International Security Studies in Switzerland

This six-credit course will take place in Fribourg, Switzerland from July 1-22, 2021. Enjoy world-class lecturers and site visits to the United Nations, Council of Europe, NATO, and the European Parliament.

Incredible Site Visits

We travel to Geneva, Strasbourg, and Brussels to visit the United Nations, Council of Europe, NATO, and the European Parliament. We also tour French and Swiss WW2 fortresses and make a memorable pitstop at a French vineyard…

World-class Experts

During our lectures and site visits we meet with military officials, ambassadors and diplomats, international security analysts, NGO leaders, and European scholars from a wide range of disciplines.

Study Abroad at Its Best

Switzerland is an incredible place to be during the summer. Not only is the city of Fribourg a fantastic base, but its location in the heart of Western Europe makes it easy to visit other amazing places during the free weekends as well as before or after the course.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for anyone considering a career in international security and for those interested in working for international organizations like the United Nations, NATO, International Red Cross, International Criminal Court, and the like.

The course is also a fantastic way for students to add evidence of international savvy and intercultural competence to their resumés.

Finally, for those students who are just looking to cap off their college experience with an international experience, Switzerland is a phenomenal place to do it. 

What program alumni are saying...

Top 5 Reasons to study in Switzerland

In my humble opinion this course is the single best way to earn six credits at George Mason, period. Why am I so sure? 

Watch the video to hear me explain my top five reasons:
Number 1: Invaluable international perspective
Number 2: Eat, Drink, Chocolate…
Number 3: Incredible site visits
Number 4: Location, location, location
Number 5: It will change your life

How the course works

Students will participate in two classes: the core class (GOVT 398 International Security in Global Perspective) and an elective of their choice (GLOA 480/CONF 385/HIST 387/CRIM 485/CRIM 490/INTS 399).
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.


Scenes from Switzerland and beyond...