Can the EU survive the rise of euroscepticism and populism? Why has international cooperation on global environmental issues proven to be difficult? How can we address other issues in an increasingly globalized world?
IRIO in Groningen is a truly multidisciplinary English-taught degree programme in which you will explore political questions on an international level. You will focus on the place of politics, history, economics and law in international relations but also the crucial role of international organizations. You will also learn or improve your proficiency in a modern foreign language and will be able to choose a minor that fits your profile.
If you choose IRIO in Groningen, you choose:
- a challenging programme with a strong theoretical focus as well as a variety of practical assignments
- a programme with three decades of experience, that enjoys the support and expertise of many renowned international lecturers
- a programme in which you will acquire analytical, practical and methodological skills that are considered highly valuable in fields as diverse as policy advocacy and consultancy, governmental and civil services, public affairs, risk analysis, journalism, international aid/development work and diplomacy.
- an international environment and a global perspective: your lecturers and classmates come from all over the world.
Please note: IRIO is a quota study: only a limited number of students are accepted every year.
Experienced and renowned professors supply high quality academic knowledge
I came to Groningen because I was interested in a study program that was not offered at universities in Germany at that time. I knew little about the Netherlands and the Dutch education system, let alone the language. More importantly, I did not know anything about the city that I would call home for the following three years and yet I immediately felt at home. Groningen charmed me with its geniality and openness, its vibrant student life and its “gezelligheid” (a Dutch word that you will hear a lot in the Netherlands and that can be loosely translated to gregariousness or conviviality).
Most of the inhabitants are students that gather on innumerable patios to enjoy a drink in the sun during a study break or spend a day in the Noorderplantsoen (Groningen’s most crowded park in the summer). Many of the university buildings are spread over the city center and so it is not unusual to be greeted by a fellow student or a professor while you are biking to your next class. In fact your bike will be your most valued companion throughout your time in Groningen.
All of this is of course an important part of the student life in Groningen, but what struck me most about my time here in Groningen was the quality of my academic experience. Experienced and renowned professors supply high quality academic knowledge and ignited my passion for academic research in my field of study. They provided me with important tools and skills that will be very valuable for my future career and personal life. Moreover, learning in a multicultural environment not only enhanced my academic performance; it also changed my view on many study-related topics and led me to become a more tolerant and open-minded person.
Read more about Isabell and her student life in Groningen .
Along my studies my faculty actively cultivated in our classrooms reasoned debate, principled dissent, and incisive collaborative engagement with various issues
In 2015, I started my undergraduate studies in the International Relations and International Organisation programme. In this holistic and pluri-disciplinary programme, I have been successfully trained - both theoretically and methodologically - to further pursue the set of problématiques that drive me intellectually.
Along my studies, apart from the commitment to excellent research and instructive teaching, my faculty actively cultivated in our classrooms reasoned debate, principled dissent, and incisive collaborative engagement with various issues. The university prepares students to understand, adapt to and respond to contemporary challenges, providing an inclusive and multicultural environment where boundaries are continuously contested and redrawn through creative exploration, informed conversations, and world-class scholarship. Groningen offers a platform where academic experience is not only about getting an education, but also about acquiring a self, fostering an independent mind, building personal networks, and cultivating an active stance towards the daunting problems of our globalized age.
Every issue has many perspectives
I currently work as a business analyst at the gas trading company GasTerra. I work in the commercial department that sells gas to energy providers. As a business analyst I support the account managers in the sales process.
I like the dynamic environment in which GasTerra operates. Each day can be different in a rapidly changing market with many challenges. Every day I use the analytical skills I acquired during my studies. Knowing that every issue has many perspectives and involves interests is very valuable.
I chose to study IRIO because it is a broad interdisciplinary programme with an international focus. I loved the opportunity to specialize in a certain subject by choosing the most interesting research seminars, thesis subject and electives and an internship abroad. In addition, Groningen is a very lively city that has everything – nice coffee bars, nightlife and a brilliant student life. I am very lucky to still live in this beautiful city.
This programme combines my interest in history, geography and politics
After finishing school in Hungary, I took a gap year and was looking for programmes that combined my interest in history, geography and politics. The possibility of studying in English, along with the reputation and competitiveness of the university, convinced me to choose IRIO in Groningen.
So far, the programme has lived up to my expectations. The biggest differences between secondary school and university are freedom and self-responsibility. Most of the students in the programme are passionate about their studies. Groningen is the best place to be a student: the city is always buzzing, and I love the way everyone cycles. It gives a really friendly feeling to the entire city.’
This programme helps you understand how a policy should work and how an organizational structure should facilitate this policy
I chose IRIO as I am passionate about making the world a better place. The course units that interested me most were those dealing with policy or theory. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme gives you the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to enter the world of policy-making at an international level.
The IRIO programme helps you understand how a policy should work and how an organizational structure should facilitate this policy. If you can comprehend how these function, you will be equipped to work in this world.
The knowledge I have gained during my degree has come into play in various parts of my life. For example, I am Chair of the Board of Clio and Treasurer of our alumni association, Mitrany. These board posts have enabled me to develop practical skills and learn to work in a team. After I graduate, I would like to work for a consultancy or the government.
Being provided with the necessary tools
When I was searching for the right degree programme, a combination between law, economics and political science, I stumbled upon IRIO. So far, it is my experience that IRIO is more than simply combining these subjects: it provides us with the necessary tools to understand how they are all connected in this complex world.
A personal challenge has been the responsibility of getting the weekly readings done, which requires some discipline, but also provides us with great freedom to make our own schedule. This comes in very handy considering that Groningen, which is as “studenty" as a place can get, offers everything you could ask for, including the friends from all over the world you are bound to make here!
An international environment of likeminded academics
I chose the IRIO programme because I wanted to understand how the world around me works and, ultimately, to learn how to improve it. By learning how power structures work, how laws guide behaviour and how economic policies influence us, this programme seemed well-fit for me. Moreover, there is space to choose extra courses and to go abroad. Currently, I am writing my thesis on the effects of the euro area crisis on European Union policy and I am going abroad to South Korea next year.
Next to studying, I have participated in the vibrant student life of Groningen by doing a board year as the Chairman of Study Association Clio and by being involved in the Erasmus Student Network. These were all great opportunities to learn how to work in an international team. Studying IRIO in Groningen will submerge you into an international environment of like-minded, yet wholly diverse students and academics. With the experience and academic skills from Groningen, I hope to work for an international organization or an NGO.
IRIO is a programme that goes into the issues that I always wanted to have an answer for
Hi! My name is Alan, I am 24 years old and I am living proof that if you find what you like, it is possible to start over and actually start enjoying what you are doing. I have been studying something different before 2018, but it was when I started this programme that I found my calling and actually was able to dedicate more time and attention to my studies. As my folks like to say, better late than never.
Outside of my study I really like movies, tv series and American Football. I love spending time with my friends and watching all my favourite comedians and late show hosts. Of course, I always have time to dedicate to my student association or to reading a book to relax.
The first thing that struck me about this programme is the internationality and the global approach that this programme has. It is a programme that goes into the issues that I always wanted to have an answer for, like what are the reasonings behind some international issues (terrorism, war, humanitarian action, etc.) or why states act like they do. These two main reasons were the ones that actually brought me to this programme, and I definitely can say that both these two expectations have been met. IRIO is really a multicultural and international programme where you can learn a lot by studying, but also by talking with your classmates and learn about their experiences in their home countries.
I still hope that I can make the world a (even if only minimally) better place
Hey! My name is Marit Marinus and I am 20 years old. I am from Groningen and I am now in my third year of the Bachelor International Relations and International Organisation (IRIO). Therefore, I am taking classes in the minor's programme Politiek en Bestuur this first semester. I started studying right after finishing secondary school. IRIO really fits my interest, meaning that I have never doubted my choices.
In addition to my studies, I followed an Italian language course and participated in a Model United Nations program. I also play flute and follow Contemporary Dance lessons at the USVA. I am still considering to join a committee this year, and I work as the current student ambassador for IRIO!
There are a number of reasons for which I chose IRIO. Firstly, I always knew in middle school that I found national and international politics as well as social topics very important and interesting. After I had visited the university through the ‘Student for a Day’ program, I no longer had any doubts. I thought it would be fascinating to learn about a variety of different disciplines ranging from economics to political science. The international side also appealed to me as the study exposes you to a variety of different cultures. Moreover, you learn about world news in the context of your study, which allows you to see global events and the world around you in a different light. Finally, I still hope that I can make the world a (even if only minimally) better place. This study seemed to be extremely suitable for that goal.
Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at
university is like? The International Relations and International
Organization (IRIO) programme is offering a web class! This online
course from the University of Groningen is specially designed for
secondary school students. Get to know IRIO by doing some reading
and answering some essay questions or multiple choice questions.
The course takes about 10 hours in total.
If you are interested in an IRIO web class, register here.