The Master of International Studies programme is a truly international experience. As the figures below indicate, nearly 50 per cent of the MIntSt intake has been international students. The programme has attracted students from New Zealand, China, Japan, Norway, Germany, Chile, the USA, Thailand, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malta, France, Switzerland and India.
According to an opinion survey of MIntSt graduates prepared for the 2006 University of Otago MIntSt Review, 92 per cent of those questioned found the programme to be either extremely valuable or very valuable. All of the survey respondents (36 in total) said they would recommend the programme to others. A number of respondents indicated the MIntSt degree helped them to secure their current professional positions.
Mike Ketchen (Analyst, New Zealand Ministry of Defence)
Oliver Brown (Environmental Think Tank, Geneva)
Sigrun Laste (German TV News)
Damien Ryan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Marjolein Righarts (PhD student)
Joe Burton (PhD student)
Lindsey McKinnon (UN)
MIntSt Students by Nationality
MIntSt Graduates - Gender Balance
Some Professional and Academic Destinations of MIntSt students:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wellington, NZ
- Management Consultant, Arthur Andersen, London, UK
- Prosecutor, Ministry of Fisheries, Dunedin, New Zealand
- Executive Officer, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
- Policy Analyst, New Zealand Labour Party, Wellington, NZ
- Ministry of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
- Financial Consultant, London, UK
- Adviser, Ministry of Economic Development, Wellington
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Santiago, Chile
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo, Japan
- PhD student, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
- PhD student, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
- PhD student, University of Melbourne, Australia.
- Policy Adviser, Ministry of Transport, Wellington
- International Relations Coordinator, Kyushu Island, Japan
- Advisor/Researcher at the Embassy of Japan in Washington
- Project Manager, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
- Civil servant for UK government: Inward Investment Officer, UK Trade and Investment, British Consulate-General, Auckland
- Trade Policy Analyst with Meat and Wool NZ
- Director of Studies (Head of English Language) at Christchurch International College
- Policy Analyst: Strategic Policy Branch Defence Policy and Planning Unit Ministry of Defence
- New Business Representative, Telecom
- Manager Field Operations for Statistics Canada's 2006 Census
- Legal adviser
- Foreign Service trainee in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Service
- Lecturer in Business Law
- State Services Performance Specialist, Performance Branch, State Services Commission
- Customs Strategist
- Investigator, Market Structure Group, Commerce Commission
- Instructor, Korean University
- BBC Radio - Series Producer of Foreign Studies
What Students Say About the Programme
"The MIntSt course was the most challenging and fulfilling course I completed at University. The broad range of subjects and issues that it covers appeared daunting at first but they are all surprisingly interlinked and helped deepen my understanding of the complexities that face us on an international level. I enjoyed the course so much that it has since inspired me to utilise my Japanese Language skills and pursue a career in international relations."
Coordinator of International Relations, Maetsuemura, Japan
"The Master of International Studies is an excellent multi-disciplinary programme which gives a more comprehensive and integrated view of complex phenomena such as globalisation, the future of the nation state, international conflicts, international terrorism, environmental degradation, etc. The course is more than an international programme of studies; it is also an international group of students, which contributes to creating a stimulating environment of discussions in which the official truth is always in debate."
Ricardo Camargo Brito
Third Secretary of the Diplomatic Corps of the Chilean Foreign Service
"I work for the New Zealand Ministry of Transport in its international relations team. I actually applied for a different job with the MoT but when they read in my CV about the range of subjects and skills that were involved in the MIntSt course, I was hired for this job. My role requires economic, legal and political analysis and the MIntSt course's focus on interdisciplinary skills was definitely a factor in being offered the position. The opportunity for debate on international issues with classmates from around the world was invaluable and gave me an excellent start in my international diplomatic work."
Legal Advisor for the Department of Constitutional Affairs, U.K.
Joe Burton, MIntSt Graduate and Current PhD student, Department of Politics, University of Otago.
Joe Burton so enjoyed his experience at Otago that once he completed his Master's thesis on the Bush administration's approach to the United Nations since 9/11, he stayed on. After a brief break, he started on his PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Transatlantic Alliance, International Security and the Asia Pacific Region", which will see him build on his previous research. "New Zealand might be geographically distant from many parts of the world, but the World Wide Web and email make that irrelevant. The University of Otago is very welcoming and there is an excellent support network for international students. There are many opportunities for postgraduate students to get teaching experience and funding during their stay here. And if you are interested in outdoor pursuits such as tramping, skiing and surfing, there's no better place to study!"
The study of politics has taken Joe around the world. He began his academic studies in Politics when he took it as a subject for his 'A' levels in England. After gaining his BScEcon in International Relations from the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth (the world's first university department of international politics, founded in 1919), Joe returned home to London. In London Joe worked for the Labour party, organising election campaigns and conducting political research.
New Zealand's international reputation as a beautiful and friendly country attracted Joe. Otago's Master of International Studies programme stood out from the other political science programmes in the country because of its broad, multidisciplinary nature. Joe found the one-year programme to be first-rate. "The lecturers are excellent, there is a wide mix of international students and a superb support network. I would absolutely recommend this programme to anyone with a curiosity about international affairs and especially to those people who might be considering a PhD. This course is the perfect foundation for that level of study."
Jenifer Lamie, a current MIntSt student, came to the University of Otago from Cheshire, Connecticut, after having completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Hartford.
She had previously worked for a multinational company in Japan, teaching English, and wanted to further her international experience by studying abroad. "Studying in another country really helps you stand out from other graduates and Otago, as one of the world's top 100 universities, was an ideal fit."
The International Law component of the degree particularly appealed to Jenifer, who hopes to return to the US and qualify as a lawyer, specialising in international environmental law. The course also provided an opportunity to gain more practical experience of other academic disciplines. "It was hard to find good programmes" Jennifer says "and the MIntSt programme has first rate teaching staff and benefits from being a programme with excellent teacher to student ratios, which provides the opportunity to form a real bond and camaraderie with the lecturers and other students."
Jenifer says the course helped with her communication skills and the opportunity to do presentations on topics where you do not necessarily have that much academic experience was challenging and rewarding.
Jenifer highly recommends the programme to other students, especially in learning how the different academic disciplines in the course relate and connect to one another and help to provide a better understanding of the way the world works. "You get to look at globalisation for example from a political, legal, historical, and economic perspective, and that is invaluable these days."
Over the NZ summer months, Jenifer will be working on her dissertation which compares and contrasts the individual actor and the state actor in the development of Gorbachev's environmental policies. She hopes to travel to Europe for an internship before returning to the USA.