Study International Relations in Spain


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International Relations Studies in Spain

Students of international relations (“IR”) tend to be seasoned world travelers. Many pursue degrees in countries other than their homeland, and nearly all complete at least a short-term study abroad experience en route to completing their degree. There are, of course, countless possible destinations for such study, but Spain is widely considered among the best in Europe.

One of the great advantages of studying international relations in Spain is the opportunity to gain fluency in Spanish, one of the world’s most widely spoken languages. With over 400 million native speakers (6% of the world’s population), Spanish is the second most broadly spoken first language on Earth, after Mandarin Chinese. Thus it is highly valuable for people who want to study international issues in Latin America, the Caribbean, or parts of West Africa such as Morocco and Equatorial Guinea. Of course, the Spanish spoken in Spain differs from that spoken in Latin American countries (and, indeed, Spanish in certain parts of Spain can differ significantly from other parts), but anyone who is fluent in Spanish can be understood by other Spanish speakers regardless of national origin, and thus fluency in this language is highly valuable. Spanish is also greatly prized on the international job market, particularly in the United States, so studying in Spain is often a wise career move.

 Speaking broadly, there are two possible ways to study international relations in Spain: the first is to enroll in a Spanish college or University as an ordinary student; the second is to attend one of the many programs hosted by foreign (especially American) universities at various campuses in Spain. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these strategies, and many individual programs fall somewhere in between the two. Attending a Spanish university usually means attending classes in Spanish – this is an advantage for those who want to use the experience to improve their Spanish-language skills, but it is a definite hindrance to prospective students whose Spanish is not good enough to enable them to understand an academic lecture. Spanish universities will also put you in close contact with ordinary Spanish citizens, since the overwhelming majority of the students in these programs will be Spaniards. This provides a useful window into Spanish society and culture that may not be available in other ways.

The opposite advantages and disadvantages apply when attending a foreign university’s program within Spain. Classes are often (though not always!) held in English, which makes them accessible to people from all over the world. Thus, the student body tends to be much more diverse and eclectic. This makes for a dynamic educational experience, but necessarily means fewer opportunities to practice Spanish or learn detailed information about Spain as a country. Finally, getting a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an American or other institution in Spain has the advantage of ensuring that the degree will be recognized in at least one other country. The great majority of Spanish universities are internationally accredited and their degrees will still be important qualifications outside of Spain; but for those who hope to work or pursue further studies in the United States, for example, it’s very helpful to have a degree from an American institution, since the grading system and teaching standards will be more familiar to employers and admissions committees.

International Relations Study Programs in Spain

Level: Undergraduate Bachelors  |  Location: Madrid and online

International Relations and Diplomacy

The International Relations and Diplomacy program prepares students with the skills needed to pursue work with international organizations in government, law or business. Students will acquire a solid foundation in economics, history and political science. In the last year of the program students go to on-visits, debates and case studies. Graduates will be able to apply analytical thinking to matters related to international relations and diplomacy, analyze issues and processes in international organizations, dominate international relations key concepts and have a deep understanding of global diversity.
Level: Graduate  |  Location: Madrid and online

International Relations and Diplomacy

The International Relations and Diplomacy Masters program will give students an in-depth understanding of international affairs and diplomacy and prepare them for work in government, journalism or business. Graduates of this program will acquire strong research skills, critical analysis of international issues, theories of international relations and affairs and strong written and oral communication skills.
Level: Undergraduate Bachelors  |  Location: Barcelona

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations

The International Relations degree has been designed to prepare students for the increasingly international workplace. It combines global knowledge through international relations coursework with skills acquired in business classes. Upon completion students will be able to recognize, analyze and evaluate processes, structures and major players in the world of politics and business. Some courses included are: Diplomacy & Foreign Policy, Conflict Management and International Peace and Security. Graduates can have careers in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, Public, Civil Service and Local Governments, Journalism, Radio and Television and the Non-profit sector.

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