Peer into the United Nations to see how negotiations and world politics occur; and how the UN and other international organizations tackle the toughest issues affecting humanity. A typical day includes engagement with the local community of international diplomats, locally-posted United Nations personnel, researchers, negotiators, academics, non-governmental organizations, and other advocacy groups. This unique and distinctive access to leading experts, professionals and national officials provides real world insights into the inner working of international work. The dialogue provides unique networking opportunities with officials from all over the world as well as providing first-person insights into the inner working of complex international negotiations and coordination. This is a very special and once in a lifetime opportunity for those interested in international work, humanitarian efforts, disarmament and multilateralism in the world's most pressing and complex issues. Meet highly distinguished guests including top diplomats from countries all over the world, as well as top-level UN officials. Being in Geneva, the home to many international organizations also provides an incredible opportunity for students to further explore their own interests. On the weekends we have optional hiking trips planed to different mountains in the beautiful swiss Alps. The Dialogue is academically challenging, writing intensive, and rigorous. Every day's schedule consists of meetings, for which students are expected to show up on time, show enthusiasm and be prepared to engage with speakers and ask informed questions

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: October 20, 2017
  • * Priority Deadline: December 3, 2017
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2018
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime between the priority and final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?
    • How do you plan to get ready for participating in the United Nations DOC? Please describe all steps. This essay should also include a narrative about: how do you plan to contribute to the life of the group and to the trip overall?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

* Priority Deadline: All students that apply by the priority deadline will be considered for admission, as all dialogues remain open until the priority deadline. After the priority deadline, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the program fills. Programs are subject to close anytime between the priority deadline and the application deadline when a program receives the maximum number of students.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.00
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.


The academic focus is on the pressing issues of world politics, including disarmament, arms control, international humanitarian law, human rights law, and international security in general.

  • POLS 4937 - World Politics and International Law through the United Nations : This course will examine some of the pressing problems and global issues that are predominant in the international agenda of states, and international and non-governmental organizations. Principally in its aims, it will examine the tools and practice of diplomacy and humanitarian action as a way to address some of the highlighted challenges for ultimately achieving peace among nations, and global governance.  
  • INTL 4944 - Disarmament and Humanitarian Security : This course introduces disarmament diplomacy and humanitarian action as a key theme and objective of the United Nations’ mission in the world today. It is a case study used to demonstrate one of the most multifaceted areas of action in international relations. It introduces the practice within the United Nations and examines the key multilateral treaties along with state practice. The course sees disarmament as a path to humanitarian and human security. Therefore, students are exposed to the key concepts of human security along with an introduction to International Humanitarian Law as a tool and framework to understand the main issues.


Northeastern Tuition: $12,140
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $750
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and group meals)

International Airfare: $1,000-1,500
  •   This program allows students greater flexibility in dates of travel and departure airports.  Once the program is fully enrolled, students will be able to purchase their airfare individually through a dedicated Northeastern portal of STA – Student Travel Agency.  Please do not purchase your airfare until you have received detailed instructions from GEO!

Additional Estimated Expenses: $1,737
  • Students should anticipate spending the following out of pocket expenses during the program: $1386 on meals and $351 on incidentals.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!


Additional Resources


Geneva, Switzerland is where two-thirds of all United Nations activities take place and peacefully rests at the foot of gorgeous mountains and Lake Geneva. In addition to daily meetings at the UN and partner organizations, research, and networking, students will participate on hikes and group activities around the lake and city!


  • Hostel: Geneva Youth Hostel is located just a few blocks from the United Nations, as well as a number of other International Organization headquarters. Less than a block away from Lake Geneva, and all of its gorgeous scenery and activities, Geneva Youth Hostel also provides wi-fi (included), daily breakfast (included), laundry facilities (for only a small fee), and a public transportation card (also included). Nearby are fabulous restaurants, shopping, and many of Geneva’s finest outdoor offerings, such as the Botanical Gardens and lakeside lawns and beaches!

Host University or Organization

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, in particular, and among many others, are our host partners. Bringing together states, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and academia so that we may work together—internationally, regionally and locally—to build and implement creative solutions that will benefit all states and peoples. Based in Geneva, UNIDIR is centrally positioned to assist the international community in developing the practical, innovative thinking needed to find solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Other partners and hosts of the United Nations Dialogue include:

  • United Nations
  • The Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development of the University of Geneva/ Global
  • Studies Institute
  • Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • The Library at the United Nations in Geneva
  • Human Rights Watch
  • United Nations Center of Excellence for Public Private Partnerships
  • International Committee for Robot Arms Control
  • Academic Council of the United Nations
  • British American Security Information Council
  • ICT for Peace Foundation
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Faculty Advisor