Where Can International Studies Take You?
Jul 01, 2019
By : Miguel Ocampo
AB International Studies addresses the world’s growing need for empathy, insight, and diplomacy.
Let’s unpack that word. We define diplomacy as “the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way.” Professional diplomats, such as ambassadors and special envoys represent their country. They communicate and negotiate with other foreign bodies on their homeland’s behalf. Sounds like a lot of pressure doesn’t it?
Don’t worry! AB International Studies covers everything you need to know to keep the peace. Not your cup of tea? There are other fields that the course can take you to, but first, let’s break things down.
What is the course and what should I expect?
First of all, AB International Studies is not the course for you if you’re looking for a career in Tourism. For that, we have Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Management, and Tourism courses. International Studies tackles politics, economics, and sociology on a global scale.
If you took the HUMSS strand in SHS, then you’re in luck! You have an edge in International Studies. Your strand has covered world history, literature, and politics, which you’ll dig deeper into. If not, then that’s fine too. You need to be open-minded and have a certain sense of finesse when communicating. There are a lot of nuances when navigating international relations. Peace can be such a fragile thing.
You need a genuine interest in relationship building and foreign relations if you want to thrive. Or, it would also help if there’s one country in particular that has always been curious about. The allure lies in the desire to see the world through the eyes of a global citizen.
Why take International Studies?
Aside from an illustrious career in foreign service, you pick up invaluable 21st-century skills. AB International Studies develops the following:
- Intercultural skills: You’re introduced to different perspectives when you study other countries. This develops cultural sensitivity which proves useful when you enter the workplace which tends to be more diverse than school.
- Language: You wouldn’t get through a course that studies other cultures without picking up another language. Having more languages under your belt is always more desirable on a resume.
- Communication: What kind of diplomat can’t communicate well? (Spoiler: none) It’s the most important part of the job! You have to be a master negotiator, easing tension and keeping everyone happy. We’re talking economies, policies, and culture. That’s a lot to consider.
The best part about picking these up is that you can show these skills in your job interview! Now don’t go walking into interviews speaking tongues. Instead, you should mention your foreign language in your resume. Then, prove your ability to communicate and negotiate with your interviewer.
What kind of careers can I go into?
International Studies graduates usually enter foreign service. A few agencies they go to are the Department of Foreign Affairs, Embassies, United Nations, and more. In the Philippines, you’re required to take the foreign service exam before you could. It’s a very strict process to filter out those not suited for diplomatic efforts. Any blunders in foreign relations will land our country in troubled waters.
Don’t want that responsibility on your shoulders? Here are a few other fields you could thrive in:
- Journalism: Your degree will put you in a great position to write stories about people. As an international studies major, you need to assess scenarios from different perspectives. This is how you gain insights on how to move forward which you could incorporate to your writing.
- Management: Put those negotiating skills to the test! Going into team or project management requires a skill called “firefighting.” This is a mix of diplomacy, conflict management, and problem solving. It takes a skilled negotiator to balance their team’s needs with the needs of other groups. There’s an art to keeping everyone happy.
- Human Resources: In HR you’ll deal with human resource functions. These include such as employee onboarding and training, updating organizational records. Your background in international studies will come in handy as you handle the needs of a diverse staff.
- Law: If you’re willing to take the extra step of going to law school, you’d make quite the lawyer. Your undergraduate course would have exposed you to existing policies and international treaties. This familiarity could give you an edge as you sift through countless cases and laws.
Take yourself farther and further.
Summing it up, taking international studies will take you well beyond the horizon you see now. It all depends on how you use what you learned from your degree. College is just the beginning of a greater adventure that awaits. Who knows? You could be the next great peacemaker of the world. You wouldn’t know until you tried.
Check out the rest of our blog! We’ve got countless resources to help you decide as you take on the challenges of education, career, and life. Have a question? We’ve got you covered!
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