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, Amnesty International, and Campus Ministry.
  • Model United Nations - Simulates the proceedings of the United Nations for up to 400 area students from 18 different 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. The 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:

  • University of Antwerp in Belgium
  • Laval University in Canada
  • Catholic University of Lille in France
  • University of Dortmund in Germany
  • National University of Ireland in Galway
  • Sophia University in Japan
  • Universidad Iberoamericana and the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicholas de Hidalgo in Mexico
  • University of Oviedo in Spain
  • University of Uppsala in Sweden
  • London Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom

New programs have recently been established at Florence, Rome, and Sicily in Italy. 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, New Zealand and Poland, Senegal, and the 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 benefit from internships both here and abroad. A few local opportunities include the International Institute, Canadian Consulate, VIVE la Casa refugee assistance, and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Students who participate in the semester-long foreign-policy program in Washington, D.C., take internships in congressional offices, government agency or private institutions.

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

High School Model United Nations

This annual event is held at Canisius College during the fall semester. Approximately 300 delegates from 20 schools in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania come to campus for day-long simulations of the United Nations Security Council, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Commission on Human Rights. The high-school students prepare for months 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 hosts the Human Rights Student Conference. The conference, which normally last 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 (716) 888-2190 or