International Relations Schools and Programs in Canada
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International Relations Studies in CanadaA degree in International Relations can pave the way to any number of professional opportunities, and now students who are pursuing this popular degree path can earn a portion of their educational credentials via a study abroad program, one that allows them to study and live for a time in a foreign country such as Canada.
Canada, with its vast expanse of land, is one of the most beautiful stretches of Earth on the planet. With lush forests, unspoiled mountainsides and gorgeous snowcapped landscapes, the country is quite literally a sightseer’s paradise. Also impressive is Canada’s top-notch higher education system, which gives the country brains in addition to beauty.
Because of its relatively low population—approximately 30 million inhabitants—many people are surprised to learn that Canada is actually the world's second-largest country in total area, trailing only the country of Russia in that category. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; and from the northern border of the continental United States all the way up to the Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island—just 834 kilometers (450 nautical miles) from the North Pole. Within this expanse of land you’ll find a variety of cultures and peoples, making Canada one of the most diverse nations in the world. From the French-speaking residents of Montreal and Quebec to the native inhabitants of the rugged Yukon Territory, Canada's population runs the gamut from urban to rural and encompasses everything in between.
From a cultural standpoint, Canada has historically been heavily influenced by the English, French, Irish, and Scottish cultures and traditions. In more modern times, however, Canadian culture has become very similar to that of the United States, due mostly to the proximity between the two countries and the consistent migration of people, ideas, and capital. This does not mean that Canada does not have a distinct national culture of its own. In fact, several highly regarded artists and authors have hailed from the Maple leaf country, including the talented filmmaker Atom Egoyan and the brilliant writer Margaret Atwood.
Courses Leading to a Degree in International Relations
As a very multiethnic and multicultural country, Canada is the ideal destination for students seeking a degree in International Relations. As a course of study, this degree program is offered at a variety of levels, most commonly the undergraduate and graduate levels, leading to Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees, respectively. Undergraduate programs in International Relations generally take four years to complete for full time students, while the graduate degree programs typically span an additional two years in duration.
Both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs in International Relations help to prepare students to analyze world events through an understanding of power, diplomacy, terrorism, foreign policy, arms control and international political economy. The successful student will learn conflict resolution and problem-solving skills—skills that can transfer to careers in Foreign Service, journalism, international banking and communications.
International Relations programs generally commence with courses covering some of the general theories and concepts involved within this discipline. These types of courses teach students to assess the main concepts of international relations, and to focus on core ideals such as sovereignty, collective security, national interest and the balance of power. They also provide insight into the historical process of international systems.
Advanced courses in International Relations center on topics such as foreign policy, international trade and terrorism. In Canada, many of the foreign policy courses stress the history of Canadian foreign policy, beginning with its colonial roots to the present day. These courses afford students the opportunity to analyze foreign policy strategies and the theories surrounding the various national security policies, which may include concepts such as deterrence, unconventional warfare and coercive diplomacy.
Classes in international trade focus on topics such as the relationships between advanced nations and developing countries. Concepts addressed in these courses include the origins of trade agreements, currency crises, economic development, strategic trade theory and regional trade agreements. Finally, the courses on terrorism concentrate on the definitions, politics, religion and history that apply to terrorism, and the various terrorist organizations that exist throughout the world.
Why Study Abroad in Canada
There are few countries in the world that can match the stunning natural beauty of Canada and the opportunities these gorgeous landscapes present for outdoor activities. However, Canada is much more than just a vast expanse of wilderness. The country is also home to a number of very large and cosmopolitan cities, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, all of which are home to their own interesting blend of people, cultures, customs and traditions. The major Canadian cities feature a countless number of fun and interesting attractions—things for students to do and see when they get a break from their classroom studies. To give you an example, below we have listed just a few of the many popular Canadian destinations.
Old Montreal Port
The Old Montreal Port, known locally as Vieux Port Montreal, is one of the hidden gems of Montreal’s historical center. The port was once considered the economical hub of North America, but after a gradual decline in the field of maritime activities, the Canadian government ultimately decided to recondition the area. Today the port is well-known throughout the province as a major artistic center and a top-notch tourist destination filled with picturesque buildings and beautifully-preserved old boats
Jasper National park
Nowhere is the majestic beauty of Canada so vividly represented as it is in Jasper National Park. Located in Canada’s Alberta province, Jasper National Park is the largest National Reservation of the Rocky Mountains. The region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 together with the other national and provincial parks of the Canadian Rockies. Jasper is home to some of the world’s most stunning natural scenery, including a number of waterfalls, canyons, lakes, glaciers and mountains. Some of its prime attractions include the Miette Hot Springs, Pyramid Lake, the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Ice Field. Jasper is without question one of the most magnificent tourist attractions in Canada, a place where visitors can hike, fish, river raft and camp, while taking in all of the pristine beauty the park has to offer.
If you find yourself traveling through the city of Toronto, the CN Tower is difficult to miss. One of the tallest structures in the world, the CN Tower is a major highlight of the otherwise flat cityscape of Toronto. Completed in 1976, the 553-meter tower offers breathtaking panoramas of the entire city and Lake Ontario below.