The study of politics covers a vastly complex and interwoven group of phenomena, not the least of which include international relations and how to facilitate diplomacy in a competitive global state. Earning your political science degree abroad is an invaluable first step in learning to navigating the entangled field of global affairs and intra-national communication. Ready to tackle the challenge?
Earning your political science degree abroad is a bold commitment. You will be fully immersing yourself in a different country’s language, culture, and academic environment, usually over a multiyear span. What’s more, you will be studying within an entirely different political context than your own, so many concepts will be entirely new. Yet herein lies the immense reward of a political science degree abroad; the opportunity to step outside your former political vacuum, rationally weigh many different systems, and return a much more educated and well-rounded young political scientist.
Politics is omnipresent across the world. Since the times of Aristotle it has been fundamentally assumed that humans are naturally political animals who engage in negotiation, law, and justice in order to rationally organize ourselves into productive societies. Politics thus remains a serious subject of academic study at pretty much every major university on the planet.
The devil is in the details. While many national political systems are undeniably similar, no two are exactly alike. This is part of what makes earning your political science degree abroad such a fascinating proposition; because every country has an entirely unique political system, where you decide to earn your degree will greatly determine the scope of your academic focus.
The Western powerhouse nations are popular destinations for students who want an education in the rich history of democratic thought. Earning your political science degree abroad in the United States, England, France, or Germany will enable you to study at some of the very best schools in the world within some of the most competitively successful political systems.
Alternatively, you could choose to earn your political science degree abroad in a country that breaks free of this bill. The Scandinavian countries boast very successful models of social welfare states. Switzerland is infamous for its neutrality and international focus. Japan, China, and India are all major global powers with unique governmental systems.
Long story short, the entire world is at your doorstep. Choose wisely!
Political Science is, necessarily, an extremely broad degree. Odds are that your host university will expect you to focus within at least one particular branch of the overarching discipline if you are an undergraduate. These areas of focus generally encompass sub-disciplines such as political theory, comparative politics, international relations, and domestic politics, though the particulars will largely depend on the country where you study.
It is also common for international students to pursue their degree abroad in political science during the postgraduate stages as well. There are tons of Master’s and PhD programs out there which will give you the opportunity to learn and conduct research in a global context. Many of these programs are rooted at major universities around the world, while others may take place at smaller international schools or public policy institutions.
The language barrier is a major consideration that will affect where in the world you can pursue your political science degree abroad. English-speaking programs are widely available, but if you want the full experience of enrolling at a foreign university and immersing yourself in student life, then learning the local language is is a necessity. Hint for those international relations junkies who are considering going bilingual: the six official languages recognized by the United Nations are English, Spanish, French, Russian, Mandarin, and Arabic.
Outside Looking In. Earning your political science degree abroad will enable you to overcome your own biases and political preconditioning to approach the subject through a more rational, level-headed lens.
Diplomacy. The cross-cultural communication skills you will develop by earning your degree abroad in political science will greatly enhance your diplomatic skill-set. Those who want to make a career in the global arena can benefit greatly!
Language Immersion. The value of knowing at least two languages cannot be stressed enough in today’s job marketplace, especially in the political spheres. While challenging, language immersion can pay off huge if you fully commit yourself.