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International Studies

International Studies is a three year bachelor programme that has started in September 2012 in The Hague. Its study programme is designed around three elements: core courses that introduce disciplinary concepts and that analyze the international setting, area courses that analyze the situation in a selected region from a disciplinary, and increasingly interdisciplinary, perspective and language courses that prepare students for access to the cultural context in the relevant language.

The core concepts, ideas and methods are taken from four broad disciplinary approaches:

  • History (mostly modern history)

  • Cultural Studies (modern cultural phenomena in their societal settings)

  • Economics (and the concepts from International Political Economy)

  • Political Science (and Sociology and Anthropology)

The areas offered in the degree, and their corresponding languages are:

Area Foreign Language East Asia Mandarin, Japanese, Korean Latin America Spanish, Portuguese Middle East Arabic (Persian, Turkish, Modern Hebrew) North America French, Spanish Russia and Eurasia Russian South Asia and South-East Asia Hindi, Indonesian Africa Swahili, French, Portuguese (Afrikaans) Europe French, Spanish, Portuguese (Dutch, German, Italian)

First Year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Global History 5
Current Issues 5
Communicating Power 5
Configuring the World 10
Introduction to Area Studies 5

Second semester

Philosophy of Science (International Studies) 5
Economics 5
Cultural Studies 5

History area

Choose one of the following courses:

History: Africa 5
History: East Asia 5
History: Europe 5
History: Latin America 5
History: Middle East 5
History: North America 5
History: Russia and Eurasia 5
History: South and South-East Asia 5

Foreign Language

Choose one of the following courses:

Arabic 1 Beginners 10
French 1 Beginners 10
French 1 Pre-Intermediate 10
German 1 Beginners 10
Hindi 1 Beginners 10
Indonesian 1 Beginners 10
Japanese 1 Beginners 10
Korean 1 Beginners 10
Mandarin 1 Beginners 10
Portuguese 1 Beginners 10
Russian 1 Beginners 10
Spanish 1 Beginners 10
Spanish 1 Pre-Intermediate 10
Swahili 1 Beginners 10

Second Year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First Semester

Globalisation, Culture and Language 5
Politics 5


Choose one of the following courses.

Culture Africa 5
Culture East Asia 5
Culture Europe 5
Culture Latin America 5
Culture Middle East 5
Culture North America 5
Culture Russia and Eurasia 5
Culture South and South East Asia 5


Choose one of the following courses.

Economics Africa 5
Economics East Asia 5
Economics Europe 5
Economics Latin America 5
Economics Middle East 5
Economics North America 5
Economics Russia and Eurasia 5
Economics South & South-East Asia 5

Foreign Languages

Choose one of the following courses.

Arabic 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
French 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
French 2 (Upper-) Intermediate 10
German 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Hindi 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Indonesian 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Japanese 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Korean 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Mandarin 2 Pre-intermediate 10
Portuguese 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Russian 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Spanish 2 Pre-Intermediate 10
Spanish 2 (Upper-)Intermediate 10
Swahili 2 Pre-Intermediate 10

Second Semester

International Economics 5
International Politics 5


Choose one of the following courses.

Politics Africa 5
Politics East Asia 5
Politics Europe 5
Politics Latin America 5
Politics Middle East 5
Politics North America 5
Politics Russia and Eurasia 5
Politics South and South-East Asia 5

Foreign Languages

Arabic 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
French 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
French 3 Advanced 5
German 3 (Upper-) intermediate 5
Hindi 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Indonesian 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Japanese 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Korean 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Mandarin 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Portuguese 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Russian 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Spanish 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5
Spanish 3 Advanced 5
Swahili 3 (Upper-)Intermediate 5


Choose one of the following courses.

Elective: Argumentation and Debate 10
Elective: Art, Literature, and Law - The Question of the Human Nature of Right(s) 10
Elective: Best Practice: Legislating and Regulating a Better Economy (Past, Present, and Future) 10
Elective: Censorship and Social Transformation: The Past and Present of Artistic Freedom in South Africa and Russia 10
Elective: Comparative Accounts of Human Flourishing 10
Elective: Critical Heritage Studies 10
Elective: Enemies, undesirables and Others: forced migration and the creation of the modern world 10
Elective: Film Journeys 10
Elective: The history of the rise of nationalism: a global and comparative perspective 10
Elective: International Film Culture and New Waves 10
Elective: Languages and Cultures in Contact 10
Elective: Languages of the World 10
Elective: Nations and Nationalism 10
Elective: Nature and Nature’s God: Religious Views and Natural Phenomena 10
Elective: Religion Rules: regulating religion in a globalizing world 10
Elective: Social Movements, Protest and Change in Europe – from 1968 to the present 10
Elective: Terrorism: Philosophical Perspectives 10
Elective: WWII in Asia: Images, Realities, Legacies 10

Optional Internship program

This course is mandatory for students who intend to take up an internship.

Organizational Theory, Culture and Behavior 5

Third Year

The third year consists of 4 components:

  • Discretionary space – 30 ec

  • Practising International Studies – 5 ec

  • Elective – 10 ec

  • Thesis & thesis seminar – 15 ec

It depends on several factors how these components are spread over the semesters of the third year.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Discretionary space International Studies 30

Optional for students taking a two semester minor:

Thesis seminar

Choose one of the following courses.

Thesis seminar: The Decline of the West? 5
Thesis seminar: Democracy, Freedom, and Totalitarianism in Europe. 5
Thesis seminar: Latin America in transnational perspective 5
Thesis seminar: The Middle East in the International System 5
Thesis seminar: Nationalism, religion, language and identity (1930-2000) Occident/Orient 5
Thesis seminar: Social Justice in East Asia 5
Thesis seminar: Social Justice in South and South-East Asia 5
Thesis International Studies 10

Second semester

Practising International Studies 5

Thesis seminars:

Thesis seminar Africa: Technology, Information, Identity 5
Thesis seminar East Asia 5
Thesis seminar Europe: Europe and Identity 5
Thesis seminar Latin America: Latin America in Transnational Perspective 5
Thesis seminar Middle East 5
Thesis seminar North America: North America and Power 5
Thesis seminar Russia and Eurasia: Transnational approaches to the study of memory and identity 5
Thesis seminar South and South-East Asia 5
Thesis seminar Culture: The Politics Identity in Post-colonial and Post-imperial Contexts 5
Thesis seminar Economics: the Challenges of Globalization 5
Thesis seminar History: Democracy and the enemy within (1800-2000) 5
Thesis seminar Philosophy: War and peace: philosophical perspectives 5
Thesis seminar Politics: Citizenship 5
Thesis seminar Politics: Researching Politics 5
Thesis seminar Religious Studies: The Role of Religion in the Contemporary World 5
Thesis seminar Sociolinguistics: Interdisciplinarity and Intersectionality in Sociolinguistics: The interaction of language and culture 5
Thesis International Studies 10


Choose one of the following courses.

Elective: Between Cosmos and Polis: Imagining Cosmopolitics for the 21st Century 10
Elective: Comparative Regionalism 10
Elective: Development Aid 10
Elective: Dictatorship and Revolution: Non-Democratic Regimes in the Contemporary World 10
Elective: Economic Crises in Historical Perspective 10
Elective: Emerging Economies 10
Elective: How we are human.Cultural reflections on human identity in contexts of technology, digitization and gender. 10
Elective: Intercultural Communication 10
Elective: Science, Media, and Society 10
Elective: Shaping Culture: Museums and International Exhibitions 10
Elective: Religion and Politics 10