International and Area Studies

Why Major in International and Area Studies at K?

Learn how to be a conscientious global citizen and succeed in our modern, interconnected world through intimate classes, study abroad experiences, and research opportunities. 

As an International and Area Studies (IAS) student, you will learn how to critically assess global and transnational issues; compare countries’ political, economic, and cultural structures; develop an in-depth knowledge of a particular region of the world; and master a foreign language. You will develop these skills through globally-minded courses, the completion of your Senior Integrated Thesis, and taking part in an immersive study abroad experience.  

As a deeply interdisciplinary major, you will have the opportunity to supplement your IAS courses and fulfill graduation requirements through select courses in relevant fields, such as Anthropology and Sociology, African Studies, Political Science, History, Philosophy, and various languages. You will also have the chance to learn through immersion by taking advantage of Kalamazoo College’s stellar study abroad program with 50+ opportunities across six continents to choose from.

By the time you graduate, you will be well prepared to live in and make sense of the interdependent global world and have a solid foundation for a career in the international sector or for further studies. 

What can you do with an International and Area Studies degree?

Below are some of the careers, employers, and graduate schools of our IAS alumni.


  • English Teacher
  • Legal Affairs
  • Program Advisor
  • Policy and Advocacy Fellow
  • Writer


  • Fulbright
  • Teaching Assistant Program in France
  • Spain Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
  • The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • ACLU of Illinois

Graduate Schools

  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • University of Bonn
  • University of Strasbourg
  • Aberystwyth University


John Dugas (Chair), Margaret and Roger Scholten Associate Professor of Political Science. BA Louisiana State University PhD Indiana University-Bloomington

Amy Elman, Weber Professor in Social Science. BA Brandeis University MA, PhD New York University

Dennis Frost, Wen Chao Chen Professor of East Asian Social Sciences. BA Wittenberg University MPhil, PhD Columbia University

Enid Valle, Professor of Romance Languages and Literature. BA University of Puerto Rico MA, PhD University of Michigan

Meet the Current Departmental Student Advisor

André Fouque

André Fouque (He/Him)

Majors: International and Area Studies, Political Science, and French

What is the best thing about being part of this department?

The curriculum allows me to explore everything that interests me.

What has been your favorite class at K? Why?

Constitutional Law. Never has critical thinking and opening one’s mind been so encouraged than in this class. I truly felt that everyone was interested in the subject rather than the grade. Or else, interested in defending a well-founded opinion, as is asked for the final.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?

In addition to having three majors, I’m also on the college swim team. Before my junior year, I interned at a law firm and, during the winter of my junior year, I interned for a district judge in my home state of Colorado. Throughout the summer before my senior year, I am continuing my internship with the judge.

What is your Senior Integrated Project (SIP)?

My SIP will focus on a jurisprudence called Common-Good Constitutionalism.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?

I plan on attending law school after K.

International and Area Studies Department News