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Requirements for Major » Methods

INTL I315 Research Design is designed to train students in research rationale and methodology. Students are strongly encouraged to follow the suggested sequence:

The course:

  • encourages students to collaborate across thematic concentrations and methodologies to better understand the interconnectedness of international issues
  • trains students in information and library fluency
  • instructs students on research design with particular emphasis on the why and how of data collection and analysis
  • prepares students to take advantage of their international experience with regards to journal writing, data collection, the ethical and legal implications of conducting research (Human Subjects), and reflection of their activities abroad
  • cultivates heightened critical reading, writing, and analytical skills in order to successfully complete INTL I400 Capstone Seminar

Below are tips provided by International Studies faculty to better prepare you for your international experience if the recommended sequence above is not followed:.

  • Contact an International Studies faculty member who teaches INTL I315. He or she will be able to ask questions that will steer you in the right direction. You will be able to ask questions that will clarify the task at hand.
    • When abroad:
    • HAVE AN IDEA! Make sure that you have a research idea, a viable and feasible research question that you can pursue. Figuring out what you want to write about after you got back from the study abroad will severely limit your possibilities.
    • CREATE LINKS! The INTL I 315 project and the Capstone thesis need to link your thematic concentration, your regional interest and your foreign language skills.
    • COLLECT DATA! A big part of your Capstone thesis paper is a case study that explores your research question in a particular part of the world. Use appropriate research methods to analyze and present the data you have collected. Informal interviews (Human Subjects), surveys, field notes, photos, textual material (e.g. pamphlets, magazines, newspapers, etc.) are all types of data that you can and should collect while abroad.
    • STAY IN TOUCH! During your study abroad you will make contacts—host families, fellow students, professors, random friends, etc. Stay in touch with them and they can be of great help when it comes to collecting more data, following up with questions, doing interviews via Skype, etc.
HAVE FUN … BUT ALSO LOOK AROUND! Your international experience should and will be an amazing experience. However, remember that you are there to absorb a different kind of social reality. Be mindful of the issues that you are interested in, talk to people; reflect on the issues you see unfolding. Your own experience should inform your Capstone thesis.