Examine the current global political trends and the challenges confronting the post-World War II liberal world order in the US, Brazil, France, and Senegal.
Explore the current global architecture, the consequences of neoliberal economic policies on human security and livelihoods, and how societies are demanding change.
A new era has begun for rising populism, new nationalisms, and social and media-based resistance across the globe. Look at who is challenging the current international order and why, and what alternatives people are seeking to enhance their wellbeing. Analyze the rising tensions between current global policies, treaties and institutions, and the social, political, economic, and cultural impacts these have had in and among different countries, regions, and peoples.
Learn about international financial institutions and current US policies in Washington, DC.
In Washington DC—a hub of global policymaking and advocacy, public policy think tanks, international institutions including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and global NGOs—we will meet with government officials, academics, and activists to examine US politics and the current government’s role in shaping international relations.
Explore Brazil’s regional role, its right-wing government policies, and their implications for urban centers and the environment.
During the past decade, Brazil has risen to be an important regional power and influencer in the international order. Examine Brazil’s role in core regional institutions including MERCOSUR (Mercado Común del Sur) and in international influence groups of emerging economies such as BRICS. Learn about the International Monetary Fund’s role in Latin American economic development and its social implications. Analyze rapid urbanization and economically motivated environmental exploitation and threats to the right of indigenous peoples.
In France and Brussels, learn about the European Union, NATO, and post-colonial migration and interdependence.
Explore France’s role in the European Union (EU) and on the global stage through the lens of issues such as immigration, sovereignty, citizenship, and terrorism, which are sources of conflict in the country and region. Examine how fake news and social media play into identity politics, and take an excursion to Brussels, the capital of Belgium, to learn about European integration and disintegration and EU structures.
Visit Senegal, home to many international organizations and NGOs, and learn about post-colonialism, cultural imperialism and youth political activism.
One of the most politically stable countries in Africa, Senegal is known for its ethnic and religious tolerance and as a major contributor to regional peacekeeping operations and mediation. However, Senegal has also struggled with economic success. We will analyze the African Union, migration patterns, post-colonial and neo-colonial debates, the effects of structural adjustment policies, and youth activism.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- The history of global governance
- How the legacy of colonialism has affected development of the global south and their representation in the global architecture
- Global governance’s benefits and challenges to human security
- Social, economic, and political tensions, and movements that have grown from the consequences of neoliberal policies and identity politics
- Causes and opportunities of rising nationalism and alternative governing structures
- How to research the impact of these policies and changes locally, regionally and internationally
The following syllabi are representative of 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.
- Whose Global Governance? Power and Inequality in the International System since 1945 – syllabus
- (POLI 3005 / 4 Credits / 60 class hours)
- This course will provide an analysis of the system of global governance that has been constructed since the end of World War II, providing the context for understanding current trends toward nationalism and the fragmentation of multilateral institutions. Beginning with an introduction to Wilsonian liberalism, the course will allow students to explore the principles and power structures that led to the formation of the United Nations; the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) including the World Bank, IMF, and WTO; and regional arrangements that emerged (Mercosur, OAS, EU, NATO, ECOWAS, African Union) alongside and in reaction to these global structures. With this historical background, students will be able to better understand contemporary challenges to the system of global governance. The course will explore how the power structures and economic policies of international institutions have contributed to the resurgence of nationalism and identity movements, the rise of new economic powers (BRICS), and the role that regional organizations play in supplementing or subverting global governance. In addition to the study of formal institutions, this course will investigate how the legacy of colonialism has affected the development trajectories of former colonies and their representation in the global architecture. Students who complete the course successfully will develop a nuanced understanding of the successes and failures of the global governance system, the ways in which it perpetuates neocolonialism, and a deeper awareness of the contemporary social, political, and economic challenges that existing institutions have thus far struggled to address.
- Globalization and its Consequences: Human Security Challenges in the 21 st Century – syllabus
- (POLI 3015 / 4 Credits / 60 class hours)
- This course will explore the impacts of and responses to globalization through the lens of human security. The human security paradigm, articulated in the UNDP’s Human Development Report (1994), relocates the referent for understanding security from the nation-state to the individual, from security of territory to security of people, emphasizing that development and security can be most effectively achieved by ensuring “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear.” Applying this conceptual framework, students will analyze contemporary challenges to these objectives arising from globalization, colonial legacies and neocolonialism, and the neoliberal economic system. The focus on human security will allow students to better understand the tensions between contemporary political movements that are, in part, a response to globalization, maintaining a sustained commitment to this paradigm and the roles of actors at the global, state, and local levels. Examples of such tensions that are explored in this course include the rights of political and economic refugees and the rise of anti-immigration movements; addressing growing inequality and youth unemployment in the context of neoliberalism; the rights of indigenous people and other vulnerable groups who have been marginalized by their own governments; the resurgence of right-wing politics and authoritarianism alongside the subversion of international institutions; and the challenge of addressing transnational issues such as climate change, global health, and human rights violations as cooperation is increasingly strained at the international level.
- Mobilizations, Civil Society, and Global Politics – syllabus
- (SOCI 3025 / 4 Credits / 60 class hours)
This course explores global politics from the bottom up and top down. Drawing on sociology, political anthropology, and political science, including recent scholarship on populism and digital activism, this course examines citizens’ and non-citizens’ responses to (neo)colonialism, global governance, and the neoliberal world order. It examines how “civil society” has and continues to be constituted and how it operates in contemporary United States, Brazil, France, Belgium, and Senegal. This course takes a critical approach to citizenship and civil society, exploring how these notions are defined and contested by different parties. Attention will be given to a range of mobilizations, as they intersect with various forms of human interconnectedness, illustrate different degrees of social capital, and emerge out of contexts holding different possibilities and constraints. Understandings of political action will be expanded to include actions people carry out in public space and/or in the “public sphere,” but also forms of agency that are less public or visible, “weapons of the weak” (Scott). Different kinds of mobilizations, from “imagined communities” uniting over social media to protesters taking the streets, will serve as examples to understand the intersections of mobilizations, civil society, and national and global politics in the US, Brazil, France, Belgium, and Senegal.
- Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods – syllabus
- (ANTH 3500 / 4 Credits / 60 class hours)
- How can fieldwork—which has traditionally been focused on face-to-face interactions—be used and adapted to critically analyze the relations between “macro” and “micro” levels of human experience? How might one study global phenomena, especially global power, from a localized and “bottom-up” perspective? How might comparative case studies highlight the workings of global governance and international relations? This ethics and methods class is a hybrid seminar/practicum in which students engage in critical conversations while performing fieldwork exercises aimed at instilling an ethical approach that is attuned to the complexities of studying phenomena at the intersections of the local and the global, the social and the political, power and resistance. The central fieldwork component of this course is a comparative case study project: a semester-long, small-scale research exercise focused on investigating a theme across all four country sites.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
United States: Washington, D.C.
From the US capital, you’ll get an overview of the issues you’ll explore throughout the semester. You’ll get an understanding of the system of global governance that has been in place since the end of World War II, particularly the United Nations and Bretton Woods and how these institutions were designed to maintain US hegemony and institutionalize neoliberal economic policy. You’ll also examine the concept of civil society and civilian political action and discover how globalization affects human security, focusing on the US government’s policies on immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable groups inside and outside of the United States.
Brazil: Sao Paulo, with excursion to Brasilia
Your next stop is Brazil, where you’ll explore regional and rising global power and the nation’s attempt to have greater influence in international bodies (UNSC) and through increasing regionalization in Latin America, such as MERCOSUR, the OAS and as a member of the BRICS. You’ll analyze rising nationalism, the election of Jair Bolsonaro and his right-wing populist policies. You will learn about economically motivated environmental exploitation, threats to land rights of indigenous peoples, the role of education in shaping resistance and empowerment of marginalized populations. The Brazilian government is in Brasilia (the country’s capital since 1960) and students will go on an excursion to learn about the rational for its creation and model and to meet with government officials and interest groups.
France: Paris, with excursion to Brussels, Belgium
With a long history of colonialism and popular protest, France is your base to explore dominant global power structures, the consequences of neoliberal policies, and rising nationalism throughout Europe. Starting with the military alliance established at the start of the Cold War, you’ll examine institutionalized inequality in France’s political and economic system, tensions between national sovereignty and neoliberalism within the global trading system, and anti-immigration policies in the face of the global refugee crisis. Learn about grassroots movements, including political mobilizations by children of postcolonial migrants and left-affiliated workers’ unions. During six days in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, you’ll understand the historical underpinnings of the establishment of the European Union and current challenges undermining its unity, most prominently, Brexit.
In Senegal, you’ll explore postcolonial power relations and the economic and cultural transformations that have taken place as Senegal has adapted to an increasingly globalized world. You’ll get an overview of the institutionalization of Pan-Africanism, from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union, focusing on the role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in West Africa’s attempt to achieve greater “collective self-sufficiency,” and understand Senegal’s leading role in economic and security cooperation in the region. You’ll also look at changing relationships between citizens and the state and examine the role youth—especially rap artists—have played in shaping recent political change in Senegal.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
You will live with a host family for between two and four weeks at each program site, with the exception of the first location in the US. Homestays are the primary form of accommodation on the program; other accommodations can include guesthouses, hostels, dormitories, and/or small hotels.
Family structures vary from place to place. Your host family may include a single mother of two small children or a large extended family with many people coming and going all the time. Please bear in mind that the idea of what constitutes a “home” (i.e., the physical nature of the house) may be different from what you expect. You will need to be prepared to adapt to a new life with a new diet, a new schedule, new people, and possibly new priorities and expectations.
Country coordinators in each location arrange homestay placements. In most cases, students will be placed in homestays in pairs, with placements made to best accommodate health concerns, including allergies or dietary needs. You will not receive information about homestay families until you arrive in each country.
Possible career paths include:
- international Development
- Political Analysis
- Conflict Resolution
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
Tuition: Not yet available.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Content and logistics for field programs in New York City, Nepal, Jordan, and Chile
- Cost of all lecturers who provide instruction to students in:
- Locally taught classes
- Foundations and Frameworks of Human Rights
- The Role of Civil Society
- Classes taught by traveling faculty
- Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods
- Comparative Issues in Human Rights
- Locally taught classes
- Guest lectures and panel discussions
- Site visit hosts and facilitators
- Transportation to classroom spaces and daily program activities
- All educational excursions to locations such as Curerrehue, Chile, including all related travel costs
- Traveler’s health insurance after leaving the United States
- Instructional materials
- Other direct program costs
Note: Break costs are not covered by program fees; students are responsible for this.
The travel fee covers the following:
- All group flights once you leave the US.
- A flight back to a city in the US at the conclusion of the program or a travel allowance for other locations, arranged by our travel agent.
- Group travel in each country program for program activities (buses, taxis, boats, trains, metro, etc.).
Note: Travel to the program launch city in the US is not covered, students are responsible for this cost.
Room & Board: Not yet available.
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in all four countries, urban and rural stays, all excursions, and the final retreat. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
- All homestays in Nepal, Jordan, and Chile
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
Domestic Airfare to Program Launch Site
Domestic 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: $150
Books & Supplies: $150
International Phone: Each student must bring a smart phone that is able to accept a local SIM card with them to their program, or they must purchase a smart phone locally.
Break: $600 - $1,000
Please note: This is an estimated range based on student surveys from past semesters. Students' individual needs for their breaks will vary. For the entirety of the break period, students will be responsible for all of their expenses, including travel and room and board.
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.
In order to make study abroad more accessible, SIT's partner colleges and universities may charge home school tuition fees for their students participating on an SIT Study Abroad program. If your institution has an agreement with SIT and charges fees different from those assessed by SIT, please contact your study abroad advisor for more details. The SIT published price is the cost to direct enroll in the SIT program. Tuition fees may vary for students based on your home college's or university's billing policies with SIT.