Student Life


Programs at IE School of Politics, Economics & Global Affairs provide exceptional academic rigor, delivered by sector experts and senior practitioners. But just as important as the outstanding classroom experience are the unmatched opportunities for exposure to the real world of work in which students’ future career paths will be pursued.

4 min read

Our Master in International Development is about changing the world. It’s a natural choice for ambitious individuals who want to make a positive impact on society and the planet, with a passion for sustainability. Encompassing the 5 Ps of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it provides world-class training in a curriculum designed in partnership with the United Nations System Staff College.

But even that’s not the end of the story. We believe that there’s incalculable value in seeing the world of international development up close and personally, by connecting with top companies and international organizations to gain hands-on experience of the industry at work. That’s what the program’s Immersion Week is all about.

An experience in the sector’s front lines

This year, Master in International Development students traveled to Switzerland and Italy, where they were granted firsthand, immersive exposure to the sharp end of the sector at leading organizations in the field. In a busy schedule, they visited the International Organization for Migration, the World Trade Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, Impact Hub, and even the UN HQ in Geneva and UNSSC in Turin.

Immersion Week is a master’s degree experience designed to provide a deeper understanding of these organizations’ important work by getting students in the room with the people who actually do it.

Seeing it for real: the Master in International Development Immersion Experience

It’s a chance to network, see the work they’re doing and ask questions directly, as well as gain hands-on experience. Networking, just as in any sphere of business, is critical to students’ future career ambitions, and the outstanding opportunity to meet operatives at the very top of international development is greatly appreciated by all the participants.

Seeing it for real: the Master in International Development Immersion Experience

For Cornelius Kyie, who hopes to work at the UN in some capacity in the future, the trip provided some “one-of-a-kind” educational opportunities.

“I had the chance to hear stories of the Director-General of the UNSSC and other prominent staff members,” he told us. “I got to understand how these organizations function, the complexities and bureaucracies there, career opportunities and the like. I believe my exposure in that regard has prepared me for working with these organizations, and has provided me with more conceptual clarity on things that seemed gloomy in that space. I would recommend the program any day.”

Applying classroom learning in the real world

For Dora Bobanovic, the visit confirmed her ambition to pursue a career in international relations and opened her eyes to possibilities she hadn’t realized existed. “The trip has helped me in a professional way because I have actually been looking at applying to a potential internship in one of these international organizations. I’ve been learning about organizations that I didn’t even know existed because the UN’s bubble is quite large. I highly recommend future students take part in Immersion Week because it’s a great way to take what we’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world, and see how our skills are super-valuable when it comes to international organizations.”

Ruby Anastacio, meanwhile, had some specific questions related to her Capstone Project and used the immersion experience as a chance to find some answers. “This immersion week has helped me professionally by connecting me to professionals in the field and people who have actually been eager to answer my questions,” she explained. She was left in no doubt as to the value of the visit:

“I would recommend Immersion Week for any Master in International Development student because it gives you the opportunity to see things not as we think they are but how they really are.”

Seeing it for real: the Master in International Development Immersion Experience

Insights only available on the inside

Diana Amable thought Immersion Week would go a long way in helping her make some important career decisions. And so it proved, as she came away with the type of insights that can only be gleaned from seeing the work of the sector firsthand; “For me, having access to these prestigious organizations helped me to gain a deeper understanding of global issues such as migration, trade and climate change, among others. A memorable part of my IE University experience and I’ll never forget it.”

Seeing it for real: the Master in International Development Immersion Experience

“Immersion Week provided me the opportunity to gain valuable insights into the real-world application of theoretical concepts learned in the Master in International Development.”

If you’re thinking about a career where you can make a global impact, the Master in International Development is the perfect program to match your ambition and learn about top companies and international organizations. To find out more click here, or you can discover other Immersion Week experiences the program’s students have enjoyed here.