New major requirements send international studies students abroad

New major requirements send international studies students abroad
The international studies major requirements now include one semester abroad. Photo by Olivia Bertino.

New curriculum requirements for international studies majors offer students a one-of-a-kind experience. Students must spend an entire semester abroad and select an emphasis in any area of choice.

Starting this year, students majoring in international studies are required to study abroad for a semester and emphasize a specific area of interest. Essentially, students are becoming a “mini expert” according to Jennapher Lunde Seefeldt, who is the designer of the major.

“The world is ever interconnected and globalized,” Lunde Seefeldt said. “It is important to deeply understand other parts of the world personally, but also for employers as it brings diversity and new perspectives.”

One thing to note with this major is that it must be accompanied by another major of study. Michael Nitz, professor of communication studies, said any major can be paired with international studies. The differing majors will “deepen and enrich your education in a specialized area of your choice,” Nitz said.

He did say he would love to see more business and natural sciences majors consider adding international studies as a second major. This program is one of few in the state to require a full semester abroad with an accompanying language component. Overall, Nitz’s goal is to not only see the major grow, but also for the students to become more marketable for future employers.

For sophomore Mackenzie Ternes, her reason behind choosing to be an international studies major is her interest in different aspects of cultures and international business.

What really caught her attention is that she is required to study abroad. Ternes has previously traveled internationally to eight countries, and she plans to continue traveling as much as possible.

“[I want] to work somewhere overseas in a business as a marketing manager or even at an ad agency with dual countries and continue traveling,” Ternes said.

Since declaring this major, Ternes has been introduced to various job opportunities and has added marketing as her accompanying major. She has also been considering adding a business administration minor or graphic design.

This program — and its countless combinations with other majors — provide a well-rounded education to prepare students for the future, as Nitz and Lunde Seefeldt both said.