Study Abroad: Government, International Affairs, Law, & Public Policy Careers

Students interested in careers in government, international affairs, law, and public policy are encouraged to focus on skill development and experience. This is especially important as employers, and graduate programs in this space continue to look for commitment to understanding these industries.  Below please find suggested study abroad experiences that help develop specific skills and experiences to help be competitive in these industries.

Please note this is just a sample of the programs offered through OIS. For more information about study abroad or to learn about additional programs, visit

Language Skills: This is critical in international affairs. The ability to not only speak but understand context and significance is important. Also, displaying willingness to be "uncomfortable", shows a commitment to understanding new cultures and the issues facing different communities. High demand languages include: French, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian. Consider one of these especially strong language immersion programs:

For less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, you may want to explore the Boren Awards. In exchange for study abroad funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation--so this can be a terrific start to a career in government.

Cultural Competencies: Being able to relate to, understand, influence in a different culture, experience. Programs that involve living in a host family or sharing space with local students are great for building cultural competencies. In addition to the language immersion programs listed above, which are also excellent for cultural integration, programs that prioritize the development of cultural competencies include:

Exposure: Opportunities for exposure to coursework that has industry focus (policy, research, international affairs, law) & Critical Thinking: Analyzing, assessing a situation, providing well reasoned and strong recommendations and arguments.

Excellent, rigorous academic programs with relevant coursework and community partnerships include:

Impact Evaluation: The ability to determine if changes are the result of effective intervention, or programming, and answer questions to help guide decisions and recommendations. Field experience, research, data analysis all contribute towards understanding impact evaluation.

Programs with a focus on field or lab research include: