Brussels School of International Studies

Two Capitals Exchange

The University of Kent's Two Capitals exchange gives students a unique opportunity to learn about international affairs in a global context. Students spend one year at the Brussels School of International Studies before moving to another global capital to broaden their understanding of international studies and obtaining two master’s degrees in the process.



The exchange allows students to specialise in one of the following disciplines; international relations, conflict and security, international political economy, public policy, migration or international development, as well as experience different approaches to international studies on different continents and in different global capitals. Students on the exchange programme gain an insight into the nature of change as an endemic feature of politics on a national, regional and global scale; an understanding of the causes of change; and ways in which to manage that change. They also gain a firm understanding of the complex relationship between the concerns of domestic and international politics, and global and geopolitical issues.

Students initially follow the curriculum of their chosen degree programme at BSIS. The curriculum for the second part of the degree is dependent on your chosen location, but will be within the sphere of international affairs.


Studying International Relations with International Law at the BSIS in Brussels, I developed a deep interest in Europe-Asia relations and possibilities for future coexistence, coevolution and cooperation of the two global actors. Spending a semester in Beijing, focusing on Chinese foreign policy, contemporary diplomacy and the bottom-less wealth of Chinese culture, heritage and tradition has given me a once-in-a-lifetime crash course in the metropolis of a growing global power and exponentially increased my understanding of the truly globalised world we live in.

Sabina Carli (MA International Relations, CFAU Exchange Student, 2016/17)


How do I apply?

Applicants, who should initially apply for one of the programmes listed above, will be expected to have completed the taught courses of their chosen programme and have achieved an average of a Merit before applying for one of the exchanges as part of the Two Capitals Programme. A decision on whether a student may undertake an exchange will be made in early Spring for those students who started their masters in the previous September.

Who can apply?

The exchanges with CFAU and Virginia Tech are open to BSIS students who begin their studies in September only and is most compatible with those who are initially registered on a 90 ECTS programme.
The exchanges with CFAU and Virginia Tech are open to students following an MA programme and those on an LLM are not eligible to take part.
Please note, places for the exchange with CFAU are limited and offered on a competitive basis. All interested students will be interviewed and selected in consultation with CFAU.
Students using FAFSA (US loans) to fund their studies are not eligible to take part in the exchange due to restrictions on the use of the loan. We strongly advise students to check the terms and conditions of your loan before you embark on your chosen programme of study.

What is the cost?

The Two capitals exchange is subject to its own fee structure and depending on which option you choose, will determine the fee level and payment structure. Please email for more information stating which option you are interested in.


Washington DC

The Two Capitals Programme in Washington DC is based on an exchange agreement with Virginia Tech. Further information about the Joint Programme can be found at
• Students wishing to undertake their exchange at Virginia Tech (VT) will be enrolled on the Government and International Affairs programme of the School of Public and International Affairs on VT's National Capital Region Campus in Alexandria and will study towards a Masters in Public International Affairs (MPIA).

Students would progress to Virginia Tech’s Alexandria campus in August for the second half of their dual degree. The international affairs programme at Virginia Tech is a 36 credit hour degree and students would transfer 15 credits from BSIS into the Virginia Tech degree. For details on the classes available at Virginia Tech, please see the link above.
Credit is transferred in both directions (30 ECTS from Virginia Tech to Kent, and vice-versa). This enables you to enhance your degree in both locations with credits from another institution and lead to the double award.



Our exchange with Beijing is offered on a competitive basis and we send just two students per year. Interested applicants will be interviewed and selected
In Beijing, students are given the opportunity to study at China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), which is China’s top foreign affairs institute and doubles up as an academy where they send all their future diplomats. 
During your time in Beijing, you have the opportunity to study the following classes:
• Foreign Policy Analysis
• China’s Economy & China’s Economic Relations with Foreign Countries
• Diplomacy of Contemporary China
• International Relations: Theories and Practice
• Contemporary diplomacy of China in world politics
• American Foreign Policy and China-US Relations
• Introduction to International Relations
• Comparative Political Analysis
• Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences

You will also have the opportunity to study the Chinese language during your studies:
• Elementary, intermediate or advanced level classes.
• Optional lectures on Chinese history, literature, politics, calligraphy as well as Taijiquan (Chinese shadow boxing) are offered in the afternoon.
• Arrangements are also made for you to visit museums and places of historical interest within the city as well as to watch performances in order to improve your proficiency in Chinese in different situations.

The exchange is offered in two formats – as a one semester exchange, or as a one-year dual-award.  

One Term at CFAU
Students would initially be enrolled on the 90 ECTS version of the University of Kent degree, following the BSIS degree alongside standard master’s students and then will be transferred to the 120 ECTS version at the end of year 1. Of these credits, 90 ECTS would be achieved at BSIS and the remaining 30 ECTS will be achieved at CFAU in one taught term (semester) which you will follow after the end of your University of Kent degree. The term in Beijing runs from August – January.

Dual Award (One year at CFAU)
Students would initially be enrolled on the 90 ECTS version of the University of Kent degree, spend the first year in Brussels at BSIS and then will be transferred to the 120 ECTS version at the end of year 1. After successful completion of the first year at BSIS, students would progress to CFAU in August and spend the second year in Beijing. You would achieve two degrees in two years, your university of Kent degree being worth 120 ECTS. The year in Beijing runs from August – June.

If you are interested in the Two Capitals, please email for more information.




BSIS, University of Kent, Espace Rolin, Boulevard Louis Schmidt 2a, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

General Enquiries: +32 (2) 641 1721

Last Updated: 02/08/2017