Mission & Core Values

Community

We pride ourselves in our role as facilitators within the IR community. We connect international relations students and more generally students interested in global affairs in fostering friendships while promoting common interests. Our goal is to cultivate a prosperous environment for students.

Global Citizenship

IRSA is committed to talking about global issues and raising awareness about current affairs, as evidenced in our many events we hold. We aim to educate the wider UBC and local community by promoting discussions and new perspectives.

Professional Development 

We are committed to helping connect students with professionals in related fields and other IR-related organizations in Vancouver and Canada, as well as helping students develop skills needed in the job market.

What We Do

The International Relations Student Association (IRSA) was established in 1983 at the University of British Columbia. Our mandate is to provide students from a variety of disciplines with a forum for the discussion of international issues in a casual environment. Discussions reflect upon all areas of international interest. In addition, a host of other activities such as diplomatic simulations, academic publications, and conferences make IRSA the most active academic student group on campus and one of the most recognized throughout Canada.

IRSA exists to help students get to know each other on a social level, and to also help tie the theoretical knowledge gained in classes to the realities of living in a fluid international system. Not just for IR students, IRSA acts as a meeting place for students of all faculties who are interested in global events. Our mission has been to provide a forum for international discourse and build a strong community for students and faculty to share their interests in international relations. Year in and year out we are among one of the highest regarded student organizations in North America (this needs a citation). 

Each year we organize, facilitate and host guest speakers, socials and beer gardens, conferences, diplomatic simulations like the annual UBC Model United Nations Conference, and academic publications such as the Journal of International Affairs.  We have close partnerships with various groups such as the Economics and Political Science Students Associations at UBC, and with our sister group at SFU, the International Studies Students Association. We also have close relationships with key professional communities including the British Columbia Consular Corps and the Canadian International Council (CIC). IRSA encourages students to broaden their academic horizons by acting as a focal point for connecting and networking, both with fellow students and with professionals working in international affairs.

We have close partnerships with various groups such as the Economics and Political Science Students Associations at UBC, and with our sister group at SFU, the International Studies Students Association. We also have close relationships with key professional communities including the British Columbia Consular Corps and the Canadian International Council (CIC). IRSA encourages students to broaden their academic horizons by acting as a focal point for connecting and networking, both with fellow students and with professionals working in international affairs.

Awards and Recognition

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Alma Matter Society Award for Best Social-Political Club at UBC: 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018

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Helen McRae Award for Student Development, 2005

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National Model North Atlantic Treaty Organization Conference, Premier Delegation Award

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The Canadian Bureau for International Education - The Outstanding Program in International Education Award, 2005