Joseph Quisol knew he was interested in foreign languages. And he knew he liked learning about different cultures. Once he started at the College, he discovered that international studies was the perfect major because it enabled him to pursue those and so many other subjects that interest him.
Right away, Joseph began compiling important experiences. “My freshman year, I participated in Alternative Spring Break and went to Honduras with a small group to work with at-risk youth. This was a complement to a course I was taking on grant writing and community-based asset development.”
Joseph also traveled to Cuba as part of the College’s International Scholars Program. “That was a phenomenal experience. Ten of us were there for two weeks with two professors from the College and one from the Universidad de la Habana.”
He also studied abroad for a year in the Netherlands. “The Hague is there, which is the site of several international courts, but there’s also a lot of progressive thought and development coming out of that country. I was able to learn a lot about Europe as a whole. And that part of the world has a lot of influence on the developing world and humanitarian aid, both of which really interest me.”
Joseph’s core interest pertains to advocacy of local interests, particularly in development. He has fashioned his coursework to focus on this area. “I’ve taken policy courses and I’m doing an independent study drawing comparisons between the Arctic Council’s inclusion of indigenous people in regional policy making and the inclusion of local interests in development that’s happening in Charleston.”
Developing an international perspective has augmented Joseph’s understanding of public policy. In the future, he hopes to work in this area, improving the ways minority and low-income communities are consulted and empowered in the development process, and he’s getting the ideal background for that.
International studies majors focus on the political, economic, sociohistoric, and cultural changes that are taking place around the world.
The major recognizes that a comprehensive perspective on international issues, foreign cultures and societies is beyond the ability of any one discipline to provide and thus draws from multiple disciplines to give students a multidimensional perspective on global development and issues.
Ultimately, this degree will help you assess political and economic events on a global scale by providing the historical and cultural context for understanding those events. It can be strong preparation for careers in business, education, government and many other fields.