Traveling to exotic countries, getting to know other people and customs, eating foreign food – who didn’t dream of exploring the world as a child as a researcher? In the past, distant continents such as Africa or Asia were particularly fascinating with their strange landscapes and cultures. In the course of globalization, these geographically distant regions have come very close.
The economic, political and cultural links between the individual countries are becoming increasingly intense and complex. Many companies have their products manufactured in other countries or export their goods all over the world. Economic crises or environmental problems no longer affect just one country, but have repercussions on many other parts of the world. This makes experts who are familiar with the economy, culture and language of the various regions of the world all the more important .
The subject of regional sciences in Germany
According to MATERNITYETCHIC, degree programs in the field of regional sciences have a long tradition in Germany. In the beginning they were primarily concerned with the language and culture of individual countries. In the last twenty years, universities have expanded the subject to include economic, political and social science content. They offer very different areas of focus .
There is a corresponding degree program for almost every region in the world. So there is for the regions
- Latin America
- North America and
- near and Middle East
a variety of courses. They either deal with the whole region or with individual countries. The content focus differs from university to university. Some courses are primarily linguistic , while others focus on the culture, history , religion , politics or economy of the target region.
At many universities, students have the option of choosing a second subject that gives their studies a broader focus. Depending on the university, you can choose from subjects such as economics , ethnology or communication studies .
Bachelor in Regional Studies
Language acquisition usually plays an important role in the bachelor’s degree programs . In courses such as regional studies in Africa or Asia, students learn one or two African or Asian foreign languages. In degree programs in the field of European or regional studies in North and Latin America, universities often require certain language skills. But here too, the students take conversation and grammar courses.
Depending on the orientation of the course, content from the fields of literary and cultural studies, politics, economics, sociology or geography are on the curriculum. At the beginning of their studies, students often receive an introduction to all areas. In the higher semesters they have the opportunity to specialize in a certain region and a certain topic.
Master in Regional Studies
If you are aiming for a management position or an academic career, you cannot avoid completing a master’s degree. The selection of master’s programs in the field of regional studies is large . They offer students the opportunity to further specialize in a certain region or a certain subject area. Many of the programs are internationally oriented . The language of instruction is often English or – depending on the focus region – Spanish or French, for example.
Personal requirements and (possible) admission criteria
If you want to study a course in the field of regional science, you should first and foremost be interested in the respective region. A certain talent for languages is also necessary, especially in courses in which you have to learn up to two completely new foreign languages. Good knowledge of English is a prerequisite for all courses.
Degree programs in the field of regional sciences do not provide training for a specific professional field . That is why it is all the more important to orientate yourself professionally during your studies through internships and part-time jobs and to gain additional qualifications. The choice of the minor can also be decisive for future career opportunities. So it is important to think this decision through carefully.
Many graduates of regional science courses would later like to work for an international organization , an NGO or a foundation. However, the positions there are in great demand. In addition to practical experience, applicants should also have experience abroad and good language skills in order to get a job in this area.
If you intend to go into business , you should, if possible, choose a minor from economics. Since many companies operate globally, they rely on country experts with specific economic knowledge. Graduates work here, for example, in the areas of marketing , personnel management or PR .
In the field of politics , regional scientists find a field of activity as analysts or scientific consultants in EU authorities or ministries. Those who are more interested in a job in the cultural field can use their specialist knowledge to work as a journalist or PR specialist. Museums, event agencies, tourism companies and publishers also employ regional scientists. With good language skills, graduates can also work as translators . Master’s graduates are free to do a doctorate and embark on an academic career.
Studying regional sciences abroad – a must!
Study visits abroad are compulsory for regional scientists and are firmly planned at most universities. Only those who live for a while in the country they are studying will ultimately understand its mentality and culture. This also applies to language skills: Theoretical lessons do not replace everyday communication with native speakers.
Not to forget: The new course content that you get to know at the foreign university will refine your academic profile. Valuable suggestions for bachelor and master theses can also be found on site. In addition to specialist knowledge and language skills, you will acquire soft skills such as flexibility and the ability to communicate across cultures. These are major pluses for later applications. The network of international contacts that you build up during a semester or entire studies abroad is not just a personal enrichment: These contacts often help you start your career or are helpful for your own scientific research.