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From its base in Geneva, this program provides a thorough background in international studies, using an experiential case study approach. The program addresses the most contemporary international issues through classroom seminars and through lectures and briefings at international organizations, including United Nations agencies, the Red Cross, and EU institutions, among others.
The international environment of Geneva offers you a unique opportunity to interact with leading experts and academics at a wide variety of international organizations and research centers. Numerous institutional libraries, documentation centers, and think tanks offer excellent research material and information. This exceptional learning environment leads to original research and independent study opportunities.
You will have numerous occasions to meet leading experts working at international organizations, academic institutions, and research centers. You will typically engage with experts in the areas of multilateral diplomacy, conflict resolution, regional integration, development, the environment, complex emergencies, and security. You will develop your networks throughout your stay in Geneva to enhance your Independent Study Project design and research..
You will have the opportunity to learn, or rapidly advance, your French through the program’s intensive language instruction. Language instruction is offered at four levels based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing. Additionally, may be able to practice your French with your homestay family and during excursions.
Further academic and career goals through an original research project.
You will spend four weeks near the end of the semester working on an Independent Study Project (ISP), pursuing original research on a topic of interest to you. The ISP is conducted in Geneva, where you can interview leading experts in fields related to your research project.
The ISP provides you with practical experience for academic and professional development. It also allows you to create a solid professional network and form a concrete base for future academic and professional career choices.
Sample topic areas for the ISP include:
Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in international studies or a related academic discipline, such as political science or prelaw, as assessed by SIT.
The program’s thematic seminars address the most contemporary international issues within an interdisciplinary framework. Students examine the strategies and responses of international and regional organizations to current challenges to peace and stability. Coursework addresses the political, economic, security, strategic, and environmental dimensions of the rapidly evolving international system in the context of globalization and global power shifts.
The program seeks to facilitate a more profound understanding of multilateral diplomacy, conflict management, European Union politics, and international economic relations. Students develop analytical skills and critical thinking on international issues, gain insight on multilateral institutions, and build networks with international experts.
Links to syllabi below are from current and forthcoming courses offered on this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
The program’s educational excursions give you access to leading experts and decision makers in the fields of diplomacy and international negotiations, trade, law, and the evolution of institutions. You will have a chance to experience some of the most magnificent and classical cities and sites in Europe.
Both the capital of Belgium and the European Union, Brussels hosts important EU organizations. You will become acquainted with EU matters and structures and participate in contemporary debates on the evolution of regional integration in Europe. The city itself reflects both the traditions of multicultural Belgium and the rapid growth and influence of EU organizations.
After Brussels, the program stops in Paris, where you will visit important international organizations such as OECD or UNESCO. As an artistic and cultural capital and the center of Francophone identity, Paris offers a range of cultural activities and experiences.
Dr. Gyula Csurgai was born in Hungary and holds Swiss and Canadian citizenships. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Geneva and a degree in political science from the University of Concordia (Canada) and the University of Toulouse (France). He earned a postgraduate degree in European studies from the European Institute at the University of Geneva.
Dr. Csurgai worked as scientific collaborator at the Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI). He was director of the International Center for Geopolitical Studies. He taught international relations, geopolitics, and geo-economics for undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate programs at different universities. Dr. Csurgai has organized seven international symposiums and in each case directed the publications of its proceedings. He has participated in several international research projects and has provided expertise to a number of international organizations. He has been collaborating with the SIT Study Abroad program in Geneva since 1997. He became the program’s academic director in January 2002.
His publications include:
Articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings:
Heikki S. Mattila holds an MA (economics and sociology) from the University of Helsinki and a PhD (sociology) from the University of Geneva. An expert in international migration, Dr. Mattila combines work experience in government, international organizations, and academia. Dr. Mattila worked in 1990–95 in the Finnish Ministry of Labor, in the secretariat for the Advisory Board in Migration and Refugee Affairs, and at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 1995–2008, first in Helsinki at the regional office for the Nordic and the Baltic States, then in the Migration Research Division at the IOM Headquarters in Geneva, and finally, at the IOM’s Regional Office for Central and Southeastern Europe in Budapest. In 2011–2014, Dr. Mattila did work for IOM, consulting on migration policy development in Nigeria and Turkey and field assessment of migrants’ humanitarian needs in Chad; lately, he has coordinated IOM’s research on internal displacement in Iraq.
Dr. Mattila has a longstanding cooperation with SIT; since the late 1990s, he has briefed undergraduate classes on migration and advised students doing Independent Study Projects on migration or related topics. During the fall 2010 semester, Dr. Mattila served as assistant academic director for SIT’s International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy program in Geneva. He has also lectured at Webster University in Geneva, at Central European University in Budapest, and at the NATO Defense College in Rome.
Dr. Mattila has written articles on human trafficking, irregular migration, and migrants’ human rights, and his research interests include migrants’ health, reproductive rights, and comparative health systems.
Dr. Mattila has written or co-edited the books “You Want a Multicultural Immigration Country, But We don’t Want It.” Ideologies, Interests and Discursive Strategies in German Parliamentary Debate on the 2004 Migration Law (June 2014); Between Sanctions and Rights: Addressing the Irregular Employment of Immigrants in the European Union (September 2008); Permanent or Circular Migration? Policy Choices to Address Demographic Decline and Labour Shortages in Europe (June 2008); and Between Demand and Supply. Regional Analysis of the Supply and Demand for Sexual Services and Trafficking in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (April 2007).
Aline Dunant has been working with the SIT Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy program since 2007. She is a Swiss citizen, from the Francophone part of Switzerland. She studied liberal arts at the University of Geneva and holds a master’s degree in French literature.
Prior to working for SIT Study Abroad, Aline worked for three years as a coordinator for the Geneva International Film Festival and taught French language and culture to international students for a few years.
As an academic coordinator, Aline assists the academic director in the coordination of the different components of the program, teaches in the Research Methods and Ethics course, and advises students in the development of their field research.
A Swiss and EU national, Alexandre Vautravers holds a PhD in contemporary history from the University of Lyon and a PhD in social and economic sciences from the University of Geneva. He is currently associate professor at the International Relations Department at Webster University Geneva. His areas of specialization include refugee studies, international economics, history and political science, human rights, and international nongovernmental organizations (INGO). His areas of research and publications include international relations, conflict studies and conflict resolution, strategy and military doctrines, humanitarian action, technology, and the politics of international economic relations.
Alexandre Vautravers is a lieutenant-colonel (GS) in the Swiss Armed Forces and has been commander of the 17th Tank Battalion since 2009. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Revue Militaire Suisse (RMS), an independent journal published since 1856.
Michel Veuthey is vice president of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and professeur associé at the Institut du Droit de la Paix et du Développement (IDPD) of Nice University (France). Dr. Veuthey had a long career (1967–2000) with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva as a specialist in international humanitarian law. He worked in many capacities at the ICRC, including as a member of the legal division during the preparatory works and sessions of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1974–1977); as head of the international organizations division; as Delegate General for Europe and North America; as assistant to the ICRC president; as Head of Delegation, ICRC Regional Delegation for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (Pretoria); and as legal advisor for the 50th Anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. He also carried out short field assignments in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Dr. Veuthey holds a bachelor of laws (1965) and doctor of laws (1976) from the University of Geneva. He has lectured widely on international humanitarian law and is the author of a book and many articles on the subject. He was a member of the board of MSF-Switzerland for four years (2000–2004) and was the academic director of the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA), organized in New York, Geneva, and Dublin (2000–2003). He has been the director of the Summer Courses on International Humanitarian Law in San Remo since 2000. He has been president of the Cercle des Amitiés Internationales in Geneva since 2005.
Goran Jovanovic is a professor of international relations and media and communication at the International University in Geneva. He teaches courses on globalization, foreign policy and decision-making, political communication, and future issues in international relations. Goran Jovanovic also works for several international institutions in Geneva and abroad. He was a scientific director of the Audiovisual Unit at the Graduate Institute of International Studies (2000–2005) and International Relations Department Head at the International University in Geneva (2007–2011). Goran Jovanovic holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Geneva.
Born (1953) and raised in Switzerland, Anselm Zurfluh graduated from the Université de Nice, France, in 1983. He holds a doctorate in history on historical demography and mentalities and in 1991 obtained a doctorate in ethnology on a socio-cultural isolate in a Swiss Alpine region. His areas of specialization include demography, anthropology, and modern European civilization and culture. His research interests include culture and history, particularly Alpine and European civilization before the French Revolution. He was a professor at the Stiftsschule Einsiedeln from1981 to 1989 as well as a researcher, editor, publisher, and advisor at the Minister of Educational Affairs of the Académie de Nice. He also served as assistant at the Université d’Avignon (history of art).
In 2001, Dr. Zurfluh was appointed director of the Institute and Museum of the Swiss Abroad in Geneva. He is the author, editor, and coordinator of several books and scientific publications in German, French, and Italian.
Dr. Koser is academic dean and head of the New Issues in Security Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. He is also a non-resident senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, a research associate at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, and an associate fellow at Chatham House. Dr. Koser is chair of the UK’s Independent Advisory Group on Country Information and editor of the Journal of Refugee Studies.
Mr. Yu’s work includes overseeing the policy research and analysis as well as the provision of technical and legal advice by the South Centre through the Global Governance for Development Programme to developing country delegations on global political, economic, social, and environmental issues (such as United Nations reform, Bretton Woods institutions governance, WTO institutional decision-making processes, the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, human rights, migration, and environment). He obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of the Philippines and his master of laws degree (specializing in international trade law and international environmental law) from Georgetown University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. Prior to joining the South Centre, he served as a WTO program officer in Geneva and for Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) and was also a staff attorney and head of research and policy development at the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) in the Philippines. He also taught at the University of the Philippines College of Law and the University of Tulsa College of Law. He has published papers and articles on issues relating to trade and the environment, sustainable development, environmental policy, and indigenous people’s rights.
You will live with a Swiss or international family in a village or town near Nyon for 14 weeks during the semester. Living in the French-speaking canton of Vaud will enable you to experience Francophone culture. Exposure to the country's cultural and ethnic mosaic will help you understand the traditional values of the Swiss political system: federalism, tolerance, respect for minorities, neutrality, and direct democracy.
You may choose to participate in arts groups and sports during this period, which will allow you to meet other Swiss peers.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels or small hotels during study trips.
A diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and majors study abroad on this program. Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Learn what some of them are now doing.
Program Arrival Date: Aug 24, 2016
Program Departure Date: Dec 6, 2016
The dates listed above are subject to change. Please note that travel to and from the program site may span a period of more than one day.
Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline.
Application Deadline: May 1, 2016
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Visa Expenses: $ 465
Books & Supplies: $ 50
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.