For the purpose of this guide, an “international career” is a career that requires interactions with people of different countries and cultures. Based on this definition, an international career does not necessarily have to be located overseas, and, in turn, a job overseas is not necessarily an international career. With this in mind, this section presents career resources, much broader in scope than those in the “Majors” section, and considering that most international careers do not have pipeline connections with specific majors, having exposure to a wider range of careers is crucial for discovering possible careers of interest, no matter your desired major.

Every week, the IRC brings distinguished professionals to share their expertise and career pathways with us in our International Career Series and Your Global Future programs. From curators in museums specialized in international art to business professionals in global risk management, we aim to bring you closer to the numerous global experiences that may inspire you to start your international journey. Explore our upcoming programs or dive into our past offerings by accessing our International Career Series and Your Global Future pages. 

*Click on any of the “Video Resources” options below to view our past programs and learn more about each Career.

International Careers


Various academic fields have both direct and indirect ties to international affairs, as noted above in the “Majors” section. An academic career in one of these fields is composed of performing research, teaching classes, and publishing written works on topics relating to global issues.

Be inspired by the in-depth knowledge and passion of Dr. J. Samuel Valenzuela, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and prolific author whose works  frequently feature comparative case studies highlighting the Chilean experience in conversation with the world, and explore the pathway of  Academia through his expertise in South America

Learn more about a career in Academia by letting yourself be inspired by the knowledge, expertise, and career trajectory of Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate and regional director for Central and West Africa at NDI and adjunct faculty at the African Center for Strategic Studiest at Georgetown University. 

Dive into a career in Academia by exploring Dr. Gary Sick’s perspective about the tensions and opportunities in the Persian Gulf. Dr. Sick is a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Middle East Institute and an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs. 

Learn about the past, present, and future of the world while exploring the potential of a career in Academia by joining the 2021 Berkley Lecture with Secretary Chuck Hagel, Centennial Scholar at Georgetown Walsh School of Foreign Servic, Distinguished Scholar at University of Nebraska at Omaha,  former Secretary of Defense (2013-15), U.S. Senator from Nebraska (1997-2009), Vietnam Veteran and recipient of two purple hearts. 

Foreign Service

The Foreign Service, the United States’ diplomacy service backed by the U.S. Department of State, aims “to promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.” U.S. diplomats in the Foreign Service “serve at one of any of the more than 270 embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions” around the world, which allows for cultural immersion and public service.

Explore the substance and one of the outcomes of a career in Foregin Service with Ambassador Frank G. Wisner who served as U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines, and India during his diplomatic career, which spanned nearly four decades.

Learn about the responsabilities, career trajectorie and opportunities of a career in Foregin Service with Mexican Consul Alfonso Navarro-Bernachi

Learn more about the political, cultural, and economic advocacy effort and international partnership coordination components to a foregin representative’s assignment as part of a career in Foregin Service with  Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative to the United States of America.

Learn about the economic and political expertise developed as part of a career in Foreign Service, specifically in the area of diplomacy and transatlantic relations, with Karl Matthias Klause, Head of the Economic Section (Minister) of the German Embassy in Washington and certified Peace Negotiator with Swiss, Norwegian and German training.

International Law

International law and its various subfields, such as international human rights law, international environmental law, and international criminal law, are all popular career choices for those interested in global opportunities, especially those who are passionate about specific international disputes and have a desire to shape policy. Students pursuing this career path will complete both a Bachelor’s degree, sometimes in a subject relating to international relations, and a law degree, often with an international law concentration.

Learn about the ways in which International Law approaches public health and about it’s pivotal role in addressing public health challenges across the world with Dr. Faisal Khan, CEO – Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center; Raj Bhala, Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at University of Kansas Law School;  and Cody Wood, Associate at Dentons Law Firm.

Learn about the ways in which International Law shapes and informs domestic policy development, national elections and interests, and global multilateral relations with Dr. Oona A. Hathaway, the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law and Counselor to the Dean at the Yale Law School.

Non-Governmental Organizations

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are organizations that exist in civil society, distinct from both government and business. Careers with such organizations are popular for those interested in international relations as many NGOs address international issues such as public policy, human rights, democracy, international business, peace issues, political advocacy, and humanitarian aid.

Learn about a career in International Service with the Air Force with Captain Stormi Brewer, Education and Recruiting Officer at the University of Kansas – Air Force. 

Learn about an internationtional opportunity to Improve Healthcare Access in the U.S. and around the world with Nachelle Kaughman, director of volunteer engagement at Heart to Heart International. 

Learn about an international carreer in Fighting Global Poverty with Melissa Velazquez, international program director for Latin America at Unbound, a global anti-poverty organization based in Kansas City.

Political Consulting

Political consultants advise political actors by presenting reports, setting agendas, and implementing strategies. In the case of international relations, political consulting depends on the consultant’s area of expertise, whether it be a global region or field of international policy. Most political consultants focus on either campaign or policy consulting.

Enjoy the fascinating presentation of Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on Polarization and International Democracy as a component to her career in Political Consulting

Learn about global responses to crisis and how a career in Political Consulting is pivotal in developing, implementing, and maintaining global cooperation and building the future with Sam Brannen, Lead of the Risk and Foresight Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), senior fellow in the International Security Program, and previous consultant for the Pentagon and the Department of State of teh United States; and Dan Mahanty, Director of CIVIC’s U.S. Program, role in which he engages U.S. policymakers to promote the adoption of policies and practices that enhance the protection of civilians in conflict, including through international security cooperation and assistance.

Learn about the ways in which a career in Political Consulting influences international power balance and how it helps shape domestic and foreign approaches to power and international political competition with Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and previous foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain, the State Department, and the National Security Council.

Learn about the ways in which a career in Political Consulting can intertwine with a career in Public Service and how this mixture shapes international economic public policy, has the potential to transform global economic realities and the future of international markets, and influences the lives of consumers across the world with Ambassador Ron Kirk, Senior Of Counsel in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Dallas and Washington, D.C. offices, 16th United States Trade Representative (USTR), and member of President Obama’s Cabinet. 

Public Relations

The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” The organizations referred to in this definition can be from any sector, as businesses, NGOs, and governments all want positive public engagement. People with public relations careers often work closely with the media through press releases.

Learn about one of the Global Risk Management pathway in which a career in Public Relations may take you with Kevin Holland of Lockton Companies.

Learn about the refugee experience and the ways in which Public Relations is a key element for Non-Governmental Organizations with Martin Okpareke, Community Outreach and Refugee Family Strengthening Program Manager for the JVS (Jewish Vocational Services). 


Many individuals interested in international affairs are drawn to service, whether it be volunteering in the Peace Corp to tackle major international and community issues facing the world today, or serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. There are many service organizations with an international focus.

Learn about a career in International Service focused on Global Medical Response with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rick Randolph of Heart To Heart International.

Learn about an international career in International Service at Peace Corps with Jessica Vandivort de Montiel, United States Peace Corps Recruiter for Western Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. 

Learn about a career in International Service with the Air Force with Captain Stormi Brewer, Education and Recruiting Officer at the University of Kansas – Air Force. 

Translation and Interpretation

Careers in translation and interpretation are popular for many with a foreign language background, as jobs appear across all sectors and allow for critical cultural exchange. Not only do translators and interpreters need to be fluent in more than one language, but they must also be knowledgeable of cultural differences and relevant subject matter. For example, a healthcare interpreter must have a grasp on medical ethics and terminology on top of advanced language skills.

Learn about building an international and intercultural career in Translation and Trascribing and the challenges, opportunities, and rewarding experiences that await you in this field with Dr. Emmanuel Ngomsi, President & Senior Consultant at All World Languages & Cultures, Inc. and consultant for numerous educational and cultural organizations across Kansas City, the United States and the African Continent. 

Join Tingting Qin in exploring the journey she navigated in building her successful career in Translation and Interpretation. Tingting Qin has been a professional English-Chinese translator and interpreter since 2007 and has served on MICATA’s Board of Directors since 2017. She is a state certified court interpreter, DOJ immigration court interpreter, CCHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter™, CATTI (China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters) certified translator, and a voting member of ATA.

United Nations

The United Nations, an international organization comprised of 193 member states, has a multitude of entities, bodies, and subsidiary specialized agencies. Due to its size and complexity, many careers exist in the UN network, and such careers are very popular because the UN deals with the most urgent and significant issues around the world.

Get to know the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Creative Cities Network and KC’s unique contributions to it with Dr. Jacob A. Wagner and Anita J. Dixon, leaders of KC’s project using music as a form of democracy.


Many writers focus on international relations and related issues, whether they work for the government, an NGO, or the press. They may write policy recommendations, research papers, speeches, and columns in an attempt to influence both decision making and public opinion.

Learn about a Writing career from the angle of International Journalism and Correspondence with Joyce Davis, media consultant and the president of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, an affiliate of the World Affairs Councils of America.

Learn about a Writing career from the angle of Film Writing and Directing with Kevin Willmott, Director and co-Writter of  Oscar Nominated film “Da 5 Bloods,” AARP, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, DiscussingFilm Critics Awards, Hawaii Film Critics Society, International Online Cinema Awards, North Carolina Film Critics Association, and Online Film Critics Society Awards nominee and Hollywood Critics Association winner  for Best Original Screenplay. 

Featured Video Resources

Join Megan Chabalowshi, Program Officer in Public Education for the United States Institute of Peace in Whashington D.C., in exporing the many different career paths that may take you into a future of non-partisan Global Peace Building in the United States.

Join Rhiannon Johnson, Career Resources Specialist at the Kansas City Public Library, in defining an international career, identifying the opportunities and challenges of one, exploring the preparation elements to join a global workforce, and discovering the many local resources and opportunities available to you to get your global future started.

Join us for our International Career Series and Your Global Future programs to learn more about the different careers that will lead you towards a future of global adventures.

To access our full video library, visit our YouTube page!