Hello International Affairs majors of Spring 2021! Every year, we hold a student open house, offering you a variety of curated resources specific to International Affairs. While this is normally an in-person event on campus, this year we are bringing it to you virtually. Please look through the series of topics below and find helpful information to meet your IAFS needs. If you have questions, please reach out to our staff and advisors, and more information can be found on our Virtual Office webpage.
If you are a prospective student, please see our webpage specifically for IAFS prospective students.
A message from IAFS Director Tom Zeiler
A message from IAFS Academic Advisor, Gabe Aponte
How to Navigate the Website
If you want to know which classes you can take will meet the needs of your IAFS degree, use the semester list of courses. We publish this list for when you are registering for the upcoming semester, and note that these are subject to change as departments change their courses.
This semester, many events are being held virtually allowing students from all over to join in. We publish alot of events on our News & Events webpage that we find are relevant and of interest to IAFS students.
- Events: Events offered by CU and non-CU organizations, and this semester most are virtual
- News: A collection of articles about IAFS students, faculty, staff, and the related to the IAFS program
- Alumni Newsletter: A historical archive of e-newsletters sent to IAFS alumni
Who is Your IAFS Advisor?
Buff Portal Advising, the undergraduate online advising appointment scheduling system, will help you with the following:
- Advisor(s) / Success Team contact information
- Schedule advising appointments
- View your enrolled major/minors, academic records & grades, class schedule
- View alerts & holds on your account and messages
- Links to calendars, campus offices, degree audit, MyCUInfo, etc
If you are a first year student, you might be assigned a first year advisor and next year (or when you declare) you will be assigned an IAFS advisor. You might be a first year or continuing student assigned Gabe Aponte or Will Hamilton already. This fall, a second IAFS advisor has joined us, Will Hamilton, and many of you may be assigned to him now. Stay alert and informed by checking your Buff Portal Advising account regularly. If you have more than one degree plan (double major, minor, etc) then you might have more than one advisor. On your Buff Portal Advising, it will tell you who is your advisor for which degree of yours. You should communicate with all of your advisors regularly.
- Gabe Aponte
- Will Hamilton
- All A&S Academic Center Advisors (including first year)
- Related: Academic Coaching: in addition to your advisor, you can work with an academic coach if you are: 1) an A&S student who wants to talk to an academic coach for any reason (Drop-ins on Mondays from 1-3pm), 2) on academic alert/probation, 3) receive a mid-semester course alert notification
- Related: Peer Mentor: linking A&S first year students (1st generation and/or students of color) one-on-one with an upper division peer mentor
On our Advising webpage, there are helpful FAQs for prospective and current IAFS students, as well as other selections. Familiarize yourself with our Advising webpage and get answers to your questions in one spot.
- Zoom Help (for advising appointments)
- IAFS Advisor's FAQs (What classes to take; Summer courses, Making course changes; Lifting account holds)
- First Year IAFS Majors
- Helpful Tips (use your colorado.edu email)
- Current & Prospective Students Tips & Tricks
Plan Ahead for Your Internship
Not only can students fulfill the Off-Campus Experience major requirement through IAFS 4930, but an internship for credit also has other benefits.
- Some organizations require students to receive credit
- Your internship will be part of your academic transcript for employers or graduate and professional schools
- Allows students to reflect on their experiences in a structured way, and to connect those experiences to research that interests and motives them
- Please note: all internships for IAFS 4930 must have clear international content
Internships in general can be completed at anytime, but the IAFS 4930 Internship in International Affairs 3-credit class is open to junior and senior majors. Plan ahead! Work with your academic advisor and let them know what you are considering (study abroad, internship(s), CU in D.C.) and they can help you map out the best semesters to complete your goals. They might be able to find overlap too! Internships for credit can be completed while studying abroad and as part of the CU in D.C. Program.
- IAFS 4930 approved internships: A great selection of internships to consider (if your internship is not listed, you can seek approval from the IAFS Internship Director)
- CU in D.C.: Semester- or summer-long professional internship in Washington D.C. (view internship possibilities)
- CU Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE) Program: For summer interns, Career Services provides funding for internships focused on civic engagements
- CU Education Abroad: A variety of programs where students can study and intern abroad (click here)
How to Meet Other IAFS Students
When you join volunteer initiatives aligned with what is valuable to you, don't be surprised to see other IAFS students in your same group. IAFS students are interested in domestic and international efforts. Also, be sure to highlight your volunteer work on your LinkedIn and resume.
- Volunteer Calendar (campus and Boulder community)
- Alternative Breaks (VOC)
- SKOServe (via Zoom: mini educational trainings that explore various topics related to volunteering and social and environmental justice)
Did you know that the Conference on World Affairs (CWA) has an International Affairs Program Committee? Students can join and get involved in a variety of ways, and get connected with others in their area of interest. The student group(s) meet weekly and all are welcome to join. Sign up (or email for more info) to volunteer and mention that you want to join the "International Affairs" Program Committee.
If you think student groups are not meeting this semester because of Covid-19, think again. While some might be on a hiatus, there are still plenty that want you to join them for a virtual or socially distanced in-person meeting and/or join the club regularly. Below are just a few groups that we know are meeting this fall and are welcome to new attendees. Not sure where to start? Email the group email and ask when the next meeting is, how to join, and what to expect. Try a meeting!
- CU Defense Innovation and Policy Student Group (DIPS): for students interested in military, defense, and national security topics
- Model United Nations: practice your teamwork, problem solving, and debate skills, and just have fun
- Conversation Tables: various language groups; connect with others learning the language and those who are native speakers
- Pizza & Perspectives: lunch gathering to hear from students of other regions, ask questions, and mingle
- CWA Committee: International Affairs committee; great networking opportunities and meet other students
Get To Know Faculty
A few tips for professional development and making the most of your student experience at CU:
- Did you have a class that made a positive impact on your academics, life, or career aspirations? Keep in touch with that faculty member! See what other classes they teach and if those classes are part of your degree plan, learn about their professional research, nominate them for a CU award.
- If you decide to do IAFS Honors, you will need to assemble a faculty committee - keep in touch with faculty who inspire you.
- Need a faculty letter of recommendation for a post-graduation opportunity or graduate program? This is another reason to stay in touch with faculty.
Thinking About the Peace Corps?
On October 12, from 12:00 - 1:00pm MT, join other students for a Meet & Greet Zoom session with Charlotte Thompson, CU Boulder Peace Corps Campus Ambassador. Details about the event and how to register can be found on this webpage. This session will go over the challenging, fulfilling, and inspirational experience that is Peace Corps service. Ask questions about service, and gain tips to guide you through the application process.
Housed within CU Boulder Education Abroad, Peace Corps Prep is an undergraduate certificate program offering future U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer applicants sector-specific job skills, foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence, and professional leadership development skills. As an official Peace Corps Prep Program, earning the certificate is excellent preparation, and a *likely advantage*, for future Peace Corps Volunteer applicants.
Graduating with IAFS Honors
Students can graduate with departmental honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude), awarded by the University Honors Council, based on overall academic record, written honors thesis, and oral defense exam. Students apply in the early spring semester of the year prior to their final year at CU Boulder - this is because students complete the IAFS Honors program in the fall (IAFS 4800 seminar) and spring (IAFS 4810) semester of their final undergraduate year in IAFS. Learn full details on the IAFS Honors Program webpage.
Keep these tricks up your sleeve to be prepared for the IAFS Honors Program:
- Tell your IAFS academic advisor as early as your first year at CU if you are thinking about completing IAFS Honors
- Keep in contact with faculty you want to potentially be on your future faculty committee
- Know your deadlines: Fall 2021 honors class students must submit their application materials by Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:00pm
- Ask for a Zoom meeting with IAFS Honors Director, Dr. Douglas Snyder
- Look over the past syllabi for IAFS 4800 (fall) and IAFS 4810 (spring)
IAFS Study Abroad Guide
Did you know we have an IAFS Education Abroad webpage? It is full of resources on how to start your program search, our Global Grants scholarship to support IAFS students going abroad, and making sure you get class credit, including internships and the off-campus experience requirement.
- Be Inspired: Read about IAFS students who've gone abroad in our News section and talk to your academic advisor
- Be Involved: Dig deeper in programs you are interested in (year, semester, summer session, global seminar) and attend info sessions
- Be International: Choose a program that intrigues you and will fulfill your IAFS requirements (and/or an internship)
DID YOU KNOW? IAFS also has its own Global Seminar in the summer to Bordeaux, France! The next information session (for summer 2021) is Thursday, November 5, at 4:00pm MT via Zoom: https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/96576802618 and learn more about our Bordeaux program here: Bordeaux Global Seminar
“I am going abroad next semester and don’t know which classes to pick!”
- Start by running a new degree audit on MyCUInfo and see what remaining requirements you have for GenEd (or CORE if on that plan), your major, and your degree overall. There is a searchable list of pre-approved courses on the Education Abroad website and you can narrow it down to your program, then check to see if any courses have already been approved to cover those specific requirements.
- If there are courses being offered by your study abroad program that are not on the list, you can have courses evaluated by submitting the online form and including a syllabus. Please note that there is a separate form for GenEd (or Core) and major course evaluations, and that the courses for the majors will be evaluated. This process can take 6-8 weeks.
CU in D.C.
The CU in D.C. program is for University of Colorado students who want to spend a semester in Washington D.C. putting classroom learning into real world action. The program combines a professional internship in the daytime, with CU courses in the evening. Students participate over a full semester or summer semester.
Hannah Daniel, International Affairs major and History minor, interned at the Brookings Institution: "Working at the Brookings Institution has opened a million doors for me. My biggest revelation this semester was learning how my skills and passions can come together. Now I intend to pursue a master's in public policy with a focus on non-profit management. I want to thank CU for helping to shape me as a future leader."
Nicole Chan, Chinese and International Affairs major, interned with Senator Michael Bennet: “One of the highlights of the program was having the opportunity to take classes taught by U.S. State Department employees. This was a unique experience that allowed us to learn directly from field experts. The amount we learned was incredible. Participating in this program was the best decision I’ve made during the entirety of my time at CU. Nothing else prepares you for post-graduation life like living and working in the most powerful city in the nation.”
Andres Alers, International Affairs major, interned with Senator Michael Bennet: “I had an absolute blast in D.C.! I’m go grateful to the CU in D.C. program for this incredible opportunity and for all of their support. My semester in D.C. was an exciting, busy, and very meaningful experience. I can’t speak highly enough of how formative the experience was for me.”
A Career in International Affairs
Professional Development is a broad concept, so here are a few things to focus on as you build your professional toolkit:
IAFS Virtual Office
While the IAFS Program office in the University Club is closed for fall semester, we are still readily available to connect with you virtually and by phone.
Commonly, we have students (or family members of students) contact us asking about what to do in unexpected situations. Here are the most common questions we get each semester:
"I don't know how often I should meet with my advisor" or "I don't like my advisor"
- Check in with your advisor once a semester (more if needed) or at the very least, once a year.
- Talk to them and work through any issues using conflict resolution. If you need tips and tricks, contact Conflict Resolution Services. They will give you free pointers for your conversation: ConflictResolution@colorado.edu (website)
- Talk to the CU Academic Advising Center and explore your options
- If it is a misconduct issue, please report it to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) - you can also report to OIEC anonymously. If you are in immediate danger, call the police.
"I am facing some (mental or physical) health struggles that are impacting my success in class. What are my options?"
- Mental Health: Connect with a mental health provider. Connect with CAPS which is on campus and available 24/7 at 303-492-2277 or www.colorado.edu/counseling/. You may be eligible for academic accommodations through Disability Services. If you are comfortable, talk to your faculty. Sometimes faculty can work with you to help them complete the course while facing personal challenges.
- Physical Health: If you are sick and anticipate missing a class, you should contact your faculty directly. If you need learning adjustments, contact Disability Services - set up a meeting with an Access Coordinator about a Temporary Medical Condition.
"This is a big major and most of my classes are remote. How can I make IAFS friends?"
- Utilize group work to make friends within your assigned group. Suggest a group Zoom to talk about how the class is going, other classes people are taking or want to take, where people are from and where they live, etc. It is a Presidential election year, so you could see if anyone wants to chat about the debate and be the one to set it up!
- Join a group - most are meeting on Zoom or in some virtual platform these days. We have also heard of some groups getting together to chalk or walk around campus as a break from virtual meetings! See our section on this page about meeting people.
- Volunteer with Volunteer Resource Center, join a program (Cultural Events Board, CU Gold, University of Colorado Program Council), and/or join a CWA Committee.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
- Students who are sick with COVID-19 do not need to file for Temporary Medical Condition with Disability Services to receive flexibility with attendance, missed quizzes or exams. They need to contact their faculty directly. Students who test positive for COVID-19 should work directly with their faculty to make up missed work. Student Support and Case Management is available to assist students with self-advocacy if needed. For additional guidance, please see this message from the Provost. Please refer to Protect Our Herd for steps on isolation and how to further reduce the spread.
- If you are caring for a family member who has COVID-19, avoid falling behind in classes: We encourage you to reach out to your faculty and explain your situation, then ask if they have advice on how you can keep up with coursework. Faculty are willing to work with students as much as they can to help during difficult times.
- If you run into issues and you are not comfortable (for any reason) talking to your faculty, we encourage you to contact an IAFS staff member and/or your academic advisor. We are here to help you. We are here to give you the resources you need to be successful in life and as a student.