As the world becomes increasingly globalized, we need more people who are knowledgeable about other cultures. International studies students play crucial roles in making the world a better place.

Working in International Business

Many businesses depend on others in different countries. For example, Nike produces their products in developing countries, such as Indonesia. In order for the business to work, they need employees who understand other countries’ cultures. At the University of Oregon, students who major in international studies are required to learn another language. Dr. Ron Severson, Senior Instructor I of Management at the UO Lundquist College of Business and instructor of a Cross-Cultural Negotiation course, believes that being bilingual is important today because, “language is not just a language, it’s also a view on culture. The words tend to be different and not easily translatable, and often show a different mindset. I think most people who know at least two languages have experienced thinking a little differently depending on the language”. Therefore, it is important for businesses to have employees who are able to deeply understand other cultures.

Becoming International Politicians or Diplomats

A diplomat communicates the nation’s political interests. Michaela Grandinetti, a UO junior majoring in international studies, shares her experience interning with the Senate of the Philippines. She states, “I firmly believe that diplomats must be well informed with multiple realms of study to facilitate their profession. The International Studies Department at the University of Oregon allows us to do just that. As someone who has seen diplomacy first-hand, I can say that our department at UO teaches this universal mentality to be more understanding of international cultures”. Grandinetti’s experience illuminates the importance of the international studies major in international politics.

Other Organizations and Nonprofits

Besides working in business and politics, international studies students also work well with nonprofit organizations. Grandinetti shares her dream to work at the United Nations and contribute to world change for the better. The international studies major at UO has helped her to understand other cultures and the steps to take to realize an international career. Besides the United Nations, there are many other nonprofit, international organizations such as the World Bank, UNICEF, WWF, Save the Children, Peace Corps, and more.

If you want to work internationally, UO has learning opportunities within the International Studies Department that offer various concentrations: law and human rights, international gender issues, international tourism, international nonprofits and more.

The UO Career Center is always here to help you stay on track in your career path! Come to 220 Hendricks Hall to have an in-depth conversation about your goals. You can also call us to set up appointments with our professional career advisors at (541) 346 3235.

By Sonia Herman, Employer Relations Intern