M.A. ISHA - Implementing Sustainable Humanitarian Action

American University Center of Provence

Application deadline: November 15 for the Spring semester and April 30 for the Fall semester
Tuition fee:
  • € 25,400 / Year (EEA)
  • € 25,400 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 60 ECTS
Duration full-time: 10 months
Partnership: Joint
  • English
  • French
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Recognized by the French national Ministry of Education, the American University Center of Provence provides a high quality academic and cultural experience for American college and university students.
At the heart of international education, two full-immersion French programs combine an all French-speaking environment, individual homestay, language partner, personal interest activity, and community service with rigorous course work taught by French university faculty.

The American University Center of Provence has the distinction of providing its students with an entirely French-speaking environment.

In addition to the cultural immersion furthered by experiential learning requirements, program participants commit themselves with a formal language pledge to total French language immersion.
AUCP students speak French in all curricular and extra-curricular circumstances: in their classes, with their French host families, with their French friends, as well as within the AUCP student group.

Students and home universities recognize that failure to respect the language pledge may lead to dismissal from the program.



Coursework and Credits

First semester courses establish the groundwork for the six-week internship. Second semester courses build on the practical experience acquired in the field. During the second semester, students expand upon the field study, placing observed events in a global perspective. Semesters are fourteen weeks in duration and offer a pre-established synergy of five core courses complemented by a series of guest speakers and/or short term seminars. Coursework credits total 50 ECTS for the full year of study.


Drawing together both on-site experience and academic research, ISHA students produce a Master's Thesis (or mémoire) of approximately 40 pages for a minimum of 10 ECTS, required for the completion of the degree.


Philosophy G512/G522
Applied Philosophy: Origin and Evolution of Humanitarian Action
5 semester credits This one-semester course will analyse the comparative intellectual, cultural, religious, social, and political origins of humanitarian action and their evolution toward "modernity," defined as the acceptance of the co-existence of a wide range of differing ways of life. Students will explore, beyond prejudice and idealisation, historical and philosophical factors that motivate and inform humanitarian efforts.

Political Science G514/G524
Geopolitics: Crises in Context
10 semester credits This two-semester course analyzes the principal global, continental, and national repercussions linked to localized conflicts, with particular attention to humanitarian and ecological risks. Territorial conflicts (Israel-Palestine, Darfur, Colombia, etc.) will be studied, as well as major transversal issues such as water, food, health, and migration. Action taken by states, international organizations, and NGO's, as well as the links (complementarity/opposition) between these actors will be analyzed and contextualized.

Management G516/G526
NGO Design, Finance, Law, and Management
10 semester credits This comprehensive two-semester course will call upon a series of experts in the fields of international law, finance, and management for the contextual examination of a series of case studies highlighting the major practical considerations related to the implementation and management of NGO's.

Anthropology G517/G527
Culture and Humanitarian Action
10 semester credits An extensive study of societal structures prevalent in the developing world, this course examines gender roles and hierarchies, values and beliefs, fears, superstitions, and ethnocentric prejudices that provide both the context of crisis and the framework for its solution. Lectures and case studies explore the importance of discerning and operating within existing lines of power and influence, values and beliefs in the interest of sustainable humanitarian and/or environmental efforts.

Communication G515
Intercultural Communication/Mediation
10 semester credits Cornerstone of the ISHA program, this full year course begins with the first-week orientation seminar and continues with weekly meetings and periodic workshops. In preparation for the internship module and its subsequent debrief, this highly interactive course guides students toward ethnorelativism and a greater awareness of the process of observation and interpretation as influenced by personal world view constructs. Targeting intercultural competence, the course explores strategies for adaptation and the multiple dimensions of communication, both verbal and non-verbal, within diverse cultural contexts.

Journalism G518/G528
Intercultural Journalism
5 semester credits Organized in a forty-five hour series of meetings and workshops spanning both semesters, this course will explore the limits of objective reporting and develop interview and writing techniques appropriate to intercultural journalism. Second semester course sessions will be devoted to the mastery of narrative reporting and story-telling for the effective communication of an empathetic perspective on contexted events. Participants will complete background research and prepare their NGO case study for publication.


Applicants must demonstrate:

* prior academic excellence;
* the completion of a minimum of four prior years of university study American Bachelor's degree; French Master 1; or international equivalent;
* linguistic competence in both English and French;
* compelling motivation and background.


For admission to the ISHA Master's Program, assessment of prior study is based on the characteristics of the candidate's national educational system, the type of institution attended, and the level of studies completed. The following guidelines indicate the minimum level of study of applicants from recognized academic institutions worldwide. In all cases, the three-year Bologna compliant bachelor's degree is not sufficient to meet admission requirements.



An intensive, highly focused, prestigious, career oriented European Masters Degree in International Affairs, with a joint Certificate in NGO Management and Design

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