Georgia Institute of Technology: A unique learning journey in International Affairs

“My Tech International Affairs education and experiences studying abroad equipped me with the skills necessary to approach those international assignments confidently and thus achieve success…” – Caitlin Michaelis, former student at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Atlanta’s tech sector is positively booming. With a rising number of industry players choosing to cash in on its citywide success, we cannot help but consider Georgia Institute of Technology’s (Georgia Tech) contribution to the construction of ‘Techlanta’…

Ranked No 7 out of 132 in US News and World Report’s Top Public Schools league table for 2018, it is hardly surprising that Georgia Tech has come to be known as a hub of leading tech talent. This research-centered institution is set on improving lives through technical education and advanced scientific discovery, so it is no surprise that 2,500 talented students are drawn to this dynamic community year after year.

Georgia Tech plays host to a wealth of nationally-renowned programs, all of which are championed by peers and publications alike. From engineering to business, the sciences to design and the liberal arts, this institution provides the ultimate foundation for those keen to see their professional future unfold.

The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs extends Georgia Tech’s long-held tradition of excellence. Situated at the exciting intersection between science, technology, international relations and policy, this is a school that goes above and beyond to break through the conventional walls of the classroom.

“The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs…is a rather small school in a very large, globally respected center of technology,” says Joe Bankoff, Chair of Sam Nunn School. “To its very core, Georgia Tech is all about solving problems in very practical and innovative ways. The role of our School…is to provide meaningful connection to the significance of global cultures, policies, history and institutions on the use, misuse and impacts of technology,” he adds.

“We seek to provide an understanding that technology is not self-executing. It exists in a matrix of policy, politics and peoples of different beliefs and capabilities. Thus, it is critical that those seeking to advance the human condition through technology can think and lead in this context.”

In line with the demand for qualified practitioners who are fluent in technology, the school eloquently blends international affairs with relevant aspects of tech. We live in fast-paced times of change and rapid digitization, and so the Nunn School aims to compose and deliver leading-edge programs and research that mirror these developments.

With its professional Master of Science in International Affairs program and the PhD in International Affairs, Science and Technology, the Nunn School instils students with both the theoretical and methodical skill needed to decode the modern world. Here, you will explore and refine personal passions and interests, pursuing electives and interdisciplinary projects in economics, public policy, computer science, engineering and more.

All students are encouraged to take part in a study abroad initiative – an exciting opportunity to see the discipline in action, all while gaining a culturally-enlightened perspective on current challenges and issues. The school sponsors a sustainable development program in Japan; the political economy of Greater China and East Asia; democratization, privatization and regional economic integration in Argentina; the European Union and Transatlantic Security Relations; and non-traditional security challenges in Southeast Asia. These programs are known for being detailed, stimulating, and utterly immersive.

“In attempting to master all these things, the study of International Affairs (and diplomacy) is a most useful point of focus,” Bankoff explains. “It is not the only way to learn to appreciate the importance of culture and diversity. But it is the most explicit in the undertaking to build the needed skills.

“At a time when what we “think” we “know” has a half-life measured in decades,” he adds, “and as technology is redistributing power from the state of the individual – those who can prepare themselves with the skill, experience and appreciation of other cultures [needed] to adapt as global change accelerates will find themselves in positions they never dreamed of to be both useful and fulfilled.”

The Nunn School’s success can be evidenced in the unrivalled quality of its alumni representatives – a network that boasts an esteemed and universal range. These uncertain times call for strong, qualified leadership; people who can work confidently and collaboratively, and who possess a sound understanding of emerging technologies and their place in global systems. This is exactly what the Sam Nunn School and Georgia Tech at large consistently provides. As such, the institution is respected and sought after by prospective students all over the globe.

“The Sam Nunn School at Georgia Tech taught me how to evaluate issues and identify opportunities with a theoretically grounded, scientifically rigorous approach,” former student Neal Donaghy, concludes. “…whether negotiating international business contracts or executing global logistics for Fortune 500 companies, I utilize the skills developed at Tech every day.”

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