International Education Studies (BA)

Gain global awareness and intercultural understanding, while studying educational philosophies and teaching approaches for international settings. In this unique program you will pair academic learning with hands-on experience, while pursuing an integrated course of study that combines requirements from both the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts.  

International Education Studies can be a pathway towards a Bachelor of Education program and a teaching career in Canada or abroad. It can also prepare you for a career in education-related work across a range of other fields, like international development, migration and refugees, or human rights. Whatever your chosen path, you will be equipped to thrive in our globally interconnected world. 

Apply Your Learning

Experiential learning is at the heart of our program, including several placements with both local and international dimensions. 

You will conduct a local placement in your second year, in a school or community organization. In this placement, you will learn about educational approaches that support diverse languages, cultures, and lived experiences in classrooms and other educational settings. 

If you opt to complete the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate as part of your degree (see below for more information), you will conduct a placement with multilingual language learners in the fall semester of your third year. 

Finally, between third and fourth year, an intensive internationally focussed placement with one of our partner schools and organizations will take you on the next steps in your professional development journey. For many students, we are able to offer opportunities for placements abroad, or you can conduct your placement right here in the Waterloo Region.  

Looking for more ideas on how to maximize your university experience?

Check out the International Education Studies Experience and Career Guide.


2022 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies


Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*


students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2022

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UID

Program Details

Collaboration for Interdisciplinary Learning 

The first of its kind in Canada, Laurier’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Education Studies is a collaboration between the Faculty of Education and the Department of Global Studies, in the Faculty of Arts. 

In your Faculty of Education courses, you'll develop skills in instructional planning, understanding curriculum, engaging students, and teaching for diversity and inclusion. You’ll also gain the basics in teaching language and literacy, adult education, mathematics, and international curricula. Most of your courses will take an explicitly intercultural or international approach to teaching practice, often focusing on issues of equity and social justice. 

In your Global Studies courses, you’ll learn about the defining challenges of our time, like climate change, armed conflict, inequality, and ideological extremism. Some of your Global Studies courses will address specific ways you can channel your interest in education towards careers in areas like human rights, international development, and peace building. At the same time, you’ll gain a better understanding of yourself in relation to global events and become more prepared to reconsider your own perspective as you encounter diverse languages, cultures, and worldviews. 

Pathway to the Laurier Bachelor of Education

The BA in International Education Studies is a great stepping stone towards teacher certification through a Bachelor of Education degree. IES graduates will receive preferential admission to the Bachelor of Education program at Laurier if they successfully complete the IES program placements and other requirements and have a minimum 10.5 GPA on their final 10 Laurier-based credits.  

Program Options and Courses

Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate

As part of the program, you can choose to complete a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate from Conestoga College, which will provide you with the training and first credential required to teach English as a second/foreign language in Canada or abroad. 

The Conestoga TEFL certificate program is recognized by TESL Canada, Standard 1.

Options and Minors

These are a few of the many popular academic opportunities which allow you to dive deeper into related areas of study: 

  • Social Entrepreneurship Option 
  • International Policy Option
  • Muslim Studies Option
  • Intercultural Understanding Option
  • Youth and Children's Studies Minor

Check out other options and minors to enhance your degree. Please note that students registered in the BA in International Education Studies are not eligible to take the Teaching Option or the Minor in Education. 

Sample Courses

Global Studies:

  • Global Studies in Practice
  • Introduction to Global Studies
  • Mapping Global Studies: Culture, Conflict, Development
  • Theories in Global Studies


  • Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (includes a Canadian placement)
  • Educational Leadership in International Contexts
  • General Teaching Methods
  • Introduction to Adult Education
  • Introduction to Mathematics Education
  • Introduction to Education in International Contexts
  • Second Language Literacy Development
  • Theories of Learning and Development

View a full list of the required courses for this program.

Similar Programs

Community Service-Learning


Community Service-Learning (CSL) courses at Laurier integrate service in the community with what you are learning in your classes. Placements are approximately 10 weeks and take place on a weekly basis from the second week of classes to the final week, typically for two hours per week.

CSL placements consist of volunteering at a local community service, such as a soup kitchen or a children's treatment centre. It’s a great way to apply classroom knowledge and gain practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, develop your network, and graduate with experience.

Interested? Learn more about Community Service-Learning.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.


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"I enjoyed meeting like-minded people who share the same values and can think critically about the future of international education. This blend of subjects is the perfect combination for our globalized world and encourages growth within ourselves and the world."

Clarie Morris, International Education Studies student

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • community engagement specialist
  • ESL teacher
  • global engagement program manager
  • human rights lawyer
  • NGO program coordinator/manager
  • policy analyst
  • teacher in an international school

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

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"[This program] allows you to think critically and reflect on how education is being approached internationally. My experience thus far has been incredible. You really get the opportunity to engage in course materials and there’s a lot of hands-on work and experiences, locally and internationally."

Rwan Muzamil, International Education Studies student

Interested in More Info?

Email, call 548.889.8888 or see all contact information.