The International Studies (IS) major requires participation in an approved study abroad program or an approved international engagement activity. Please indicate your plan to meet that requirement by completing the Study Abroad Indication of Intent Form.
This is one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse regions. The African continent boasts some of the world’s fastest growing economies, vast natural resources, and incredible human and biological diversity. The African continent is more than three times the size of the United States and has 54 countries within it and thousands of ethnic groups. Despite economic growth, African countries continue to experience problems such as poverty, political instability, inadequate health care, and limited access to education. Since these are issues of global concern, gaining knowledge and awareness of them enables you to work more effectively in professional contexts involving business, social justice issues, development, and more.
NOTE: For the African Concentration, it is expected that students will need to take courses through Metroversity and/or study abroad programs in order to meet the requirements of this concentration.
East Asia makes up a large portion of the world's population and gave rise to many great civilizations and major world religions. With a long history as a crossroads for trade, East Asia is the United States' most significant trading partner, both for imports and exports. The region also plays a vital role in international politics and security, with several countries recognized as major nuclear powers, and strategic U.S. allies. East Asia is socially, politically, and economically dynamic and rising - it will only gain in importance in the coming years.
Deeply connected both historically and culturally, Europe remains of vital importance to the US and its citizens. Many of the ideas that shape our daily lives and inform our worldviews have their roots in Europe – capitalism, democracy, and countless scientific and technological innovations. Our economies are closely intertwined, with the greatest amount of US foreign direct investment (FDI) going to Europe, and a large percentage of European FDI coming to the US. Our similar political systems and values provide a foundation for collaboration as we work toward peace and security. NATO remains a vital alliance, and in recent years there have been many instances of cooperation between the US and European countries in order to address significant global challenges of our time: political instability, terrorism, human rights issues, and climate change.
Our nearest neighbors, the countries of Latin America are historically, culturally, economically, and politically connected to the U.S. Economic and social development in Latin America has led to economic expansion and close trade relationships. Mexico is the US’s second largest export market, and nearly half of US manufactured goods are exported southward. We also see the influence and importance of diverse Hispanic cultures expanding far beyond the Southwestern U.S., with Mexican, Cuban, and other migrations increasing cultural and human ties between the US and Latin America. A number of Latin American countries have experienced increasing democratization and stability, which has led to their greater political prominence both regionally and internationally. Given the close proximity of the region and the presence of Latin American immigrants in our local community, this may be the regional concentration most easily connected to Kentuckiana.