Now, more than ever, it is important to understand the world in which we live: one's position in the world, and how different cultural, economic, political and social systems operate and interrelate. IU Southeast provides several ways to discover the world: the International Studies major and minor and Study Abroad opportunities. International Programs also sponsors a variety of international events, hosts international visitors and serves the surrounding community.
Courses in the International Studies degree program will provide students with a frame of reference to better understand the world in which we live; one’s position in the world; and how different cultural, economic, political, and social systems operate and interrelate.
The goal of the program is to equip students so that they may adjust to the new international environment in which they will increasingly find themselves living. This is done through an interdisciplinary approach drawing on courses from varying academic disciplines and different world regions.
What is International Studies?
International Studies is a Bachelor of Arts degree program that equips students to live and work in the globalized world of the 21st century. Globalization is the idea that people are interconnected and interdependent with others around the world like never before in human history. To many people this may be a threatening phenomenon. When we call for help with our Internet service, we speak with someone in India and that may mean difficult communications and a loss of American jobs. Health concerns become globalized as we realize that new diseases can be transported from one continent to another in a few short hours on an airplane. Terrorism has become perhaps the most obvious of global threats, but other problems, like pollution, are also disrespectful of international borders.
However, globalization also presents us with opportunities. The global media and instantaneous telecommunications permit us to know within seconds what is happening on the other side of the world. Internet chat rooms make it easier to make connections with other individuals in diverse countries and learn about their music, political perspectives, and daily lives. Globalization also presents common citizens with devices to organize themselves and take on the global issues with which they are concerned, be it human rights, economic equality issues, or the environment. Globalization also makes it possible for a common person in southern Indiana to create an international business and run it out of his or her garage.
The degree of globalization that exists and the speed at which these changes have taken place have created a different world for people today. The changes in one or two generations are dramatic. Grandparents and even parents could survive without knowing things about other countries and cultures, but people today need to understand global issues and global diversity in order to function effectively and successfully in this new world. Specifically, the increasingly interconnected world in which we exist requires deeper knowledge and more complex perspectives from which to understand one's position in the world and how different cultural, economic, political, and social systems operate and interrelate.
International Studies is an interdisciplinary major that provides students with that foundation. Drawing from history, economics, political science, geography, and foreign language and culture studies, we examine both global and regional issues with the hope of understanding the forces that shape the global environment today and their relationship to the lives of people both at home and around the world. Majors complete three years of foreign language, 15 hours of core International Studies requirements on global topics, and 18 hours of courses in one of the following regional concentrations: Europe, Latin America, or East Asia.