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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy


Student Programs

Semester Program in Geneva

The Geneva program at the Sié Center is a study abroad opportunity for master's degree students at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Each year, up to ten students will be selected to spend six months in Geneva, Switzerland as part of an academic exchange with the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies. Student participants arrive in Geneva in June and stay through December and have the opportunity to intern at a Geneva-based organization and to complete two graduate-level courses during their stay.

The program is administered in collaboration with The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. The Graduate Institute is an institution of research and higher education dedicated to the study of world affairs, with a particular emphasis on the cross-cutting fields of international relations and development issues. The Institute has a long-standing reputation of excellence and shares strong ties with the international and non-governmental organizations in Geneva as well as being home to a diverse and vibrant group of students and faculty from all over the world.


Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2014 program year. Students will be invited to apply for the 2015 Korbel in Geneva program in late fall 2014. Each year, no more than 10 students will be accepted to the program.


Information for Korbel students interested in the Geneva program appears below. If you have additional questions, please email Jill Hereau, Associate Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy.


The Geneva program is open to master's degree-seeking students at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher. Students from all degree programs within the Josef Korbel School are welcome to apply. No more than 10 students will participate in the Geneva program each academic year.

Students that are nearing graduation but wish to participate in the Geneva program are encouraged to contact Susan Rivera, Director of Student Affairs at the Josef Korbel School, to discuss options for participation. 

Application Process

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2014 program year. Applications were accepted until January 15, 2014. Applications received after January 15 were not considered. Those accepted to the program were required to pay a non-refundable processing fee of $200.

Tuition and Courses

Student participants will enroll in two master's-level, elective courses offered by the Master in International Affairs program at Graduate Institute during the fall semester of the program year. Each course is worth 6 European credits and is held 2 hours/week over 14 weeks. Each course is equivalent to a five-credit course offered at the Korbel School and will transfer as such. Students may also earn up to five credits through an approved internship placement with a Geneva-based organization. In total, students will be able to earn 15 credit hours toward their degree while participating in the Geneva program.

Examples of the courses that may be offered by the Graduate Institute can be found here. Note that Korbel student participants will not be guaranteed enrollment in specific courses. Rather, the Graduate Institute will inform the Korbel School of courses open to students in the spring of each program year, and working with student participants, the Korbel School will inform the Graduate Institute of the top four (4) course selections of each student participant. The Graduate Institute will then place students in their chosen courses according to availability. This arrangement means that Korbel students will commit to participating in the Geneva program without knowing which elective courses will be offered to them by the Graduate Institute.

While in Geneva, students will be enrolled at the Graduate Institute as visiting, non-degree seeking students. This will allow students to have full access to all services and resources at the Graduate Institute. Per this arrangement, students will also be subject to the Graduate Institute student conduct policies during the duration of the program.

Tuition and fees will continue to be paid directly to the University of Denver and students will continue to be bound by the University of Denver honor code. Any questions related to tuition, fees, or financial aid may be directed to Jennifer Quinn, Assistant Director of Graduate Student Aid at the University of Denver. 

Financial Aid

Students participating in the Geneva program will continue to receive their DU financial aid package (loans, scholarships, grants, etc). Please note that work study and research assistant funding will not transfer to the Geneva Program. Students may work with the Office of Financial Aid to request a onetime increase to their loans to cover the cost of flying to Geneva but cannot request additional loan funding to cover the cost of living in Geneva.

Visas and Travel

Each student is responsible for applying for a student visa a minimum three months before the start of the program. The application process and cost of the visa will vary depending on the nationality of the student. Visa requirements can be found here. Note that the Graduate Institute will provide each student with an invitation letter in support of the student's visa application.

Each student will be responsible for organizing and paying for his or her travel to and from Geneva.

Housing, Living Expenses and Other Costs

Students will be responsible for personal costs that may be incurred as a result of participation in the program; costs may include but are not limited to airfare, housing in Geneva, transportation, meals, entertainment, books and supplies, and other personal expenses. Student participants are also required to possess current, valid student health insurance at their own expense. Neither the University of Denver nor the Graduate Institute will be financially responsible for any medical expenses incurred by students while participating in the program.

Living expenses in Geneva vary greatly depending on the chosen standard of living. According to the Graduate Institute, students should plan on monthly living expenses (including housing) of about CHF 1,800. Students are encouraged to begin looking for housing as soon as they know they will be participating in the program. Housing recommendations from the Graduate Institute can be found here. Other useful information about living in Geneva can be found on the Geneva Welcome Center website.

Securing an Internship in Geneva

A core component of the program is an internship at a Geneva-based international organization, NGO, or multinational firm. It is incumbent upon the student to research and locate opportunities and to apply and secure an internship. The Office of Career and Professional Development at the Josef Korbel School is available to students to provide advice, resources and professional development assistance during a student's internship search.

In 2014, students had internships at the World Health Organization, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the UN, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, among others. Read more about 2014 student internships.