International Relations

International Relations

Learn Outside the Classroom

Students Get Involved

  • Human Rights Conference - Annual conference during the spring semester to celebrate advances in the protection of human rights and to bring attention to human rights abuses around the world. The event brings together students from International Affairs Society, the Model UN Diplomacy Organization, Amnesty International, and Campus Ministry.
  • Model United Nations - Simulates the proceedings of the United Nations for up to 360 students from up to 18 different area high schools. It is held annually during the fall semester. 

Study Abroad

The International Relations Program strongly encourages its majors to fulfill the international experience requirement by spending at least one semester at a foreign university. Programs offer not only conventional course work, which fulfills major and minor requirements, but internship opportunities as well. Study abroad experiences help students develop a greater competency in a foreign language and gain an enhanced perspective on international and global relations.

Canisius students may study at the following schools under the auspices of articulation agreements that have been approved by Canisius College and the host university abroad, among others:

  • University of Antwerp in Belgium
  • Catholic University of Lille in France
  • University of Dortmund in Germany
  • National University of Ireland in Galway
  • Sophia University in Japan
  • University of Oviedo or the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Spain
  • London Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom

In addition, students may consider programs in Berlin, Florence, Lima, Rome, Porto Alegre or Rio de Janeiro, as well as summer programs in Costa Rica and Cuba. Students may study at an accredited university abroad other than those listed above. Students doing this have recently studied at universities in Australia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Poland, Senegal, and Ukraine. For more information, visit the Study Abroad website.

Students who spend a semester abroad at a foreign university may count up to three courses as International Relations major electives as long as these courses have been pre-approved by the director of the International Relations Program. Students who spend a year studying at a foreign university may be able to count more than three courses as International Relations major electives, but this will require special permission from the director of the International Relations Program. As a general rule, students must complete the International Relations Core of eight courses at Canisius College. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the International Relations Program Advisory Council. 


IR majors may benefit from internships both here and abroad, and the IR Program happily supports students who seek internships. A variety of internship programs are available in the Buffalo area with organizations like the International Institute of Buffalo, the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, Journey's End Refugee Services, and others, though students may also seek internships through programs like the foreign policy Washington Semester Program at American University or Summer Internship Program in Washington, D.C. Such programs are designed to permit students to broaden their international relations education through contact with a diverse array of political participants.

Clubs & Activities

International Affairs Society

The International Affairs Society (IAS) at Canisius College is an organization of students who share a common interest in global affairs and world events. Run by students, the IAS is highly active on campus and in the greater community in its efforts to raise awareness of global issues and international problems like human rights abuses, refugee flows, inequality and poverty, transnational crime, and other threats to global peace and security. Members of IAS share a common belief that education and action go hand-in-hand; this is a group of students who truly think globally and act locally.

IAS sponsors or co-sponsors a variety of programs related to global affairs, including the annual Human Rights Student Conference, which is held each spring on the Canisius College campus. IAS members are active in the Model United Nations programs, helping to run the high-school Model UN conference at Canisius and traveling to cities like Toronto and Cleveland to participate in intercollegiate Model UN competitions. IAS also brings to campus guest speakers on global affairs, sponsors IR-related .movie nights. and film series, and helps build the community of students with wide-ranging interests in foreign cultures and languages, international history and politics, global travel and study abroad, and activism on issues like human rights.

While many IAS members are International Relations majors, the IAS gladly welcomes students from all disciplines and strongly values each new member who adds to its diverse and talented ranks. The IAS is proud to play an important role in the Canisius College community by helping to bring together people of different backgrounds in the service of knowledge and activism related to global affairs. For further information contact


International Relations majors build leadership skills and meet other students from around the world by participating in EuroSim, an annual intercollegiate European Union simulation that is held alternately in the United States and a European nation. The conference brings together more than 200 students from dozens of colleges and universities in the United States and Europe. Each conference has a specific theme related to current events, which helps students deepen their knowledge of the European Union and hone their negotiating and public speaking skills. For further information contact

Model United Nations

The Model United Nations Diplomacy Organization (MUNDO) is the newest student club related to International Relations. The group’s purpose is to stimulate members’ global awareness of ethical, political, social, and economic issues through diplomatic problem-solving methods, and its activities promote the growth of the international relations-minded community at Canisius College. Among those activities are the preparation and staffing of the annual High School Model United Nations conference and participation in intercollegiate Model UN conferences and competitions.

The International Relations Program and MUNDO are proud to hold the annual High School Model UN Conference hosted by Canisius College. Now approaching its 40thyear, this event features approximately 350 delegates from 17 area schools in Western New York who come to campus for day-long simulations of the United Nations Security Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Human Rights Council. The high-school students prepare for weeks in advance to represent their assigned countries with respect to specific global issues. Members of the Canisius community, including faculty and students, are involved in the planning and execution of the event. Prizes are awarded to the outstanding student delegations in each of the various sessions. For further information contact

Human Rights Student Conference

Every spring the International Affairs Society in conjunction with Campus Ministry and other organizations hosts the Human Rights Student Conference. The conference, which normally lasts two or three days, provides students with a forum from which they may present the results of their research on a variety of human rights issues and thus help educate the community about the threats to human rights in today’s world. The conference is open to participation by any student, undergraduate or graduate, who wishes to present his or her human rights related research in a conference setting. For further information contact or the Program Director.