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All students majoring in international studies need to fulfill the requirement of an international experience. This requirement can be satisfied in three ways: through a study abroad, an internship or a co-op. You need to plan ahead! Typically the applications for various programs must be processed close to a year in advance. This means that you have to begin to think about your preferences and options for an international experience as soon as you enter the degree program at RIT.
There are several possibilities. You can choose a program through the RIT Study Abroad office. This has advantages for the continuation of financial aid and credit transfers. But you can also decide to enroll in a program outside of RIT. There are several academic programs that offer study in places and countries not available through RIT. Please keep in mind that whatever program you choose, you need to go to a country or city where you can enhance your foreign language skills and cultural expertise. Please note that most international studies majors who study abroad are typically able to transfer credits for two and sometimes three courses from their study-abroad programs.
A study abroad experience not only looks good on your resume, but also makes you more competitive on the job market after you graduate. Below are some of the important links:
You may decide to enroll in an internship program offered by an international organization or a non-profit organization (for example, a global human rights or environmental advocacy group), by a government agency, or by an international organization like the U.N. in New York . Internships are typically unpaid and voluntary commitments. Some programs, while not paying salaries, provide room and board. Since such programs also offer training and experience in specific areas, an internship may lead to job prospects later on. Here are some useful links:
CIEE (volunteer, internships)
CCS (volunteer, internships)
Intern abroad (search for country, city, program)
Internships (list of programs and web sites)
U.S. Department of State —Internships
United Nations – Internships
You can also decide to apply for a cooperative educational experience in a foreign or U.S.-based international organization or private corporation. These positions are typically salaried and applicants are chosen on a competitive basis. For further information, please contact the RIT Office of Cooperative Education & Career Services.
Several of the programs listed above also offer salaried opportunities for teaching or working abroad. Check it out.