Subject wise — Widen your view

Pursuing a humanities course overseas enables students to adopt a global perspective of their subject
  July 21st, 2014

Subject wise — Widen your view

Jul 21, 2014, 07.08AM IST

Pursuing a humanities course overseas enables students to adopt a global perspective of their subject 

The humanities derive their strength from a wide range of specialities enabling students to delve deeper into their chosen subject. Pursuing a humanities degree at an institute abroad enables one to think rigorously about social processes, institutions and policies. Students develop critical and analytical thinking as well as reasoning abilities, which equip them to question, interpret and analyse information and apply their knowledge to communicate effectively while adopting a global perspective of the discipline. Though traditionally the subjects led to careers in fields like social development, economics, law, journalism and psychology, innovative application of one's skills can open avenues in scriptwriting, education, business, international relations (IR), public relations, client servicing, media and communication. 

Politics and IR 

Politics and IR involve the study of various economic, political and social aspects of the contemporary world. The study of these fields mandates a solid grounding in key debates, historical events and politics relevant to understanding issues related to international security, global governance, the world economy, ethnic conflicts, human rights, foreign policy and the role of supranational organisations such as the United Nations, European Union, Nato and Amnesty International. These advance critical knowledge about the causes, consequences and challenges of mitigating conflict and promoting peaceful co-operation within and across states and societies. 

Most liberal arts institutions in the US, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Georgetown and Tufts, teach politics and IR. In the UK, courses in or related to IR are offered at the University of Bath, University of Exeter, SOAS, University of London, King's College London, and the London School of Economics, among others. The European Institute for Cultural Diplomacy offers various programmes in this field, in conjunction with universities in Germany, France and Italy, allowing participants to study in all the three to gain exposure to the political, social, economic and cultural issues of the modern world. Additionally, the Department of International Affairs, University of Bonn, Germany, conducts projects and student exchange programmes in cooperation with various universities in countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Malaysia. 

Business of art and design 

Sotheby's Institute of Art, London, New York and Los Angeles and Christie's Education, London, New York and Hong Kong provide a learning environment where handling works of art, discussion and research prepare professionals for the art world. They conduct undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, short courses as well as online courses in art history, art writing, art business, etc. 

Additionally, Domus Academy, Italy, provides interdisciplinary courses in luxury brand management, fashion styling and merchandising. 

With the advent of digital media, functions such as marketing have become more dynamic and interactive. In keeping with this trend, courses in social media for fashion at the Instituto Marigoni in Italy and London not only train students for the fashion industry, but also impart knowledge of digital marketing. 

Media and communication 

Courses in disciplines such as journalism, visual art, communication and media are popular across universities around the globe. However, they require a strong knowledge of literature and history as well as writing and critical analysis skills. 

Colleges offering various courses in mass communication include Goldsmiths College, Westminster and City College, Sheffield, in the UK; Northwestern University, Columbia University and the University of Southern California in the US; Melbourne University, Griffith University and Bond University in Australia. 

In France, Stendhal University's School of Communication and Media Studies is known for its foreign language, culture and literature programmes. The university promotes and studies international co-operation in media and information technologies.
The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences attracts researchers from around the world to deliberate on social networking and other global movements that overcome language barriers.

(*Indicative listing)

-- Pratibha Jain 
(The writer is a study abroad consultant)