International Relations is the study of world societies and how they interact. It covers diplomacy, foreign policy, and other liberal arts subjects.
This program can pave the way for many career options, including that of a diplomat, ambassador, or government officer.
If you want to take a step towards these fulfilling opportunities, then it’s best to study this program at any of these top seven countries to study international relations abroad:
Best Countries to Study International Relations Abroad
- Reasons: Reputable universities, Proximity to International Organizations
Switzerland is a multi-cultural country, as evidenced by its four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. This aspect – among many other things – makes Switzerland the perfect country to study international relations.
Switzerland is home to many reputable schools, including ETH Zurich, the University of Geneva, and the University of Bern.
The University of Geneva, for one, offers a unique Bachelor in International Relations. It’s a collaborative program that explores the studies of literature, economics, law, and management.
Offered in French (with English courses,) this program offers specialization tracks in Law, International History, International Economics, International History, or Global Focus.
The best thing about studying in Switzerland? Learners have the opportunity to explore many nearby international organizations, including the United Nations, WHO, and WTO.
2. United States
- Reasons: Top universities, World-renowned faculty, Scholarships
Being a world power, the US is well-versed in international relations. This capacity is mirrored not only by the government – but by its world-class institutions as well.
Here, aspiring diplomats may choose from renowned schools – including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale.
Harvard’s International Relations program, for one, is under the Department of Government. It is taught by experts, including Melani Camett (International Affairs,) Stephen Chaudoin (International political economy,) and Jeffry Frieden (International Peace.)
While tuition in American universities, qualified students may get in for free (or only pay a discounted rate.) It’s just a matter of applying for International Relations scholarships, such as those offered by Syracuse University, Florida International University, University of Denver, etc.
3. United Kingdom
- Reasons: World-famous universities, Various teaching formats
As with many G7 countries, the UK is undoubtedly a force in International Relations. With such real-life opportunities, the United Kingdom is a perfect country to study international relations.
For one, many UK universities offer an International Relations degree. Many of them are ranked highly in surveys, including Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics (LSE).
A favorite amongst international students is LSE, which is home to the 94-year-old Department of International Relations. It’s one of the largest in the world, which is why it has attracted the best minds around the globe.
The department delivers its courses through various teaching formats, including classes, lectures, and academic mentorship.
Its BSc International Relations program also offers language specialism, e.g., in French or Spanish.
- Reasons: Topnotch universities, International exchange programs
France dabbles with many international relationships with the EU, US, and other countries. As one of the founding members of the United Nations, France makes for a great study destination for International Relations majors.
Students may choose to enroll at a French university of their liking, including the top-ranked PSL University, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, and the University of Paris-Saclay.
At Sciences Po, for example, International Relations is offered as Multidisciplinary Studies with an International Focus. Here, students may specialize in European, Asian, Middle East, Latin American, North American, or African studies.
To further solidify their international knowledge, Sciences Po students must spend a year studying abroad. With the required civic coursework and practical experience, International Relations graduates in France are bound to excel in their respective careers.
- Reasons: World-class universities, Immersive internship programs, Affordable tuition
Germany is widely known for its high quality of education. Given its worldwide linkages, it is considered one of the best countries to study International Relations.
Students can enroll in Germany’s top-ranked institutions, such as LMU Munich, Technical University of Munich, and Heidelberg University.
One of the popular institutions amongst foreign students is TU Dresden, which offers both BA and MA International Relations courses. Specializations in Global Political Economy and International Organizations are available.
As part of the learning process, students are also required to undergo immersive internship programs.
True to form, international students who wish to enroll in public universities don’t have to pay much. The tuition costs about $280 for an undergraduate program and $1,000 for a graduate degree.
- Reasons: World-famous institutions, Scholarship programs
Canada is one of the more popular destinations for international students – including those who wish to study International Relations. And why not? It’s home to many world-class universities that offer this immersive course.
Students can choose from a long list of institutions, including the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and McGill.
At U Toronto, International Relations is an honors program offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science. Students can take it as a specialist course, which means taking 10+ courses in the area. There’s also an option to major in this program, which means completing 6-8 credits in International Relations.
As always, international students may get to study for free in Canada. There are various scholarship programs offered to foreigners, including those given by the U Toronto, UBC, and the University of Windsor.
- Reasons: World-class institutions, Focus on European International Relations
Like Switzerland, Belgium is a melting pot of cultures. Case in point: it has three official languages, including French, Dutch, and German. Add to that, 60% of Belgians are proficient in speaking English.
The ease of communication is one of the things that make Belgium one of the top countries to study international relations. While many take Business or Management courses, some enroll in the country’s reputable International Relations programs.
Belgian universities such as Ghent often focus on EU relations. One such example is its MS EU Studies, which explores the dynamics and evolution of European integration.
That said, some universities still look at the bigger picture. One such example is the University of Antwerp, where students can take an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy.
I hope this article on the best countries to study international relations was informative and insightful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.