Study abroad with the Schar School!

International Security Studies in Switzerland

A once-in-a-lifetime study abroad program in Fribourg, Switzerland, July 1 – 21, 2021

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Who’s this course for?

students with an international focus

If you’re preparing for a national security career or a career with a strong international component, this course is absolutely perfect for you.

political science, crim, history, GLOA, and S-CAR majors

This six-credit course offers 3 credits of GOVT 398 and 3 credits of elective credit from one of the following: GLOA 480 / CONF 385 / HIST 387 /CRIM 485 / CRIM 490 / INTS 399

adventurers and explorers

Are you ready to get away from campus, get away from your old routines, and discover incredible new people, places, and things? Join us.

Course Overview

The core course, International Security in Global Perspective, introduces students to the broad topic of international security. The course includes an historical overview of international security, examines pressing global security challenges, and assesses the role of the United Nations and other organizations in preventing conflict and resolving international security issues. The elective courses will offer an opportunity for students to dig deeper into a specific set of issues through additional readings and a research project.

We start with a set of foundational readings, online lectures, and related activities prior to leaving for Switzerland. This module is designed to help familiarize everyone, especially those who don’t have a background in security issues, get up to speed with the fundamentals of international security and to learn some of the field’s important vocabulary. Once in Fribourg we will rely on in-class lectures, discussion, workshops/role-playing, and a fantastic series of site visits to international organizations including NATO, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations.

Our goal is to gain an increased understanding of international security by understanding the historical context and contemporary issues, while exploring a variety of European-based organizations and sites relevant to international security.

Download Syllabus

Why study in Switzerland??

GAIN an invaluable international perspective

If you are interested in an international career, or adding an international component, you can’t do better than Switzerland, the hub for international organizations and global diplomacy

eat, drink, chocolate

Switzerland is the land of fondue, chocolate, and an incredible array of fantastic places to eat and drink. Did I mention the Chocolate Train?

incredible site visits

The United Nations in Geneva. The Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. NATO and the European Parliament in Brussels. A French fortress on the Maginot Line, a French winery, and a Swiss fortress in Vitznau.

location, location, location

Switzerland in the summer is like being inside a postcard. It is simply one of the most beautiful places on earth. Even better, you are ideally located to make weekend trips to France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and beyond.

it will change your life

Ask anyone who has done a study abroad – you just can’t spend three weeks having new experiences, seeing the world from a new perspective, making new friends, traveling to new places, and not come home a different person. You will be glad you did.

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“Top 5 Reasons to Study in Switzerland”

About Fribourg, Switzerland

Our home base is the University of Fribourg. Fribourg (or Freiburg to German-speaking Swiss) is a medieval college town nestled in the “pre-Alps” and located on the line between the French and German-speaking Swiss about 90 minutes from Geneva. Fribourg is a great place to live and learn. Small and quiet enough to focus, but offering tons of opportunities for food, fun, and exploring. The train station, just minutes from the dorm, can take you anywhere you want to go in Europe!

Quick Links

Université de Fribourg
American College Program at UniFr
Swiss Travel Pass
Top 10 Chocolate Factory Tours in Switzerland
The 10 Best Hikes in Switzerland

The public pool in Fribourg
The view from the top of Fribourg

Scenes from Switzerland
and beyond…


Your instructor

I fell in love with Switzerland in 1987 (!) when my girlfriend (now my wife!) and I visited Zurich and Geneva as part of our summer Eurail adventure. But it wasn’t until 2014 that I returned to lead my first study abroad course in Fribourg and *really* fell in love with Switzerland. Since then I’ve been back pretty much every year and our trips have just kept getting bigger and better. 

Questions about the course?