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2019 Graduate Education | International Affairs

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University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies


The University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) offers students a truly international experience. Based in Brussels, BSIS provides a culturally diverse setting in Europe’s vibrant and bustling capital city. Its programs attract students and faculty from around the world.

“Students at our school enter into debate and become critical thinkers—not only in the classroom, but also at the many events, conferences, and workshops that characterize the international nature of Brussels.” –Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, Academic Director, University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies

Students are drawn to the school’s cosmopolitan learning environment and its “city as your classroom” philosophy: BSIS offers unique opportunities for networking, academic development, and professional advancement in Brussels, a worldwide hub for international affairs.

“Students at our school enter into debate and become critical thinkers—not only in the classroom, but also at the many events, conferences, and workshops that characterize the international nature of Brussels,” says Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, academic director of BSIS.

BSIS offers master’s degree programs that bring together the disciplines of politics, international relations, law, and economics, equipping students to engage in in-depth, interdisciplinary analysis. Its programs focus on international conflict, security, development, migration, political economy, and law.

“BSIS is grounded in an interdisciplinary spirit,” says von Koppenfels. “Our teaching philosophy is also highly interactive.”

The school’s seven MA programs and five PhD degrees are offered by the University of Kent’s School of Politics and International Relations, one of the U.K.’s most dynamic institutions for the study of politics and international relations. Its two LLM programs are offered by one of the U.K.’s leading law schools, the Kent Law School of the University of Kent.

BSIS holds full legal registration in Belgium, and its students at BSIS have Belgian visas. Brexit therefore has no impact on students, and the school will continue to offer high-quality courses in the heart of Brussels.

The school’s 250 students benefit from extensive opportunities to interact with faculty and peers enrolled in a wide range of MA, PhD, and LLM programs. Students may also take courses leading toward a graduate certificate or diploma in their chosen specialty.

BSIS attracts students from 45 countries across the globe and faculty members representing 12 different nationalities. Given this diversity, it is no surprise that faculty and student research often emphasize particularly complex issues in international studies. Von Koppenfels’s own academic research interests, for example, focus on the concept of the diaspora and the engagement of migrants—from refugees who have been forced out of Syria to U.S. citizens who choose to reside in Europe.

The MA programs require one year of study, with extended options available. Students may enroll beginning in either September or January.

Extended options include the Two Capitals Exchange, which allows MA students to spend their first year in Brussels and then broaden their international perspective by studying in either Washington, D.C., or Beijing. In Washington, D.C., students pursue an additional master’s degree from Virginia Tech’s Alexandria, Va., campus.

Students also have the opportunity to study in Beijing at China Foreign Affairs University, the country’s top foreign affairs institute.

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