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Summer and Intersession Programs

WTO, International Trade and Development

Geneva, Switzerland

The Graduate Institute's summer program WTO, International Trade and Development provides students a unique opportunity to enter into the analysis and atmosphere of multilateral trade as they take part in the program just around the corner from the World Trade Organization.

Academic Details

This two-week, 3-credit course, delivered by SIS partner The Graduate Institute in Geneva, includes lectures and discussions that will deal with many dimensions of the challenges faced by trade analysts and negotiators across several interwoven domains. Students from around the world will participate in the program, creating not only an opportunity to network with others across disciplines and sectors, but across many international borders. 

The first week of the course will offer an interdisciplinary review of the features of international trade and the world trading system from the perspectives of economics, political science, and law. This part of the course aims at providing participants with a fluent understanding of the economics of free trade, the political implications of free-trade decisions, and the legal framework of the WTO system. The first week will also include a student led simulation of a Dispute Settlement Mechanism Case Study.

The second week of the program will be framed by the question of how trade works for development, and how the development paradigm poses particular challenges to a free-trade regime like the WTO. Covering trade in manufacturing, trade in agricultural products and trade in services, this week will integrate the economic perspectives in favor of trade, the legal frameworks within which trade liberalization takes place, and the political implications that restrict and drive liberalization.

During the course, participants may have the opportunity to interact with top officials while visiting the WTO, visit missions to the WTO of important developing countries, and visit some of the UN Organizations. Each week will also feature a public lecture or roundtable connected to the week's main theme. Additionally, social events for participants will be organized by The Graduate Institute, including a welcome reception, barbecue, tours of the campus, excursions in and around Geneva on Saturdays, and a farewell dinner.

Students will apply to SIS, then enroll directly at The Graduate Institute for both weeks of the program and, upon successful completion of the course, will receive credit from the Institute to be articulated on their AU transcripts.

2015 Program Schedule

Program dates: June 22 - July 3

Program Costs

AU tuition, international airfare, accommodation and most meals.

Who Should Attend

The interdisciplinary nature of the program is designed for graduate students with an interest in international trade, development, and international organizations, and is ideal for those who wish to improve their knowledge and expertise of current issues in WTO negotiations.


Students are required to make their own travel arrangements to and from Geneva and must find their own accommodations for the duration of the two week program. Support to secure housing will be offered by The Graduate Institute, but will be at the expense of the student. Some on-campus accommodation may also be available, but is not guaranteed. More details will be made available in the pending program guide.

Application and Deadlines

Priority deadline*: February 15 (midnight)

*Later applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis


As part of the review process, the Faculty Advisor may invite students to meet in order to discuss the submitted application. Once admitted to the Program by SIS, students receive notification via e-mail. At that time, students will be required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $250 to SIS, through a check or money order made payable to American University, to secure their place in the Program.

Students must read the entire program guide before applying. The program guide will be made available in the Forms section of this website.

Contact Us!

Email: sisabroad@american.edu

Facebook: American University SIS Study Abroad

Twitter: SISStudyAbroad

Application Deadlines

Summer 2015: April 17



Advisor Approval Form

The updated program guide will be made available here at the start of the Spring 2015 semester.

Geneva 2014 Program Guide

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