UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

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Politics, Geography & International Studies

Welcome!


The Department of Politics, Geography and International Studies (PGIS) combines the expertise and years of experience of our faculty and staff in the disciplines of Geography and Geographic Information Science, International Studies and Political Science.

We look forward to supporting our students with the strength of our combined faculty and staff!

Our students say.....

 

Alice-Shock
Hello! My name is Alice Shock and I am currently a senior at UWRF. I am majoring in International Studies and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and my minors are in Asian Studies and German.

I was drawn to the International Studies major at UWRF because I am passionate about different cultures and our increasingly global society. I have loved all of my classes here at UWRF, but my favorites from the International Studies major have to be Introduction to International Studies and World and Food Populations. Both of these classes helped me learn about current social and political issues that exist in our world. I have used information from these classes to direct my projects and hone in on how I can make a difference in the world.

What I like about projects from the International Studies program is that students often have a choice in what they research. Because I am an Asian Studies minor, I wanted to direct my research towards countries in Asia. In Introduction to International Studies, I was able to select a country I wanted to research throughout the semester. There were countries from all across the globe to choose from so students were able to tailor studies towards different interests. I chose Japan as the country for my case study since I am also studying Japanese at UWRF. With what I learned in class, I was able to narrow my research and learn more about the culture and demographics of Japan along with the social and political issues that exist within the country.

When I first started attending UWRF, I was only majoring in TESOL. I was looking at the International Studies major too, but I thought it would be too much to do a double major. After a semester of taking classes and talking to my advisors and professors, I realized that I could double major in International Studies and still graduate within four years! The International Studies degree extracurriculars often double-counted with my minors too. Faculty and staff have been supportive in my studies and know me by name. I always find the topics in class to be engaging and useful for future studies and my future career.

After college, I know I want to continue learning and working with different countries and cultures. My professors have shown me several programs to work and study abroad after school, such as the JET Program and Fulbright. Although I don’t know where I’m headed yet, I know I’ve learned what I need to be a successful professional from UWRF!

Lucie-Royla-webMy name is Lucie Royla and I am a Political Science Major at UWRF. I have taken many political science classes so far and really liked all of them, but there are some that really stood out to me throughout the last semesters. One of my favorite classes I have taken so far is Comparative Politics. I love learning about new things from different places in the world, how their politics work and how that might explain the things we see in the news. Learning more about how different countries function politically truly helped me understand the American system better but also helped me understand how different systems could be improved and why certain aspects of it work out well while others do not. Another class that I really liked was called Gender and Human Rights. What I appreciated most about this class was how much it looked at the reality of the subject and how it helped me see everything related to peace, war, and gender from a new perspective. Ultimately, I realized that all of the new things I learned in this class also play out in our everyday lives which helped shape my perspective on a lot of the events going on around me.

For one of my projects last semester, I was asked to analyze a specific peace agreement and assess whether it was in compliance with specific guidelines that the UNSC had outlined in order to protect women from violence and to give more rights to women in general. What I really liked about this project was that it asked me to approach this peace agreement in a different way. Normally, you would simply read the agreement and decide whether you think it is effective or not. But by being asked to study it from a very specific point of view and to decide whether it responded well to the protection of women and women’s rights, I was able to gain a much deeper understanding of the document itself. This also helped me understand that, even though something like a peace agreement might look good from an overall perspective, if you look at it from one specific perspective and whether it responds well to a specific group of people, it might suddenly appear very different.

One of the things that I appreciate most about the Political Science program at UWRF is how knowledgeable and interested the professors here are. I truly feel as though, in every class, the professors care about the topic they are talking about and want you to understand as much of it as possible. Also, I really like the discussions in class about the many different topics. Sometimes, talking about your views about politics and sharing your opinions with others openly can be difficult, but in the classes that I have taken in the past, the atmosphere felt safe so that you can speak your mind. I have personally thought about going to law school after finishing at UWRF, but am not 100% sure about that yet. Either way, I really enjoy studying Political Science here at UWRF and love all the knowledge and experience I am gaining!

Contact Us

Politics, Geography and International Studies
pgis@uwrf.edu
715-425-3318
M-F, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
355-356 Kleinpell Fine Arts
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