements. Any political science, economics or sociology course counts toward the Social Science requirement. Science courses count toward fulfilling the Science core requirement. Some courses are also lab courses and fulfill the Science lab requirement. History, music, art, humanities, religion and foreign language courses count toward the general Humanities requirement, with Art, World Music, and literature courses in foreign languages fulfilling Fine Arts requirements. The history and religion courses can be used to fulfill the Cultural Heritage requirement. You will especially want to consider courses which double count if you are thinking about a second major.
3. How often do I need to see my advisor?
At least once a semester to register for registration and whenever else you have questions related to the major or your classes. If you have a double major, you need to check with both of your advisors at registration time to be released for registration. For INTA majors you may also want to meet with Prof. Marin in the Foreign Language Department for questions regarding language competency. For questions related to any other aspect of the INT major, see your advisor.
4. Should I study abroad?
Study abroad is recommended for both tracks, but it is an individual decision. Before you make it, visit the Explorations Office to see if there are programs that interest you. For INTA majors, your language instructor can provide information specific to the countries where your target language is spoken. INT majors who have studied abroad can give you first-hand knowledge of their own experiences. Dr. Krutky and Dr. Morales-Ortiz can help you assess how such a program would fit into achieving your own personal goals as they relate to the INT major.
5. How will I know the topics for the capstone Interdisciplinary Seminar and when should I take it?
The seminar will be offered each spring and will be announced in the course schedule. It may be team-taught by professors in departments associated with the major and topics vary from year to year. Most students take the seminar in their junior or senior year. Dr. Krutky usually knows the topics about a year in advance so that as a junior you could decide if the course to be offered that year or the one to be offered your senior year is closer to your interests. Some students take the seminar more than once since topics vary, counting the second offering as an upper division elective.
6. What if I’m interested in some international topic not covered in the B-W curriculum?
Baldwin Wallace makes provision for students to explore academic topics beyond those included in the normal course offerings through Independent Study and/or a Senior Thesis. This program is described in the B-W College Catalog and may be appropriate for International Studies majors with special interests in a variety of areas. Any member of the Committee Supervising the International Studies Major may supervise independent study for INT credit which advances the competencies established for the major. Students who are considering undertaking an INT independent study project or Senior Thesis should consult with the member of the Committee Supervising the International Studies Major whose field of study is most closely related to the area of student interest or talk with Dr. Krutky to explore various options. Students considering an independent study should have a 3.0 grade point average and have completed INT 200I or INT 250I and at least two of the required basic courses.
7. Are there possibilities for internships related to International Studies?
Participation in an internship is an appropriate part of a student’s program at B-W in International Studies and has now become a requirement for students entering BW in fall 2012. General guidelines for internships are listed in the BW catalog and any internship undertaken for INT credit should be in conformity with Career Services policies. Projects or work situations that contribute to the competencies established for the major are especially relevant. Students considering an internship should have completed the introductory level courses and have taken at least one course in the academic discipline most closely related to internship responsibilities. Each department will set appropriate internship credit requirements which may include a paper, journal or oral presentation.
Students in the past have had internships which meet these requirements at the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, the Cleveland World Trade Association, the Customs Division of the U.S. Treasury Department and the Fusion Center. INT internships can be supervised by any member of the Committee Supervising the International Studies Major. For any questions in this area, please consult with Dr. Krutky or one of the members of the Committee.
8. Is there anything else I need to do as an INT major?
Because there are a variety of options within the INT major, it can be confusing to monitor your progress. A checklist to help you is included following the major requirements for each track. Consider the courses you intend to take and check them off as you complete them. Also consider taking the INT Junior/Senior Integrative Colloquium (INT 490) to learn more about graduate school and career options.
9. Will I need graduate work beyond the Bachelor’s Degree?
That depends on your career goal. For many positions in travel-related areas, entry-level jobs in banking and public school teachers, a Bachelor’s degree is sufficient. While the BA fulfills minimum requirements for some government positions, many students opting for government service or hoping to work for an international organization find they can advance faster with a Master’s degree in INT or a related area. Some business students also pursue a Master of Business Administration degree before a career while others interview for a company that will help pay for an advanced degree. Careers in law and college teaching require graduate degrees. To keep your options open, you should attend BW Job Fairs, begin to secure information about your prospective career(s), and consider internships in related career areas to get specific information. Consult with your faculty advisor and Career Services as well. If you think graduate work might be in your future, look for graduate catalogs from schools in which you might be interested. For law school or any graduate degree program, a research methods class in your area of major interest is also strongly recommended.
There are many career possibilities for INT majors. Generally most students use the INT major or minor to “internationalize” a more traditional major and add a more global perspective to their coursework. Today various career opportunities at home and abroad await graduates with a global worldview who can demonstrate competence in performing tasks in a cross-cultural context. One recent graduate with a triple major in INT, chemistry, and French planned to work in the global network seeking to combat AIDS. Sorting all this out is sometimes difficult. See your advisor or Dr. Krutky with questions or to discuss any concerns you might have.Take the Junior/Senior Integrative Colloquium class (INT 490) to learn more about graduate school and job opportunities. Past INT majors are often found in the following areas:
U.S. and Other Countries’ Civil Service: Avariety of U.S. federal and state government agencies regularly hire individuals with international training for assignments in the U.S and abroad. The U.S. State Department, Foreign Service, Treasury Department (here in Cleveland and elsewhere), and Department of Defense are a few examples. Other countries’ governments similarly look for their own citizens who have studied abroad to staff positions in the foreign policy area and to represent them in international organizations. Furthermore, diplomats and politicians of the future will face an ever-increasing need to handle international crises with sensitivity and depth of understanding. A major or minor in any of the component INT disciplines is also useful.
International Public and Private Organizations: A number of international organizations regularly hire innovative people who are capable of functioning in international affairs. The following are a few examples: the UN, the OAS, the World Bank, World Council of Churches, and the Red Cross. Other private and nonprofit agencies, some of a religious nature, seek graduates in the area of international studies
Law and Banking: Attorneys and bankers hired by a company which secures contracts abroad or working with them will often need an international studies background. International law is a field of its own in which one specializes and requires a broad-based analytical background to prepare for graduate study.
Media: Journalism, radio and television, the film industry and publishing are areas which have openings for foreign assignments and those with knowledge of global issues. Today’s global network of communications systems requires expertise in international studies.
Business: Multinational companies are increasingly common in the U.S and abroad. Many hire graduates with an International Studies background to train them in their specific job assignment for future transfer abroad. A major or minor in business may also be helpful.
Travel, Tourism and Security Services: These are growing industries in the U.S. and abroad. A background in international studies would certainly improve one’s chances for success in a variety of travel-related occupations and the security services which make such travel possible.
Teaching and Education: The undergraduate INT major is now offered by more than 800 colleges and universities across the U.S. There has also been a move to globalize primary, secondary, and college education and an increasing need for teachers with knowledge of global affairs. A Ph.D. is required for those who are considering college-level teaching.