4th year revelations: Understanding International Studies and Philosophy

On paper, I’m a 4th year International Studies & Philosophy Double-Major.

Plane to Urumqi (Turpan) Scenic #2

But what does that mean? And, is it right for you?

Here are some answers to your meta-questions…

Bas sous-marine

“International Studies? Don’t you mean International Relations or something like that? Are you talking about…tourism?”

Well to be honest…after taking Int’l Studies courses such as “Culture, Globalization and International Civil Society” and “Global Geography: Physical and Human Aspects”, traveling the world has a new dimension when you become a tourist-conscious individual. You’ll end up wondering why cities were built that way, how McDonalds has integrated into 118 countries and how you as a tourist is influencing a city’s economy.

I like to think International Studies as an “umbrella major”. Imagine if History married Philosophy and had a baby named Political Science who has Economics as a godfather, Anthropology as a godmother and Sociology as a best friend. Now, imagine that baby eloped with Geography and had a baby. There you go, International Studies in a nutshell.

MAIN POINT: International studies is interdisciplinary.


“Philosophy…that’s hard, right? How do you even study that?

No matter what you do…things will get “hard”. Yes, believe it or not, staying in bed will prove to be “hard” when you are hit with the itch to actually do something. So, let’s just forget that Philosophy ever had such a stigma.

Studying Philosophy isn’t something new…it’s actually something you’re already doing everyday whether it be learning theories in your sociology class, talking with friends about relationship issues or making an argument. During first year, I took a course on “Critical Thinking”. Automatic response: “HAH, you’re learning how to think?!” And you know what? It’s true. The class can be also classified as logic, or in other words, how to make a valid and strong argument. It was the most important and influential class thus far for me and you will feel the same way if you ever had to read, write, or debate.

MAIN POINT: Every degree is “hard”. If you like a particular degree, “hard” isn’t going to be your priority.


“What can you even do with that degree?”

As cliché as this sounds: the world is your oyster. As an International Studies major, you can eventually work as for the government as a civil servant, for a NGO or international organizations,  a researcher, a professor, a lawyer…list goes on. And as a Philosophy major, your doors are open even wider! Did you know that Philosophy majors typically score the highest on LSATs? Just keep your mind open and follow your passions and you’ll see what opportunities will come. As for myself, I’m planning on doing more studying after Glendon…so let’s see where that takes me.

MAIN POINT: Whatever your passion is, opportunities will find you.


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