The programme is intended for students who have an interest in business intelligence relating to international political issues, studies abroad and international placement.
The Master in International Affairs (MIA) is a two-year full-time programme with a curriculum that develops the skills and knowledge of international affairs professionals with an interest in contemporary international changes and challenges. The main objective of the programme is to prepare graduates to pursue careers in international organizations, businesses, transnational civil society organizations, or within diplomacy. Programme courses are led by highly merited instructors with research and teaching interests in international and European affairs, international state and human security, international corruption and political economy, foreign policy analysis, human rights and sustainable development, and diplomacy among democracies and dictatorships. MIA also offers the opportunity to complete short- and long-term internships and a major final independent study.
After completed studies, you will have advanced knowledge and skills within the field of analysis and investigation, particularly in relation to business intelligence. This makes you suitable for advanced political and/or administrative assignments and investigation work, within the public as well as the private sector, nationally and internationally.
Master of Science (120 credits) with specialization in International Affairs. (Main field of study: Political Science)
More attractive on the labour market
Mikaela Gustafsson chose to continue her studies on the master’s programme International affairs in order to obtain a specialisation in her main area of interest and to be better equipped to reach her career goals. During her internship, she has also come to realise that she is now considered more attractive on the labour market because of her continued studies at second-cycle level.
Read the full interview with Mikaela
Why did you choose to study the master’s programme International affairs?
After having studied political science for three years, I understood that my primary interest is how the world can be analysed based on the relations that different nation states have or do not have with each other. I’m interested in what makes nation states act the way they do and what, if anything, can make them act differently. The programme helps me find and develop analysis tools that I can use to understand and explain this.
Why would you recommend others to study International affairs?
One thing in particular that I like about the programme is the fact it contains practical elements as we have analysed contemporary events and, for instance, challenges within international organisations. In this way, my fellow students and I have learnt how to apply theories to analyse actual events in Sweden and the rest of the world. It can also be argued that international affairs are constantly changing, and that people’s lives are affected by this. Therefore, I would say it is important to learn more about and contribute to an understanding of nation states in an international context. That’s why I recommend others to study this programme.
What is your dream job and in what way do you think International affairs can help you achieve this?
My goal is to work with questions where I actually get to use the knowledge I have obtained on the programme, instead of working with something that just requires ‘some sort of social sciences education’. By studying this programme and developing my skills as an analyst, I hope it will be possible for me to achieve this goal at an earlier stage than what would otherwise have been possible. During the time when I was looking for an internship position, and during my internship, I have come to realise that I’m now considered more attractive on the labour market compared to someone who has only studied for a bachelor’s degree.
Can you describe your internship and what you think it has contributed with?
I’m currently doing my internship at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, at one of their geographical units, The Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. During the first months, I got to follow some of the members of staff who work at the department in their daily work, I got to participate at meetings and write different types of documents on the department’s countries. Now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, I have gotten the opportunity to get a unique insight into how the Ministry for Foreign Affairs works and adapts during a crisis, which is very interesting. So far, the internship has, for instance, provided me with an understanding of how I can put my theoretical skills to use in practice, but I have also gained an insight into what role I would like to have at a workplace like the Ministry for Foreign Affairs – and what I can contribute with today. I have also had the opportunity to reflect on what I need to develop and work on in order to reach my full potential at a workplace.
What are your thoughts on studying at Linnaeus University?
I’ve studied at several universities and I think what makes Linnaeus University particularly good is the fact that professors and senior lecturers show a genuine interest in their students and their teaching. I also appreciate the fact that there is hardly any hierarchy, which allows me to believe in myself and my knowledge, to see that I, just as well as them, can have a place in the scientific community or in working life. Also, students are being listened to when we propose something concerning the development of a course or programme, and that’s important to me.
How do you combine studies and leisure time?
In order to create a good balance between my studies and my leisure time, I try to make sure that I always have something to look forward to towards the end of the day. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something big. It can be anything from a cooking night or just a coffee with a friend, to a walk in Bokhultet nature reserve, or a yoga session. In this way, it doesn’t feel that tough to start studying in the morning, and once I have done that I can enjoy my leisure time. I also try to take weekends off. By doing so, I have time for other things that are important to me and I get new energy for the upcoming week.
Studying at Linnaeus University is an adventure
Sayeh from Iran studies a master’s programme in international affairs at Linnaeus University and she finds it inspiring that the teachers and students are so engaged in their work.
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- I chose Linnaeus University out of a broad spectrum of European universities, and
I had to consider several factors. The educational system, the quality of the courses, the potential future prospects, the tuition fee, and, of course, the environment at the university. Linnaeus University offered the most optimized set of these qualities.
Sayeh appreciates being a student at Linnaeus University. She finds it inspiring that the teachers and students are so engaged in their work and that the literature is interesting.
- The consistency of the subjects and the level of engagement on the courses absolutely resemble an adventure. What I have experienced up to this point is a delightful adventure. The level of engagement not only at a personal level but also at a group level is inspiring, and I can see the efforts to engage students in teamwork. The literature is so interesting. It feels like I’m reading books in my spare time when I have seminars or assignments that I need to prepare for.
Even though studying at Linnaeus University has been a positive experience, she admits that it has been a challenge getting used to a new education system in a new country.
- At the beginning of the first semester, I would sometimes get stressed out because I could not feel the same amount of stress that I used to experience when I was doing my bachelor's degree. I came from a completely different world to Sweden, and everything seemed fresh to me. I have been exposed to different points of view through textbooks and seminars. Coming from a different educational system, in which the weight of sheer theoretical subjects and their inconsistency was a significant problem, I can really appreciate how valuable this new environment and the programme is.
Sayeh has not decided what she wants to do after graduation.
- I prefer to explore my options, and after that I would like to decide what I want to do. At this point, it’s too early for me to make a decision, but I believe that if I do my best and stay positive I will find my dream job.
I am proud to be involved in our society
Wazhma, an alumna from Linnaeus University, was one of the first Afghan women to contribute to the digital protest #DoNotTouchMyClothes.
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– The hashtag is important because it represents Afghan women’s identity. As an Afghan, I cannot tolerate seeing something that does not belong to me being imposed on me as part of our identity, says Wazhma.
The hashtag responds to a sit-down demonstration orchestrated to support the Taliban at Kabul University. About 300 women appeared in all-black burkas covering their faces, hands, and feet. Earlier, this sort of dress was never seen around the country, according to Wazhma. After the demonstration, Afghan activists started posting traditional Afghan clothes to show the authentic Afghan culture.
– I was concerned that the black burkas would be seen worldwide as an Afghan tradition, which is wrong. I don’t want my culture and heritage to be misunderstood, says Wazhma.
Wazhma studied the bachelor’s programme Peace and Development and the master’s programme in International Affairs at Linnaeus University.
– As a former political science student, activism has always been part of my life. I have been engaged in many social and online platforms advocating women and human rights. I have also written articles and taken part in debates to spread awareness about fundamental human rights. In Sweden, I worked as a volunteer to support refugees, and it made me proud to be engaged in society and spread awareness, Wazhma continues.
Wazhma is happy that she chose Linnaeus University for her bachelor’s and master’s studies.
– I think it’s one of the best choices I have ever made. Through these programmes, I have learnt a lot. The unique teaching method at Linnaeus University has polished my academic knowledge so that I, with confidence, can deliver my awareness across different mediums. Linnaeus University is a place where students gain theoretical knowledge, but also learn to use their knowledge in practice. During my studies, I met some strong and beautiful girls who I will always look up to, Wazhma explains.
– My dress is a beautiful vintage piece that represents the ethnic identity of Pashtun women. Such dresses are still worn by most Afghan woman on special occasions such as Eid, weddings, New Year’s Eve, or when having a get-together with family and friends. The dress and its embroidery is handmade and the colours are those of the Afghan flag, Wazhma concludes.
Växjö – the student city with a living campus
Just south of Växjö’s city centre you will find Linnaeus University’s campus. In Växjö, many students choose to live on campus.
Here you will have five minutes’ walking distance to friends, restaurants, lecture rooms, gym, grocery store, the University Library, nature trails, and student pubs. If you live in another part of Växjö, you can quickly get to the university by bus or bicycle.
With its 90 000 inhabitants, Växjö is one of the fastest growing cities in Sweden. Here you will find the famous Småland entrepreneurship spirit and a lot of companies, for instance within the IT industry – perfect for when you are looking for an internship position or a job. Växjö is also one of Europe’s greenest cities where you have easy access to nature, forest and lakes.