The International Relations track aims to deepen the knowledge already acquired during a student's undergraduate studies in areas related to international relations, and contains a strong emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to international relations. This approach allows for a complete and comprehensive education, which is necessary for analyzing and understanding complex current and past world events. Collaboration between the professors teaching various courses and a wide-array of course content assures a multidisciplinary approach.
This track also offers the opportunity to specialize in specific geographic areas now at the center of international attention. Area-specific studies are offered for the Central-Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean region, and China.
The course is complemented by a number of other extracurricular activities that are designed to expose students to the practice of international institutions and to develop their public communication skills.
Students also have the ability to study abroad through a network of international agreements, which includes partner universities located in Moscow, Beijing and Gdansk.
Finally, the study of International Relations at the University of Florence can be enriched through continued master's level II studies in the School of Political Sciences - the Master's in Diplomatic Career Preparation and the Master's in Mediterranean Studies.
The teaching method develops the ability to analyse documents, to carry out original research, and to apply knowledge and understanding in the workplace - both individually and in groups. Moreover, this course of study focuses on developing critical thinking skills in order to increase the capacity for independent learning and individual critical reflection.
To promote the development of the ability to communicate effectively, students are encouraged to present research papers and to discuss them with colleagues, teachers and international affairs experts. Test cases and simulations of activities of international organizations (submission of mock-reports to the Security Council, or memoranda to the International Court of Justice, etc.) are frequently employed.
European Studies Track (LM-90)
The European Studies track offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of themes superficially covered in their undergraduate studies. This track focuses on the development of EU institutions, their current operation, and national and supranational relations. The teaching method allows students to acquire not only a solid and detailed knowledge of operational procedures that characterize today's complex European Union, but also a capacity for critical evaluations of the content, implications, and prospects of the integration process, considering social, political, and economic factors.
The track is structured to provide the methodological and conceptual tools to interpret and deal with the changing European Union structure and policies. Students will develop strong analytical and interpretation skills that are critical to future understanding of EU policy, especially in light of the marked acceleration of European integration and the continuing expansion of Community competence. This track also aims to develop the ability to process and present position papers, research, and insights on specific topics of EU interest. The courses are mainly seminars in order to promote student participation and to improve student presentation skills.
To facilitate a direct understanding of the relations within the European Union, students are encouraged to participate in seminars, conferences, and workshops with politicians and officials working in EU institutions and scholars from other Universities, especially the European University Institute of Florence. Students are also required to complete an internship of three months in Brussels, on the basis of agreements with the University of Florence. When possible, internships can be supported through the Erasmus job placement program.
This track is complemented by a number of other extracurricular activities aimed at familiarizing students with the practical operation of European Union institutions, as well as increasing students' ability to communicate in a public context (http://www.unifi. it/relazioni-internazionali-studi-europei/CMpro-ls-32.html). Specifically, in collaboration with the James Madison University and their Master in European Policy Studies program, an annual simulation of a meeting of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council is organized under the supervision of two senior members of the European Parliament. Another project in cooperation with the James Madison University allows Italian and American students the opportunity to further develop their communication skills by giving lectures to high school students on the role of the United States and the European Union in international affairs.