We live today in an increasingly global community, one characterized by rapid, overlapping, and complex flows of people, technologies, goods, money, and cultures across the world. Countries and other actors in the international system have become interdependent regardless of geography or nationality. Actions in one part of the world produce far-reaching effects in far-flung places. It is therefore imperative for us to be able to think globally and to locate our lives and experiences within this changing world. The International Studies Program takes on this task through its interdisciplinary curriculum, its co-curricular activities, and on-campus events.

The International Studies Program is designed for students who are interested in studying the relationships between global problems and regional dynamics or experiences from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Program has three aims:

  • Enrich students' comprehension and appreciation of the global human community through the analysis of transnational or global phenomena.
  • Enlighten students about the lived experiences of people who live across the globe, but who are connected to each other through webs of history, power, communication, and the moral integuments of a common humanity
  • Encourage students to think hard, and through a variety of analytical lenses, about the inter-connectedness of our fates across the globe, and about their own place in a globalized world.

The Program draws on courses from Anthropology, Art, Business, Economics, English, Foreign Languages, Health, History, Music, Political Science, Physics, Sociology, and Religion. Within the Program, faculty from these disciplines and departments teach courses in seven areas of concentration, five geographical (African Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Russian and East European Studies, and West European Studies), and two functional (Development Studies and Diplomatic Studies).

The Program is committed to advancing the foreign language proficiency of International Studies Majors. In addition, it seeks to broaden the experiential horizons of IWU students by encouraging our students to study abroad for a semester or a shorter May Term Travel Course and by bringing foreign students and faculty/ scholars to our campus.

The program also participates in the Technos International Week through which we send two freshman or sophomore students to Japan cost free for two weeks each spring. The Technos International College of Tokyo sponsors the visit of groups from Bates, Carleton, Hobart and William, Smith, Hope, McKendree Colleges and Illinois Wesleyan in addition to groups from New Zealand and England. The itinerary includes a four-day program at Technos International College, tours of the City of Tokyo, villages, countrysides and a mountain resort.