Top 5 Countries to Study International Relations Abroad

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International relations is a branch of study that has a lot of uses; you may not intend to pursue a career in politics or government, but you can still use your knowledge of international relations in various careers. Studying international relations abroad will teach you how to work with various cultures, people, and entities, and with this kind of academic background, you may find yourself unlocking a lot of promising career opportunities across numerous fields.

Palace of Westminster in London, England

Palace of Westminster in London, England

However, studying international relations does not only take place inside a classroom. In fact, it is best learned in praxis while on location. The best way to make the most out of studying international relations abroad is by choosing the right location and aligning it with your academic or career goals. Here are some of the top countries you may want to consider for your international relations study abroad program:


Switzerland tops this list for many reasons. It was the site of the Geneva Convention, and is also home to many international political and economic organizations. Most businesses and offices in Switzerland also cater to international audiences, and political awareness is very much felt throughout the country's institutions. Many schools feature introductory classes in international and diplomatic relations too.

The country is also home to the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, one of the most respected institutions that focuses on politics, business, and government on an international scale. The central location of Switzerland allows you to travel throughout many European cultures, as you can ride the train and stop by nearby countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Austria.

The United Kingdom

The UK is also a very popular destination for international relations students. Not only do its universities offer the highest standards of excellence in international relations, but it is also home to some of the most respected professors in the field.

A lot of aspiring politicians and public servants often go to the UK to study, with the most coveted institutions being Oxford University and the London School of Economics and Political Science. You might even have the chance to intern with the British Parliament during your time studying abroad in England.

The Amstel River

The Amstel River, Amsterdam Photo by Troy Peden

The Netherlands

Another European destination that's perfect for international relations students is the Netherlands. Studying abroad in Amsterdam not only offers a conducive global environment, but also opens doors to internships at The Hague or the headquarters of the International Criminal Court.  If you plan to concentrate on international law, then the Netherlands is the place to be.

The United States

Of course, studying international relations in the United States is among the best options. Among many reasons, the United States offers the most conducive environment to learn more about democracy, a type state which many nations strive to achieve. A lot of countries are also following the American style of government in their own states, so going to the U.S. to study would be really a great decision if you intend to become a public servant in your home country later on.

Aside from studying the tenets of democracy, the United States is also the headquarters of many international organizations, where representatives from different countries around the globe meet to promote peace and stabilize socio-economic and political ties with each other.


If you want to learn more about Asian diplomacy, then you may want to study abroad in Singapore. This city-state offers a good learning environment for international relations students, particularly those who want to concentrate on international business. The country is also near other Asian nations and offers a multifaceted culture of Chinese, Malays, Hindus, and Westerners. In Singapore you can learn about the Asian Tigers both from a theoretical and practical perspective, something you cannot find in many other countries of the region.

The Merlion, Singapore

The Merlion, Singapore Photo by Ian Delgado

Not interested yet? Check out these top international relations study abroad programs abroad the world:

Topic:  Top Destinations