Virginia Tech® home

Study Abroad


PSCI Study Abroad

NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Fall 2019

We encourage you to study abroad for an extraordinary experience away from campus. Programs are available across the world for you to travel for a week, a winter, a summer, a semester, or even for a year - all while working toward graduation. Earn academic credit while you're away through faculty-led programs, enrollment in a bi-lateral exchange program, or direct enrollment in programs across the world. See your advisor to learn more about upcoming study abroad programs and check out what is available through the Global Education Office.

Political Science Study Abroad Programs

The European Affairs in a Global Context study abroad program explores Europe’s economic and political rise in the 19th century, its collapse in the first half of the 20th century, and Europe’s rebuilding after the Second World War. The program evaluates new social and political fractures that are emerging in Europe today, including those related to the economic and security challenges associated with EU integration and its accession process, and the re-emergence of far-right politics throughout the continent.

Program Details
Based at Virginia Tech’s Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.
Courses: Complete five program-specific courses that fulfill requirements in the Political Science and International Studies Program’s five majors and build toward the minor in Global Engagement.
Excursions: The two ten-day excursions provide an opportunity to apply course concepts in an experiential field study. 

The program's first excursion to Geneva, Lausanne, and Brussels allows you to visit several of Europe’s most important international organizations. In Geneva and Lausanne, take part in workshops and seminars at the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the World Health Organization, and the International Olympic Committee. In Brussels, visit European political institutions, including the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament, as well as NATO Headquarters. You will have ample free time to explore the cultural, historical, and culinary offerings of these destinations. 

The second field study excursion takes us to Cyprus and Greece. In Cyprus, we explore the history of colonialism and anti-colonial politics, as well as ethnic tensions in one of the most contested territories of Europe. Hosted by faculty at the University of Cyprus, tour the island (including the Turskish “non-state” Republic in the North and the UN-protected buffer zone), visit the Museum of National Independence, and attend lectures on political developments related to the political history of the island, and peace-keeping since the Turkist invasion of 1974. In Athens, you will take part in several seminars and workshops put together by Athens-based scholars and researchers. Topics discussed include Greece’s challenges in the context of the EU and the euro, Greek-Turkish relations, and ancient and early-modern Greek history and culture. Complementing the stay in Greece is a day-long cruise to three islands in the Aegean Sea, a visit to the Acropolis and the Parthenon, and trips to several historical and cultural sites outside of Athens.

Required Courses
ITAL 1105: Beginning Italian
IS/PSCI 3115: Selected World Problems
IS/PSCI 4024: Seminar in Diplomacy and Security
IS/PSCI 4054: Seminar in Global Political Economy
IS/PSCI 4724: Senior Seminar in Political Theory
Optional: IS/PSCI 4964: Field Study or IS/PSCI 4994: Undergraduate Research 

For more information about scholarships or study abroad, please contact Marielle Wijnands in the Global Education Office. 

Apply by visiting the Global Education Office website here

The European Perspectives on Integrated Security study abroad program explores a wide range of emerging security challenges facing European societies, economies, institutions, and communities that engage the nations of Europe in the context of business investment, trade, cultural and educational exchange, political asylum, and collaborative governance. New problems like cyber warfare and cybercrime have emerged while older, and ongoing, security challenges – including civil unrest, ethnic and nationalist violence, revolutionary and successionist struggle, and nuclear, chemical and biological warfare and deterrence strategies – not only persist, but also present fresh security issues in the context of new conditions of precarity and vulnerability. 

This study abroad program, which is offered by the Integrated Security Destination Area, aims to meld multiple analytical perspectives to give students an understanding of the need to develop cross- and inter-disciplinary methods to address today’s most daunting problems. Completion of this program helps students make progress towards attaining a pathways minor in Integrated Security. Europe’s current security situation – be it relative to Brexit, Ukraine, climate change, terrorism, cyber warfare, newly emerging diseases – offers a window into much of the world’s future. Refugee resettlement, international labor flows, ecological degradation and climate change, emerging forms of warfare, rapid technological change, terrorism, population and resource management – all of these areas bear crucially on security, especially as it relates to the entire spectrum of policymaking concerns that face national and international governance.

Program Details
Where: Based at Virginia Tech’s Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.
Courses: Complete up to three program specific courses that fulfill requirements in the Political Science and International Studies Program’s five majors as well as build toward the minor in Integrated Security.
Excursions: Travel to three major European cities to learn how European policymakers and institutions are responding to the new security predicaments to which European societies are adapting their governance structures today. 

As part of the field-study component of this program, you will visit NATO and EU institutions in Brussels, as well as academic and governance institutions and NGOs in Sarajevo and Kyiv. At our Riva San Vitale campus in Canton Ticino, you will study the collapse of Yugoslavia and the consolidation of political authority in the context of the region, new nations, and EU enlargement. While in Sarajevo, explore the religious, ethnic, and national identity structures and political processes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, past and present.

Required courses:
IS/PSCI 2034:  Geography of Global Conflicts:  The Balkans
IS/PSCI 2164:  Foundations of Contemporary Security Environments
Optional: IS/PSCI 3134:  Global Conflict and War – Post-program course in Blacksburg

For more information about scholarships or study abroad, please contact Marielle Wijnands in the Global Education Office. 

Apply by visiting the Global Education Office website here

Loading player for
Loading player for

Education Abroad Opportunities and Scholarships

Academic Credit

  • If you are on academic suspension, you may not take courses for transfer.
  • Credit hours transfer; grades do not
  • A limited number of credit hours may be transferred; see your course catalogue for more transfer credit policies
  • Major upper-level courses are more difficult to transfer than lower-level elective courses because there are not exact equivalents; you should plan to take most major courses at Virginia Tech (of the last 45 hours before graduation, only 18 can be transferred).

If you decide to take courses elsewhere and want to transfer them to Virginia Tech, you should follow these steps:

  • Complete the Authorization to Take Courses Elsewhere form, meet with your advisor, and obtain the required signatures.
  • Investigate the courses that you want to take; gather information about academic level, hours, and content. You can usually find this information on the institution’s website.
  • Submit the completed form to Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building, 200 Stanger Street, for Dean's Office approval. Please submit this form prior to studying abroad to ensure that the courses you take will have a Virginia Tech equivalency.
  • Request that your official transcript be sent to the Global Education Office (or ISEP if applicable). Transcripts MUST arrive in a sealed envelope:
    Global Education Office (room 131)
    526 Prices Fork Road
    Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA