Study Abroad as Part of your IR Degree!
Go Global and the International Relations program have worked closely together to identify study abroad opportunities for International Relations students. These include: Exchange, International Internships, Research Abroad, Global Seminars, International Service Learning and more. There is also funding available for specific programs.
Go Global Exchange
Go Global has partner universities in over 35 countries, with many partners offering programs and courses that can complement and enhance your UBC IR degree. You can explore all of Go Global’s partner institutions by visiting Go Global’s partner pages, or see below for a list of universities that have been recommended by the IR program. Once you’ve completed your research on available programs, submit an application with your top three university choices.
Mapping your exchange for your International Relations degree
Study abroad for International Relations majors is recommended during third year (though it can be undertaken in 2nd or 4th year as well), after completing the required lower-level IR classes (found on the UBC academic calendar). This foundation will allow you to better appreciate differences in psychological perspectives around the world and to cope with any differences in teaching styles that you may encounter.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind while you map out your International Relations degree requirements while participating with Go Global.
- It is easiest for IR students to transfer back credits toward the 18 credits of IR List courses so allow some room in this area for when you wish to go on exchange.
- Exchange is a great opportunity to fulfill your IR language requirement.
- Students are not bound to attend an IR-focused school as they can use exchange courses to fulfill Arts degree requirements instead such as electives.
The following universities are recommended schools based on the IR department’s 3 list streams. They have numerous courses pre-approved for transfer credit. For a list of courses that have transferred back as International Relations credits at the following institutions, as well as many others, visit the Go Global Partner Pages.
List A: International Security, Diplomacy and Peace Studies
List B: International Economics and Development
List C: Area Studies
Canada and the Americas
Europe and Eurasia
UBC is partnered with over 150 universities worldwide. You can explore all of Go Global’s partner institutions by visiting Go Global’s partner pages.
Students participating in an exchange must follow the Go Global transfer credit process. As transfer credit takes a long time to process, it is important that students submit required documents by the appropriate deadlines. Failing to do so can affect your graduation or registration date.
Students can review the Go Global partner pages to see which courses from abroad have already been evaluated. Courses that transfer back as a specific IR course (eg. Poli 360) can easily be applied to the major. Courses that transfer back as unassigned upper year credit (eg. Hist 3rd) can also be used toward the IR major with approval from the IR chair.
Students seeking approval to have exchange courses applied to their IR major should send the course descriptions to the IR Chair.
Students who seek approval for exchange courses from the IR chair prior to the course being evaluated through the transfer credit portal should be aware that the chair’s recommendation is only applicable if the course is evaluated through the transfer credit portal as an upper-level course.
Below are some guidelines to help you determine if a course abroad is equivalent to a UBC upper year International Relations course:
- Is the course offered by the International Relations department in the partner university?
- Does it have a lower level pre-requisite?
- Is it offered as an upper year course abroad?
Other Ways to Go Global
Conduct research abroad at one of our 150 partner universities worldwide! Students may choose to embark on self-directed research abroad programs or structured research abroad programs. Research abroad allows undergraduates to learn new techniques, build your career as well as network and engage with other cultures.
For more information, please visit the Research Abroad webpage.
Take a UBC course led by a faculty member alongside a small group of peers abroad to experience hands-on learning. Each course is unique in location, length, and cost. Immerse yourself in another part of the world and bring course content to life. Visit our Global Seminar page to browse through a list of our programs.
International Service Learning
UBC’s International Service Learning (ISL) program allows you to contribute towards important projects led by community partners around the world. By taking part in ISL, you connect your academic studies with real-world experience. This opportunity fosters meaningful connections with communities around the world and will help you discover the local impact of global issues. You will also become engaged in a continuous cycle of learning, action and critical reflection.
Spend the summer studying in an exciting international location without interrupting your winter semester course load. Take an intensive, focused course at another institution that you would not otherwise be able to take within your UBC degree. Visit our Summer Abroad page to browse through a list of our programs.
Remember, not every program will suit every student. The trick is finding a study abroad program that is right for you.
- There is no “best” time for everyone. With careful planning, international relations students can go abroad at any time during their undergraduate career and still graduate on time.
- Deep involvement in the host culture leads to personal growth and instills the cross-cultural skills that are so important to success in international relations, or simply in the workplace and community.
- Be realistic. Not all students are ready for the same amount of cultural immersion.
Visit the UBC Go Global website for the most up to date deadlines, eligibility requirements and scholarship opportunities.