Drexel University International Area Studies (IAS) Program

3250-60 Chestnut Street MacAlister Hall, 2024
Philadelphia 19104
Contact Name: 
Adam Zahn
Contact Phone Number: 
Contact Email Address: 
adam.l.zahn[email protected]

The International Areas Studies (IAS) Program at Drexel University promotes an interdisciplinary, intercultural, and interactive approach to international studies. With our dedication to modern language education and experiential learning, we prepare students to meet the challenges of 21st Century. Recognizing new directions in the ways in which global problems are being defined and approached today, we have decided to enhance our traditional area studies program with thematic concentrations, including:

  • Study Abroad

IAS believes studying abroad is an integral way to gain a comprehensive international academic experience. For this reason, IAS strongly encourages all students to study abroad as part of their course of study.

The IAS Abroad study-internship programs in Europe and the study programs in Costa Rica, China, Russia, Jordan, and Japan are an integral part of the IAS curriculum and may be used to fulfill requirements in the major. The European internships are with national legislative bodies (in Brussels, with the European Parliament) or with political action agencies, service agencies, and international business firms. Drexel Abroad programs in Costa Rica and Asia include intensive language courses and a choice of coursework in areas such as host country history, politics, literature, economics, and society.

  • Modern Languages

In today's "global village", immediate communication and world travel are commonplace. While we are each citizens of a single country, we are also citizens of the world, and we in IAS believe that learning a language is a great way to become a productive and influential global citizen. Learning another language not only allows us to communicate with others, it is also essential to understanding other cultures and functioning in foreign countries, be it for leisure, study, or work purposes.

For these reasons, IAS requires all students to take at least 21 credits in 1 language with at least 4 courses at the 300 level. The languages offered include Arabic, Chinese, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Beginner-level courses are also available in Korean, Greek, and Hebrew.

  • Model UN

Each year, a select group of IAS students attend the National Model UN in New York City for one week. Students take an International Organizations course that presents an overview of the nature and function of international organizations in world politics. The role of the United Nations and its agencies are also highlighted through the course.

The Model UN brings together students and faculty from five continents. Students learn how to develop resolutions addressing regional conflicts, peacekeeping, human rights, women and children, economic and social development, and the environment. The Model UN provides students with an understanding of the inner workings of the United Nations and helps them build skills in diplomacy and compromise.

  • Model Organization of American States

Annual participation in the Model General Assembly of the Organization of American States has become a vital component of the International Area Studies program and one of our most popular opportunities.

This week-long simulation takes place each year in the Pan American Building in Washington, DC, where the real-life OAS meets. Taking on the various diplomatic roles of a member state, Drexel students work with delegates from other schools to debate major issues and present formal policy resolutions in committees and in the plenary session of the Model General Assembly.

  • Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation

The European Union Simulation, organized by the Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation Consortium, takes place during the first weekend of December in Washington, DC. During the simulation, students attend briefings at an EU member state's embassy and the US State Department, and participate in a satellite teleconference with EU-based diplomats in Brussels, Belgium.

After the first day of embassy visits and briefings, the students enter into two full days of negotiations with their colleagues from other participating institutions. Student delegates from Drexel and other college and university Consortium members represent all fifteen European Union member states in the simulation proceedings. Each school spends two consecutive years as a particular member state.