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Study Abroad

Have you ever wanted to go to school in the heart of Paris or visit the Royal Courts of Justice and the Old Bailey in London? Do you want to experience international politics and culture firsthand? Here is your chance! Ohio State students have the opportunity to take part in over 350 study abroad programs in more than 70 different countries. Some of these programs even offer students internships. For a taste of the exciting experiences awaiting you, visit the Office of International Affairs. Below are a selection of the most popular study abroad programs for Political Science students.

I. Sciences Po Exchange
II. University of Mannheim Exchange
III. Leiden University Exchange
IV. Oxford University Pre-Law Program
V. Research Central & Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective (Warsaw Summer School)
VI. Learn to Conduct Research in Malawi
VII Third Party Providers
IX. Student Experiences

Sciences Po Exchange

Photo of Ohio State students in Paris

Sciences Po is a highly competitive and diverse French university that specializes in the humanities and social sciences. Located in the heart of historic Paris, the campus is nestled just a short walking distance from the Seine River and major attractions such as Notre Dame de Paris, the Grand Palais, the Panthéon, and the Assemblée Nationale. Sciences Po offers courses in political science, economics, history, sociology, law, finance, business, communication, social and urban policy, management and journalism. There are over 11,000 students and almost half are international students. In a world where knowledge is evolving very rapidly, qualities such as imagination, inventiveness, innovation and an aptitude to deal with change are crucial: Sciences Po’s undergraduate program encourages intellectual courage and the ability to cope with complexity. If you would like to learn more about Sciences Po please visit the Sciences Po website

Photo of Marta Kosmyna in front of the Eiffel Tower

Marta Kosmyna (International Studies major) said this about her experience: "Arriving in Paris was a leap away from my comfort zone; it was challenging, required independence, and left me with unforgettable friendships and adventures. I was surrounded by students from over 150 nations who shared my interests and major. Sciences Po made me a more driven student and opened up my eyes to what a career in international relations would mean outside the classroom." 

Steven Mahr (Political Science and Economics double major) said this: "SciencesPo proved to be the most rigorous and remarkable academic adventure of my life. Interacting with students from around the globe and with students who call France home reframed my perception of politics. Communicating with professors, in English and French, caused me to rethink my aspirations, and volunteering with the Academie Diplomatique Internationale was indescribably awesome. I can say with certainty that SciencesPo and the city of Paris prepared me for the next stage. And, I can't adequately express my high degree of delight and thankfulness except to say that my experience was absolutely magnifique." 

More information about this program can be found on the Office of International Affairs program website.

University of Mannheim Exchange

This program is a bilateral exchange between the University of Mannheim and Ohio State University's departments of Political Science, Psychology and Sociology. The University of Mannheim is one of Germany's preeminent institutions for business and the social sciences, and it prides itself on its international influences and focus. The university resides primarily within the baroque Mannheim Palace and is home to approximately 12,000 full-time students.

Image of Mannheim Palace

The University of Mannheim is located in the heart of Mannheim, a multicultural city in southwestern Germany with a population of nearly 320,000. During the 18th century, Mannheim was a cultural and intellectual center of Europe and home to a territorial prince of the Holy Roman Empire, giving the city a rich historical, architectural, and cultural legacy. Today, Mannheim is a vibrant capital of trade and industry, filled with cafes, museums, beautiful parks, and cultural events. With a central location and direct connection to Germany's excellent public transportation system, students in Mannheim can easily explore Germany's cosmopolitan cities and charming small towns.

More information about this program can be found on the Office of International Affairs program webpage.

Leiden University Exchange

Image of Leiden University

Leiden University, founded in 1575 and located in the center of the Netherlands near Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, is one of Europe's premier international research universities. With a long history dating back to the 12th century, Leiden is now a city of approximately 115,000 inhabitants, and is home to such international corporations as Olivetti and the National Flower Center. The life of the city is influenced by the large number of students who live and study at the university. The city is only 15 minutes away from the Schiphol Airport and is also easily accessible by other means of public transport.

Leiden University was founded in 1574 by William of Orange as a reward to the brave inhabitants who successfully resisted the Spaniards. It is a fully accredited, government-financed university with a population of 14,000 students. It offers 60 degree programs and is a firm believer in the importance of international academic exchanges. Ohio State students are able to participate in an international exchange program with Leiden University for a semester or an academic year. While the exchange program is open to students of all majors, Political Science, Public Policy and History students are preferred, as participants must take courses in at least one of these areas. 

For more information about the Leiden University exchange, visit the Office of International Affairs program website.

Oxford University Pre-Law Program

Oxford Pre Law students spell out OHIO

Under the direction of the Department of External Studies of the University of Oxford, participants study a variety of subjects in the British tradition of lectures and tutorials. The program course is organized under two general areas: Law and Society (Britain and America) and Introduction to the Anglo-American Legal System. These subjects are taught by members of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, and a senior professor of The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law. Following the English university tutorial system, a significant paper is required of each participant. The program provides an ideal introduction to American law studies. The subjects emphasize the heritage of English culture and legal institutions fundamental to the American legal system.

Integrated into the program are numerous special field visits to places of legal, historical and cultural interest, such as London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Sites of particular interest include the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Old Bailey, local courts, Royal Albert Hall, Blenheim Palace and Warwick Castle.

More information can be found on the Office of International Affairs program website.

Research Central & Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective (Warsaw Summer School)

Warsaw Study Abroad Program

The Ohio State Study Abroad in Poland (Warsaw Summer School) is a unique academic training program in social science research, which offers cultural experiences in the heart of Europe. The program fosters skills both academia and the professional labor market seek: analyze large-scale datasets with designated software; interpret statistics; communicate results; engage in critical thinking; find and apply for research grants and awards; and gain international experience to work in multicultural environments.

The Warsaw Summer School weaves three courses (12 credit hours) into a holistic educational experience:   

  1. SOC 3549: Statistics for Sociology (3 credits) trains you in the mandatory undergraduate-level statistics for the social sciences from the basics to multivariate linear and logistic regression analysis. Our methods are practical and hands-on: you learn statistical techniques using real-life survey data from Poland in connection to your own research project. Instructors devote individualized attention to assist you through lectures, recitations, and analyses for your own research project.
  2. Within SOC 4998, Undergraduate Research in Sociology (6 credits), under the instructors’ guidance, you develop and carry out your own research project. Summer School students analyze the Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988-2013, a major dataset that spans the entire post-communist transition in Europe. POLPAN covers a wide range of topics: political participation, including voting; democratic values; attitudes toward the role of government in society; the connection between the state and the Catholic Church; perceptions of corruption; and trust in public institutions among others. The projects you develop in the Summer School can serve as your academic writing samples. Instructors encourage and guide you to present your results at academic conferences, participate in scholarly competitions, such as the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, and publish your results in peer-reviewed academic outlets, as Summer School alumni have done.
  3. SOC 5503: Social Change in Central and Eastern Europe, CEE (3 credits) focuses on comparative political, economic, and cultural aspects of life in CEE societies. Lectures and discussions take place in the classroom and on historical walking tours of Warsaw, Lodz, and Krakow. They are complemented by visits to important historical spaces, such as the Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz, and 21st Century interactive museums such as the Museum of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (winner of the European Museum of the Year in 2016), and the Oscar Schindler Factory Museum.

This program is OSU-sponsored and operates within the Department of Sociology. It is developed and administered by CONSIRT (consirt.osu.edu) of OSU and the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). In departments other than Sociology, the Study Abroad courses will be considered as equivalent of other similar courses if pre-approved by the appropriate department.

For additional information, contact Dr. Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, co-director of the Summer School, at tomescu.1@osu.edu

More information can be found on the Office of International Affairs program website.

Learn to Conduct Research in Malawi

The Warm Heart of Africa

Study abroad in Malawi – the Warm Heart of Africa – and learn how to conduct high quality research in a developing world context. This four week, faculty-led summer study abroad experience will introduce you to major challenges in politics and development, the research methodologies designed to study them, and practical research skills that are in-demand among employers. Students receive three credits for PS 3798.

Who is this course designed for?

This course is designed for students who want to conduct high-quality social science research in developing countries. Your acquired skills may be used on an undergraduate research thesis, a graduate degree in the social sciences, a post-graduate foreign posting (e.g., Fulbright, Peace Corps), or a job in international development (e.g., USAID, Global Health Corps, World Bank).

What will you learn about?

  1. Major challenges affecting politics and development, including foreign aid and development, ethnic politics, gender and politics, corruption, decentralization, and others.
  2. Social science research methods to study those challenges, including interviews and focus groups, surveys, experiments, impact evaluations, and the ethics of field research.
  3. Concrete, in-demand research skills, such as calculating power and sample size, survey questionnaire design, programming electronic surveys, and basic data analysis.

What will we do?

In addition to class-based discussions and lectures by Malawian scholars, we will take educational excursions throughout southern Malawi: local government offices, chiefs’ headquarters, local NGOs and research firms, the University of Malawi, the National Statistics Office, and a Millennium Village. You will also have numerous cultural experiences, including learning Chichewa greetings, seeing a traditional Nyau dance, spending a day in a rural village, hiking, visiting the local market, going on safari, and spending a night along beautiful Lake Malawi.

For more information please email Dr. Amanda Robinsonrobinson.1012@osu.edu. More information can be found on the Office of International Affairs program website.

Third-Party Providers

Ohio State maintains partnerships with a number of approved third-party study abroad program providers. In these programs, students pay a program fee rather than paying OSU tuition. Fees vary by program, but often include tuition and housing. 

The following study abroad programs may be of particular interest to political science students: 

Student Experiences

A number of political science students have participated in our featured study abroad programs - here's what they have to say!

Kushagra Mahaseth

Kushagra Mahaseth

Majors: Economics and Political Science
Graduation Year: 2019
Program: Warsaw Summer School

The program was phenomenal. I had the unique opportunity to learn about quantitative methods used in social sciences and to apply my knowledge through an independent research project. In additional to crucial skills relating to my major I also had the opportunity to learn more about Polish (and Eastern European) social history and culture through a series of lectures, walking tours, and excursions of important locations within Poland. Furthermore, the trip also helped me forge close bonds with fellow buckeyes. Overall, the experience was one that I would never forget.

Sarah Holbert

Sarah Holbert in Warsaw Poland

Areas of Study: Political science and English, minors in History and International Relations
Graduation Year: 2019
Program: Warsaw Summer School

This summer I am partaking in the Warsaw summer school run by the Polish Institute of Philosophy and Sociology in conjunction with Ohio State. This is my second time abroad and in Poland! This trip is more than a chance to experience a new culture, it is also a chance to develop and execute my own research project! I specifically am looking at the difference in opinions on state paternalism between youth raised under the communist system (1993) and those under the capitalist system (2013). By comparing these two groups I can examine how youth perceive the welfare state and how political ideas persist over time. Aside from the academic component, studying abroad also offers the opportunity to truly immerse oneself in an unfamiliar culture. I have learned about Poland and it’s people in a way I know I would not experience at home. Poland is unique in the sense that its 20th century identity was virtually non-existent, as it only was truly independent in the period between the world wars, and starting again in the 1990s when communism fell. Poland is a example of how societies handle rapid political change, and stands as a testament to the resilience of humanity. My favorite part of touring Warsaw on my own has been seeing the legacy from each period in polish history. From the Warsaw uprising symbols plastered all over the city, the red roofs of old town, the Jewish ghetto walls, to the communist apartment blocks, Warsaw is both vibrant and a reminder that the past is never truly behind us. Upon my return, I plan to use my new found statistical training and cultural awareness to pursue a joint masters in social work and public administration, perhaps in a foreign country as traveling abroad never ceases to amaze me. Being abroad has not only given me the chance to grow as a student, but also as a person, and to truly understand what being globally engaged means as I learn about another countries history and the intricacies of a system that had up until now been lost on me.

Angel Guo

Student in Ottawa

Areas of study: Political Science and Business, minor in Chinese
Hometown: Milford, Ohio
Program: Canadian Parliament Internship Program

Angel Guo completed a Canadian Parliament Internship Program, where she worked in the offices of Hedy Fry, member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre. On campus, Guo is involved with the international affairs scholars group, MUNDO and The Alexander Hamilton Society.

Why did you choose Ohio State for your undergraduate career?

As a senior in high school, I had two requirements during my college search: I wanted to go to a college that would put me out of my comfort zone and where I would be intellectually challenged in my courses. Ohio State provides the perfect blend of what I was looking for. Ohio State provides numerous classes where I can research, debate and discuss with world-renowned professors around topics of my interest. Ohio State also takes me out of comfort zone because of its sheer size. I can't just sit on the sidelines; I have to be an active player if I want to succeed.

Why did you choose political science as your major?

Politics has always been a part of my life. I grew up in a household where we talked about politics during family dinners. Everything stems from politics, and I want to understand how I can use that knowledge to benefit the people and learn more about the complexities of the political world.

What about the Canadian Parliament Internship Program interested you?

I chose the program because I wanted to intern for a government and get first-hand experience learning about how government works. Although many people believe that Canadian politics and culture are synonymous with their American counterparts, Canada in actuality is extremely different from the U.S. I wanted to understand more about the difference, and I wanted to know why two countries that share a similar history and mother country can be so different.

What are some of the activities you completed during the internship?

For five weeks I helped the executive assistant, the legislative assistant and my MP research topics of importance to Vancouver Centre. I emailed constituents regarding their concern on how the MP should vote on certain bills, planned the MP’s schedule, and attended committee meetings. The most important aspect was learning to be on top of what was happening in the house at all time, so we could prepare for the day.

Interning at Parliament Hill exposed me to all types of leadership skills, and I hope to use this experience to develop a personal leadership style that can help make me a better team player for any of my future goals.

What did you like the most about your experience in Ottawa?

I loved the weekend trip to Montreal and Quebec. Ottawa's culture is similar to the culture back home, but going into Quebec is like being in Europe!

How did the experience fit in with your major and your ideas of what would you like to do after graduation?

As a political science major, this experience will definitely shape what specialization I want to pursue for my major. American politics has always interested me, but because of my internship I'm now also interested in Canadian politics. I now understand how one country's fate is tied with every other country. Before this internship, law school was always an option for me. Talking to people across all offices in Canada taught me that in order to understand politics you must know the process. I don’t have a specific plan for my future, but I’m trying to gain all the experiences and skills that I might potentially need for whatever I want to do in the future.