The need for understanding between nations, governments, and more importantly between people has reached an all-time high. Issues like nuclear proliferation, human trafficking, and forced migration are not isolated to California or the US – these are world issues that transcend political borders, geography, and history. Taking your political science studies abroad helps to unravel the complex and often hidden factors that impact the global political climate. Compare government processes and standards from other countries to those of the US. Learn how other governments manage issues like justice, financial crises, and access to education. Work with policymakers and stakeholders making decisions about sovereignty, global justice, and human rights in the context of global affairs.
Take a front-row seat to change
Social Justice and Activism
Learn why French protests have an advantage over those in America.
See the French revolutionary spirit active and thriving.
Visit the courthouse and prison used in the French Revolution, the immigration museum, war and protest sites that add perspective on a passionate culture that loves to debate.
Explore reinvention in action
Human Rights and Cultural Memory
Explore two richly contrasting countries – Argentina and Chile – are rising from the dust of past military dictatorships.
Both are models of social, political, and cultural reinvention.
You'll examine how past human rights constructs and today’s socio-political conditions are influencing development and democracy in real life.
My semester abroad has undoubtedly been the most transformative experience of my college career. For four months, I took courses in French and English supplementing the political science framework I developed at Berkeley. In addition to academic coursework, I also received an international education through peers and faculty. From Canada to Korea to Croatia, I came in contact with people from all corners of the world, each with divergent perspectives on everything from politics to food to sports. Among the many souvenirs I brought home, I carry with me the lessons and connections that will last a lifetime.
Eventually I hope to work as a diplomat and since French is spoken on nearly every continent in the world, and a major language at the United Nations, learning French is integral to achieving my career goals. I lived with a French family for my semester abroad and as a result, I spoke French every day. It was challenging and terrifying initially, but I learned not to allow my embarrassment to stop me from trying and my language ability improved daily. Remembering to persist is an important lesson that I will take back with me to my studies at Berkeley.
This internship taught me the power of human connection and the significance of human dignity. I built strong friendships and connections with the people at the Hope Exchange, but most of all, had realizations and inspiring moments about my life purpose. I developed deeper patience, empathy, and kindness. Ultimately, my experience brought me greater interpersonal and cross-cultural communications skills, growth in my event coordinating skills, insight into the legal system in South Africa, and a greater awareness about my career path in community-based policy advocacy and social work. I learned that any substantial institutional change is difficult and direct community change is challenging, but equally rewarding as I was able to directly see the impact of my work.
Finding other people—both local and international—that match as well as complement your identities can provide another picture of the host country and culture in ways you might not expect.
I am most grateful for the opportunity to travel a different continent and meet new people, visit amazing historical landmarks, and indulge in the cultures of the countries I visited. It helped me learn about values, traditions, and norms that are different from the ones I am personally familiar with as a Mexican-American. I can gladly say that I managed to learn more than I expected – about the political system of Germany, the environmental accomplishments of the Netherlands, the history of Denmark, the reason for political unrest in Catalonia, and so much more.
Beyond allowing me to improve my research, writing, and editing skills, my internship improved my professional confidence immensely. While I expected to enjoy working in parliament, I did not predict how much impact this work would have on my future career goals. I was set on attending law school after graduation, and I was able to reflect and recognize that there are many other political careers I hadn't considered. After my experience, I've developed a strong interest in pursuing a career in speech writing or policy research. More than the professional development, I was reminded of the awe-inspiring power that elected representatives are given and how that power, when used correctly, can make the world a more peaceful and equitable place.