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Professional & Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning (EL) is not just a component of education here—it's integral to the SIS experience. EL bridges theory with practice, enabling students to apply their knowledge in real-world contexts. Through collaborative, hands-on experiences, students gain critical skills, deepen their understanding, and cultivate a proactive, reflective approach to learning, preparing them to excel in a complex and interconnected global landscape.

Discover a wealth of accessible Experiential Learning opportunities designed to meet your academic and career goals. Our range of resources—including internships, research projects, service learning, and study abroad programs—are crafted to accommodate diverse interests and aspirations, ensuring that everyone has the chance to engage and thrive in meaningful educational experiences.

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SIS Abroad

We offer meaningful international opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students at the School of International Service.

Explore SIS Abroad

Students pose with their clients who they helped set up an irrigation system in a field

Practica

Practica is a one-semester, 3-credit capstone option that provides graduate students with pre-professional experience.

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Skills Institutes

Skills Institutes are 1-credit intensive workshops that introduce graduate students to professional skills relevant to international affairs.

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SIS students hang out in the branches of a tree in Costa Rica

Living Learning Communities

These communities are for undergraduate students who want to explore common academic interests with their peers.

Learn about Communities

SIS student Emily Dalgo presents research on US Politics at a conference.

Conferences

SIS offers many opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in research.

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Experiential Learning Opportunities
Program Level Type Description
Abdul Aziz Said Peace Scholars Undergraduate Curricular Advance the celebrated SIS professor’s life’s mission through studying peace, conflict resolution, and interfaith dialogue.
Olson Scholars Undergraduate Curricular Pursue advanced research and undergo fieldwork in international studies as you enter your sophomore year at SIS.
SIS Undergraduate Research Symposium Undergraduate Research Organize and lead a day of educational exchange of international affairs student research.
Career Mentoring Undergraduate/Graduate Career Readiness This program connects students with alumni mentors for one academic year to help foster career skills and professional goals.
Career Site Visits Undergraduate/Graduate Career Readiness These trips allow students to meet with professionals, explore organizations, and prepare to engage in professional settings.
Career Job Shadowing Undergraduate/Graduate Career Readiness Students spend a day with an alum observing daily work, sitting in on meetings, and/or helping with events at an organization.
Graduate Dual Degrees Graduate Global Experience These programs allow graduate students to earn two Master’s degrees from two universities in two countries over two years.
Ritsumeikin University Sakura Scholars, Japan Undergraduate/Graduate Global Experience Earn a joint bachelor of arts in global international relations with AU and Ritsumeikan University in Japan.
UN University for Peace, Costa Rica Graduate Global Experience UPEACE, in Costa Rica, is dedicated to quality teaching, research, and service to help humanity build a peaceful world.
Korea University, South Korea Graduate Global Experience KUGSIS prepares students for leadership roles in governments, NGOs, multinational firms, and international financial institutions.
Three Year Global Scholars Program Undergraduate Service Learning/Student Leadership First-year students complete their academic requirements on an accelerated timeline and engage in community service as a cohort.
Honors Program Undergraduate Service Learning/Student Leadership The Honors program is designed for high-performing, curious juniors and seniors who are seeking additional academic challenges.
National Conference on Undergraduate Research Undergraduate Research Organize and lead a day of educational exchange of international affairs student research.
SISU 306 Poster Conference Undergraduate Research The conference allows students to showcase their research and engage in broader scholarly dialogue with the AU community.
Internship Abroad Undergraduate/Graduate Global Experience SIS provides students with direct connections to internship opportunities at organizations abroad.
Undergraduate Semester Abroad Undergraduate Global Experience Students take courses alongside international peers and are fully integrated into student life at the host institution.
Graduate Summer Abroad Graduate Global Experience Students spend the summer taking courses at the host institution and are fully integrated into student life at the host campus.
Graduate Semester Abroad Graduate Global Experience Students spend one semester taking courses at the host institution and are fully integrated into student life at the host campus.
Journal of International Service Graduate Service Learning/Student Leadership The JIS editorial process allows students to participate in peer mentorship, publicize research, and improve professional skills.
SIS Graduate Student Council Graduate Service Learning/Student Leadership The GSC serves as the representative body to meet the needs of all AU SIS Graduate Students.
SIS Undergraduate Council Undergraduate Service Learning/Student Leadership The Council liaises with SIS students and faculty to advocate for and establish programs for the SIS student body.
Skills Institutes Graduate Career Readiness These weekend-long intensive workshops introduce students to professional skills relevant to careers in international affairs.
Practica Graduate Career Readiness Students spend one semester working in teams to conduct policy and program analyses for external clients.
Internships Undergraduate/Graduate Career Readiness Students can gain hands-on experience at a local organization through for-credit internships.
IAPA Integrated Policy Expertise Graduate Curricular In this capstone course, students create a portfolio of deliverables organized around a modern problem in international affairs.
Applied Substantial Research Paper Graduate Curricular This independent research project allows students to integrate and apply knowledge from the field into a scholarly project.
Undergraduate Research Course Sequence Undergraduate Curricular The methods & methodology course sequence gives students essential research skills to empower them to conduct their own research.
AU Abroad Undergraduate/Graduate Global Experience Students may pursue academic studies abroad with the different options available through AU Abroad.

Bringing internship experience to Model G20

Nuha Hamid, SIS/BA ’18

I was excited for the new challenge of helping to organize Model G20.

I'm the Summit General Coordinator for AU’s Model G20 Summit, which provides students the opportunity to replicate a G20 Leader’s Summit. As an intern at the British Embassy, I've gained a greater appreciation for international cooperation and the amount of work that goes into sustaining diplomatic relations, both bilateral and multilateral. When designing simulations for Model G20, I’m now more aware of the intricacies involved in formulating a state’s policy prior to coming to the negotiating table.