International Study Centre

What it's like to study International Relations and Development

Posted 15 March 2021
International student Kayleen sits on a swing in the countryside on a sunny evening

Hi! I’m Kayleen and my subject is International Relations and Development. Basically, throughout the course, I learn about global affairs, history (which relates to the making of the current world system), and international development. As an example, for international relations, I studied theories like liberalism at first then lots of case studies like the US-China relationship. For international development, I studied the development issues and people (thinkers/theorists) who have contributed to world development.

Why I chose my subject

I chose this subject because I’ve always been interested in politics. Ever since I joined the MUN (Model United Nations) club in high school, I wanted to learn more about it. Personally, the most exciting thing about my subject is that I have to think critically. I know it sounds weird for some people because not everybody likes to think too hard for a long time but somehow for me, the best part is when I come up with an idea after I spent a good amount of time thinking. I’ll feel like I’ve achieved something and that’s one of the best feelings ever. It’s tiring but it’s worth it. Another thing that I found fascinating about my subject is when I figure out that everything is connected. From history to global affairs and development. One of the examples is that WW2 led to the making of US hegemony and that of course affected the current international relations and politics among states.

Goals for the future

I don’t really have any specific goal for my future yet. I’m the kind of person who just goes with it and looks for opportunities, but I want to help as many people as possible, whether it is to achieve their dreams or to help them live a better quality of life. The fact that I can write this blog means I can be considered ‘lucky’ and many people out there don’t even have the chance to pursue higher education or even attend an elementary school. I don’t want to enjoy this ‘privilege’ alone. I hope everybody can get the same education and opportunities to pursue their dreams. That’s why I feel that a degree in International Relations and Development can help me achieve that. By the time I get my degree, I’ll have understood more about international development, how it works and how to improve it in order to eliminate inequality for good.

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