Thursday, April 25, 2013

Academics: Filling your plate at SAIS Bologna

Imagine a Smörgåsbord table groaning with dozens of dishes. Between the appetizers, main dishes and deserts, you have room on your plate for eight.

Problem or opportunity?

Next year the tentative plan is to offer 77 courses at SAIS Bologna. Each student normally takes eight.

Of the courses on the menu, nearly half -- 35 -- are offered only in Bologna. That is one reason why students are strongly advised to look carefully at the curriculum to make sure they can take advantage of the unique offerings in both Bologna and DC while also keeping an eye on required courses, most of which are taught on both campuses.

Here is a tentative list of the courses offered next fall. To extend the analogy, there are some tried and tested staples: Theories of International Relations, Corporate Finance, Foundations of International Law, Survey of Modern Latin American Politics.

Many of the courses are unique to SAIS Bologna: Western European Political Economies; Science, Technology & International Affairs; The Twin Pillars of the Gulf, to name just a few.

And some are both unique to Bologna and brand new: Weak and Failed States, East Asian Security.

The same for the spring semester's curriculum. SAIS Bologna students can taste The Economies of Central Asia, Europe's Long Peace, Renewable Energy and Development Cooperation.

New next spring will be Constitutional Development & Democratization, Quantitative Methods in International Relations and Major Powers in the Middle East: Turkey.

As the SAIS brochure says: "Our curriculum -- emphasizing interdisciplinary breadth, a solid foundation in economics and deep knowledge of key world regions -- prepares students for a successful career in international relations. The result: innovative thinkers equipped with economic and cultural expertise as well as hands-on experience who are ready to confront complex global challenges."

That's true for all of SAIS -- Bologna, DC and Nanjing.

Buon appetito.

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