Studies & Degrees in Regional Studies
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Regional Studies refers to the study of a particular region or geographical area from a specific point of view. For geographers, regional studies would refer to the in-depth study of the geographical features and characteristics of that region. One the other hand for a scholar of International Relations, it might very well refer to the study of the political scenario and socio-political environment of a distinct region.
What It Actually Involves
The fact that Regional Studies is all about a well defined geographical area is pretty clear. The scholars, no matter from which school of study, will concentrate on that region with occasional reference to others while comparing and explaining its relation with other regions. This being said, let us look at how different fields of study refer to Regional Studies. Geographically a region may have distinctive territorial features, climatic patterns, flora and fauna and habitual behavior of population residing there. So, a student of geography who is interested in regional studies will specialize on the geological and ecological features of a region. He/she will learn to analyze the region with these particular facts in mind.
On the other hand, for a student of International Studies, or International Relations, what matters about the region under study is the region’s history, socio-political structure, governmental forms functioning in the region, political economy of the area, the regional organizations that exist (if any), and the region’s relation with the rest of the world in terms of all the above aspects. What needs to be mentioned is that Regional Studies is an interdisciplinary approach. Whenever a specific region is considered, its study is seldom done exclusively as one exclusive discipline.
Eligibility to Study Regional Studies
Because Regional Studies involves specialized studies, it is important for those applying to have a basic graduation degree in related subjects. One should have the ability to recognize and analyze various factors involved in Regional Studies. A basic knowledge about science and humanities subjects is necessary.
Some of the most important Regional Studies offered by universities all over the world are African region studies, Central Asian studies, European studies, South East Asian studies, etc. Apart from universities, various advanced study centers and higher learning institutions also offer courses on Regional Studies. Governmental and non-governmental scholarships and fellowships are awarded to competent students.
Research and academics line is the most suitable career path for students pursuing Regional Studies. However, that does not mean that other career options do not exist. Jobs in specialized governmental departments especially in foreign relations department are there. Because the government depends on people who are experts in matters of regional issues for policy making, these scholars always play an important role. Jobs in the media sector and business sector are also available for those who are interested. By and large, option for diversification is available for all those students of Regional Studies who do not wish to stick to the world of academics.