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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in International Relations

There are ample opportunities to enhance your studies in International Relations through independent research, off-campus study, and internships. These programs are integral to a Knox education, teaching you how to apply your skills in real world situations.

Student Research and Creative Projects
Knox is a leaderKnox is a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research. In fact, more than 90% of all Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate. Many students' projects are supported by an unusually rich array of Knox College funding programs that together provide students more than $200,000 each year in support of their work. These sources include: Richter Memorial Scholars Program, Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, Ronald E. McNair Fellows Program, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Midwest History and Theory Workshop, Midwest Political Science Association, and departmentally supported independent studies. International relations students often find that research projects evolve naturally out of classroom studies. Examples of some recent student research projects include:

  • "Political Structures and International Involvement in Malawi," Justin Valas '06, international relations major, independent study/senior research funded by Richter program.
  • "'Maurer im Kopf' as Seen Through the Generations in Germany," Ashlee Heinz '06, German and international relations major, independent study/senior research funded by Richter program.
  • "Theology and Spiritual Warfare," Phillip King '06, international relations major.

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner. An examples of a recent Honors project is:

  • "NATO et al.: The Role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Partner Nations." Katherine Elizabeth Miller '13.
  • "The Role of Societal Ideology in Diaspora-Related Terrorism: An Examination of Terrorist Activity in France, Germany, and the United States." Anna Avery Meier '13.
  • "Turmoil and Transition in the Arabian Gulf: Evaluating Regime Response to the 2011 Uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen, and Oman." Gregory Thomas Noth '12.
  • "Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Post-Cold War Europe: Strategic Asset or Anachronistic Risk?" Stephen Michael Herzog '09.

Off-campus Study
Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student. Almost 50% of Knox students participate in off-campus study and consider their studies abroad to be the highlight of their college experiences. Off-campus study -- whether in the United States or in other countries -- can add immeasurably to the value of your work in international relations. Options include China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, Spain, Tanzania, and Washington, D.C.

As a student of international relations at Knox, you'll have the opportunity to expand your education -- to get that valuable experience you hear so much about -- by completing an internship. Internships provide an opportunity to explore and test career options, to gain experiences and skills needed to succeed as a professional, to build a resume, to network and make critical connections, and to experience a work environment. More and more employers are looking for college graduates with career-related experience. Knox's Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development specializes in helping you find an internship that best matches your goals and interests.

Internships are generally available during the school year for academic credit, while some non-credit, paid internships are available in the summer. Recent internships have included: National Security Council, Council of Foreign Relations, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Senate, NATO, Brussels, International Red Cross, Illinois Democratic Party, Illinois Republican Party, International Red Cross, AIPAC, and Peace Corps. Recent internships by international relations students include:

  • Intern, Department of State with U.S. Consulate, Strasbourg, France. Katherine Miller '13, french and international relations major.
  • Intern, California State Senator Alan Lowenthal, Long Beach, California. Sheivy Arguelles '12, international relations major.
  • Intern, Council of Foreign Relations and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Occupied Palestinian Territories. Maksymilian Czuperski '12, international relations major.
  • Intern, Pakistani Mission to the United Nations. Yumna Rathore '12, economics and international relations major.

Beyond the Classroom
Student forums have brought important speakers to Knox College and have provided discussions about vital issues. Students have been active in Model United Nations, traveling to New York and Brussels. Knox's delegation captured top honors at a worldwide Model Arab League simulation in Cairo.

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