Experiential and Applied Learning

I. Undergraduate Crisis Simulation
II. Study Abroad
III. Internships for Credit
IV. Model United Nations
V. Zones of Conflict/Zones of Peace
VI. Service Learning

At SFS-Qatar, we believe it is important for students to have the opportunity apply the ideas and theories that they learn in their classes to real-world situations. To that end, students are offered several opportunities to complement and enhance their learning through participation in experiential and applied learning activities.

I. Undergraduate Crisis Simulation

Each year, SFS-Qatar sponsors an Undergraduate Crisis Simulation in cooperation with Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in Washington, DC.

In the Crisis Simulation, students are presented with an international crisis situation and tasked with achieving a resolution to it. The students are separated into teams representing the major political and non-state actors who have a stake in resolving (or not resolving, as the case may be) the crisis. Each team is provided with specific instructions to which they must adhere when negotiating with the other groups. Although it is very uncommon for these negotiations to result in a workable resolution to the problem, the real importance of the Crisis Simulation lies in the valuable lessons that students learn about how crisis situations evolve and the diplomatic difficulties inherent in resolving them.

Past Undergraduate Crisis Simulation topics have included:

  • Afghanistan after the U.S. military pull-out
  • Civil war and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Conflict between China and Taiwan over Taiwanese sovereignty
  • International health and humanitarian crisis in North Korea
  • The reunification of Cyprus

II. Study Abroad

SFS-Qatar Students

All SFS-Qatar students are encouraged to study abroad at some point during their academic career. In so doing, they are exposed to new ideas and perspectives, as well as to peoples, cultures, and values that are different from their own. Given SFS-Qatar’s curricular focus on international affairs, we believe that such experiences are a valuable component of the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree.

SFS-Qatar students have four basic study abroad options:

  • Study at Georgetown University’s main campus in Washington, DC for a semester or academic year. This option is open only to third year students. Furthermore, students must have a 3.25 GPA or higher to be considered. Courses taken on main campus are applicable to a student’s degree and the grades earned factor into a student’s cumulative GPA. Information about the application process will be sent to eligible students in the Spring and Fall semester each year.
  • Study at Georgetown University’s main campus in Washington, DC in the Summer. This option is open to all students who have completed their first year at SFS-Qatar. Courses taken on main campus are applicable to a student’s degree and the grades earned factor into a student’s cumulative GPA. Information about how to register for main campus Summer courses will be sent to all students early in the Spring semester each year.
  • Participate in a Georgetown University approved study abroad program at over 100 universities around the world. This option is open only to third year students. GPA requirements will vary between programs, but generally a 3.0 or higher is required. Courses taken during an approved study abroad program may be applicable to a student’s degree, but the grades earned do not factor into a student’s cumulative GPA. A searchable database of approved international programs is available at: http://overseasstudies.georgetown.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.AdvancedSearch
  • Take courses at another university independently during the Summer. This option is open to all students who have completed their first year at SFS-Qatar. Courses taken independently in the summer may be applicable to a student’s degree, but the grades earned do not factor into a student’s cumulative GPA. Students are responsible for arranging all aspects of an independent summer study abroad experience. All non-Georgetown Summer courses must be pre-approved for transfer to SFS-Qatar. See your academic adviser for assistance with course pre-approval. Failure to obtain pre-approval will result in the course not being accepted for transfer credit. Please note that a student may transfer no more than four non-Georgetown Summer courses to Georgetown University. Furthermore, no more than one of these four non-Georgetown Summer courses can be an online course.

If you are interested in any of these study abroad opportunities, please schedule an appointment with your academic adviser to discuss your options.

Students from Other Universities

SFS-Qatar welcomes students from other universities who wish to spend a semester, the academic year, or the Summer studying in Doha. Here you will have the opportunity to take a variety of courses in a truly diverse academic and cultural setting. Furthermore, Doha is an ideal hub from which to see the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, thereby providing ample opportunity to continue learning outside of the classroom.

All non-Georgetown students wishing to study at SFS-Qatar must apply to do so through Georgetown University’s Division of Overseas Studies. For further information about the application process and studying at SFS-Qatar, please contact: overseasstudies@georgetown.edu

III. Internships for Credit

Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar is delighted to announce the start of an exciting internship for academic credit program in Fall 2013. Brookings Doha Centre, a premier center for policy analysis and research on the Middle East, is partnering with Georgetown SFS-Q to provide advanced students with a chance for experiential learning -- applying theories learned in the classroom to the cutting-edge research work done at Brookings -- all the while developing professional skills which will help them succeed after graduation.

Students selected for these positions will work on substantive research projects at Brookings for one semester. Brookings Doha Centre seeks candidates with a demonstrated interest in Middle East politics and/or U.S. foreign policy in the region. A strong academic background, excellent writing and research skills, and knowledge of Arabic are highly desirable. Seniors and juniors are given preference, and the minimum cumulative GPA required to apply is 3.3. An interview at Brookings is required.

Students will work at Brookings up to 15 hours per week, meet for bi-weekly classes at Georgetown and also complete coursework. Students who successfully complete all the requirements successfully will earn one academic credit reflected on the transcript.

Application deadlines are as follows:

  • August 15 for Fall 2013 internships

  • October 25 for Spring 2014 internships

  • March 20 for Fall 2014 internships

Students must submit a letter of interest and resume or CV to Dean Heather Kerst (kersth@georgetown.edu) to apply.

  • Once a student has met the internship requirements and been accepted by Brookings, SFS-Qatar will register the student for the internship course. 

INAF 335-70 International Affairs Internship - Qatar (1 credit)

This one-credit elective course is intended for SFS-Qatar students in their senior or junior years who have secured an internship with one of our partner organizations. As of Summer 2013, our partner organization is Brookings Doha Centre. 

Students accepted for the internship positions at Brookings will work up to 15 hours per week on substantive research-related projects at Brookings Doha Centre. Students are also required to complete class time and work at Georgetown as described below, to structure their experiential learning and reflections.

Students who are selected for this internship course and intern at Brookings will benefit in the following ways: 

  1. Gain substantive work experience at a premier research and policy analysis organization, acquainting the interns with typical duties and responsibilities of the Brookings office and enhance interns’ future academic and/or professional development; 

  2. Engage in cutting edge research on the Middle East; 

  3. Receive mentorship from assigned supervisor, providing on-going guidance in the completion of the tasks and acquainting the interns with local business practices and relevant social customs and dynamics; and
  4. Apply theories learned in the classroom to work at Brookings -- to better bridge the gap between academic training and professional needs, and allow students to reflect on academic and professional goals and refocus their efforts and goals accordingly. 

The general course objectives are the following: 

  • To apply theories and skills learned in the classroom and gain substantive professional experience via an internship (praxis, experiential learning) 

  • To critically reflect on academic work done thus far and find connections between the various disciplines studied 

  • To further develop media literacy skills by developing an online narrative (e-portfolio) of academic work, applied experiences and reflections 

  • To translate learning goals into professional goals and skills 

Assignments & Expectations of Students

In addition to the work done at Brookings each week, students will develop a reflective e-portfolio over the semester, which will integrate the above course objectives. Included in the e-portfolio are seven reflections and reading responses, two informational interviews and a final seven to eight-page paper connecting a theoretical framework from a course (or courses) to experience at the internship. 

The basis for the grade is as follows: 

  • 15% e-portfolio development 

  • 30% reflections and reading responses (total of 7) 

  • 25% seven to eight-page final paper 

  • 10% informational interviews (total of 2) 

  • 10% presentation of e-portfolio 

  • 10% class participation 

Class at Georgetown will meet bi-weekly for 1.5 hours for a total of 10.5 class hours. In addition, students must present their e-portfolios to faculty, student colleagues and invited alumni/employers during the final exam period (in lieu of an in-class exam). 

Course components 

E-portfolio development: 
Students will receive technology and design instruction in developing their e-portfolio. Components of the e-portfolio will include the following:

  • Statement of goals 

  • Seven reading responses and reflections 

  • Two informational interviews
CV or resume
Seven to eight-page paper connecting/applying a theory to practice at internship 

Reading responses and reflections:Seven reading responses and reflections are required (one every two weeks over the semester). Readings may include the following, with additional readings added depending on the type of internship: 

  • Drucker, P. (1999). Managing Oneself. Harvard Business Review. Reprint 12572
Green, M. (2008). Research challenges in narrative persuasion. Information Design Journal.
Cialdini, R. (2001) Harnessing the Science of Persuasion. HBR Reprint 791

The Written Interview Assignment: The Purpose and General Plan. Harvard Business Review. August (2002) Reprint 9-403-0 

Reflections and reading responses should be one page long each. Over the course of these seven responses and reflections, students will be asked to identify three learning goals from their time at Georgetown and connect them to the internship and readings. Responses and reflections should include instances of how these learning goals or theories have appeared in internship work. Reflection should show critical thinking about progress toward learning goals, should explore honest problem-solving and plans for future professional and academic goals. 

Informational interviews: 
Students will be asked to identify two employers working in an area of potential professional interest and conduct an informational interview with them about skills needed for the field and positions more specifically. Students will receive instruction and guidance on how to do these in partnership with our vocational counselor and our external outreach office. 

Students are required to attend all class sessions as well as satisfy internship work hours. Students must actively engage in class sessions and at internship, and complete course and internship work successfully. 

Final paper: 
A final seven to eight page final paper is required for students in which students must identify a theory learned in a class or classes, explain how they applied it in class and how it applied (or didn’t) in their internship work. Students must demonstrate understanding of the theory and apply it appropriately. 

Students will be required to make a final presentation of their e-portfolios to fellow students, faculty, internship supervisors and alumni or other employers engaged with the projects. 

What Students Should Know - Logistics

  • This course is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. 

  • Internship positions will not be paid. 

  • Internship positions are with SFS-Q partner organizations -- currently Brookings Doha Centre. 

  • The course may be taken once, for a total of one credit. The credit counts toward the 120 credits required for the SFS degree, but it does not count toward the 40 courses required for the SFS degree. If a student receives permission to enroll a second time, the course will be marked as a repeated course and excluded from earned hours/credits toward the degree. 

  • Students may only work during dates for the academic term in which they are registered for the course. 

  • Students can’t work more than 15 hours per week at internship. 

  • A minimum GPA of 3.3 is required to apply. Preference is given to juniors and seniors, but exceptional sophomores may be considered. 

  • Students must report to internship supervisor for work assignments in addition to completing class assignments and meetings. 

  • The student will receive an employer questionnaire that must be completed by the employer and returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the internship.

IV. Model United Nations

Held annually, this event provides SFS-Qatar students with the opportunity to participate in the planning, organization, and execution of an international high-school MUN in Doha. For more information, see: http://qatar.sfs.georgetown.edu/campus/organizations/mun/

V. Zones of Conflict/Zones of Peace

This is a co-curricular program offered in the spring semester that focuses on conflict management, conflict resolution, and on the processes that underlie both. Thirty students are chosen each year for the program, and students are selected for two different trips to conflict sites at different stages of resolution. For more information, see: http://qatar.sfs.georgetown.edu/campus/organizations/zones/

VI. Service Learning

Service Learning merges academic learning with the needs of the broader community, with the aim of instilling participant with a sense of the rights and responsibilities of national and global citizenship. In the spirit of Georgetown’s Jesuit values, especially Contemplation in Action, service learning emphasizes critical reflection through personal, experience-based and analytical writing and discussion. Moreover, it helps students develop an understanding of the world as an interdependent system and increases global awareness and concern. For more information, see: