Office of International Programs


International Law and Human Rights

June 6, 2014 - June 23, 2014 (Tentative)

POS 399 (3 credits)


International human rights is undoubtedly a discipline with a strong theoretical foundation. The best way to understand it, however, is to actually engage it: see it in action, talk with experts in the field, and get access to the key international organizations and human rights mechanisms that form the discipline. In Geneva, students will get a firsthand look at how theory and knowledge are put into practice.

Students will travel to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the UN Human Rights Council meetings and side events at the UN Headquarters. Students will hear from and interact with diplomats, experts in the field, and UN representatives.


Julia M. Edwards, Lecturer in Political Science. University of Southern Maine, B.A., 2005; Seton Hall University, M.A., 2009. Fulbright Scholar in Norway, 2009-2010.

Guest Faculty in Geneva: Joshua Cooper is currently the US Human Rights Network Universal Periodic Review Geneva Coordinator for the historic first review of the human rights record of the United States of America. Cooper is also the Director of Training at the International Training Centre for Teaching Peace and Human Rights and a Trainer at the Advanced Geneva Training Course on International Law and Advocacy for the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Cooper also is a Trainer for the University of New South Wales Diplomacy Training Program focusing on human rights of indigenous peoples in the Asia-Pacific region. Cooper serves on the Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force at the United Nations Association-USA. Cooper has taught at the University of Hawaii for over a decade in fields of political science, peace studies and journalism.


The application deadline is March 17, 2014. The deadline for the first $100 deposit (applied to the program cost) is February 14, 2014.

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Signed, completed application form*
  • Second $100 non-refundable deposit (applied to the program cost)
  • Typed 200-word essay
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor
  • Official copies of all academic transcripts

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be notified by e-mail of your application status. If your application is not accepted, the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. If the program is canceled for any reason by the USM, all deposits will be returned.

*If you are having trouble downloading the application, please contact us at (207) 780-4959 or and we will send you one. You may also want to try upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


The estimated program fee is $2680. The cost of three credits of tuition and fees at the in-state rate are in addition to the program fee. The program fee includes accommodation, roundtrip airfare from Boston, ground transportation including train travel, site visits, field trips, breakfast each day, and comprehensive medical insurance through iNext.

Not included in the program fee is the cost of tuition, fees, lunches and dinners, books, academic supplies, or other personal expenses. Three credits of tuition plus regular university fees is $917. All participants on USM travel courses receive the in-state tuition rate regardless of residency.

All participants will be automatically registered for a payment plan. The two $100 deposits will go towards the cost of the program and the remaining balance will be due as follows:

50% of the balance due April 5, 2014

Remaining balance due May 5, 2014

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Federal financial aid and loans are available to matriculated students who participate in travel courses. In order to receive the benefit of financial aid, students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits during the summer for a summer travel course. If financial aid does not cover the full cost of the program, students are responsible for paying the remaining balance according to the payment plan schedule.

Include the costs of this course in your FAFSA application. If you have questions about financial aid or completing your FAFSA, please contact the financial aid office at (207) 780-4166. If you are not a matriculated student at USM, please check with the financial aid office at your institution.

USM's Office of International Programs offers small scholarships for students enrolled in summer travel courses. Scholarships are competitive and awards are up to $500. The application deadline is February 8, 2013. Students applying for the International Summer Scholarship must apply to a travel course before or at the same time as submitting a scholarship application.