International Studies

International Studies

The international studies concentration prepares students for careers and pursuits spanning national boundaries. It is grounded in the social sciences and focused on contemporary issues to help students develop an understanding of the current dominant modes of international interactions, and the global nature and consequences of those interactions. Interested students may select international studies as a concentration within, or focus of, their liberal arts education. The concentration can complement many academic majors, building students’ capacities to apply their major’s disciplinary knowledge to the challenges of the globalized world.

For the concentration, students choose from more than 100 courses across the Oberlin curriculum on the world’s cultures, regional interactions, and international dynamics, in addition to core politics and economics classes. We expect majors to attain at least a second year of (non-English) language proficiency.

Curriculum Overview

Students should meet with an international studies advisor to develop an appropriate course of study based on their major and areas of interest. The concentration is open to any student regardless of major or minor.

International studies includes four main components: politics, economics, foreign language, and a choice of five subjects that deal with non-United States regions or countries in the contemporary period and non-Western regions in the historical period.

We encourage students to study abroad in one of the more than 75 programs offered by Oberlin and its affiliate institutions through the Office of Study Away.

Read more about the International Studies Concentration in the course catalog.

Course Sampling

POLT 120 - Introduction to International Politics
ECON 227 – International Trade and Finance
HISP 318 – Survey of Latin American Literature II
HIST 160 – Modern Japan
ENVS 222 – Local vs Global: Environmental Issues Beyond Borders


Kristina Mani

Committee Chair
Associate Professor of Politics 

Phone: (440) 775-8657 /
Interests: international politics, Latin American politics, political economy of security, civil-military relations

Zeinab Abul-Magd

Assistant Professor of History
Phone: (440) 775-8657 /
Interests: Middle East and North Africa, Egypt, political economy

Arlene Forman

Associate Professor of Russian and East European Studies
Phone: (440) 775-8654 /
Interests: Russian language, literature and film; Soviet and post-Soviet prose and cinema

Sheila Jager

Professor of East Asian Studies
Phone: (440) 775-8299
Interests: Korean War, the politics of memory

Qiusha Ma

Associate Professor of Chinese
Phone: (440) 775-8314 /
Interests: Chinese language teaching, modern Chinese education and society, non-governmental organization

Eve Sandberg

Associate Professor of Politics
Phone: (440) 775-8590 /
Interests: international politics, African politics, democratization and economic development, United States foreign policy

Ben Schiff

Professor of Politics
Phone: (440) 775-8535 /
Interests: international politics, international organizations, international law, the International Criminal Court