Study the legacy of violent conflict and engage efforts to build a sustainable peace. Examine the role of citizens as agents of transformation in this International Conflict Research Institute-affiliated program.
Northern Ireland has grappled for centuries with an ongoing identity-based conflict that divides neighbors, communities, and the country itself. This history is physically present in the form of imposing walls (some 400 years old, others much more recent), and a border that has divided the island of Ireland for 100 years. Deeply segregated communities are byproducts of the trauma caused by years of violence. The conflict and its legacy ripples out into the language, governance, and everyday life of Northern Irish citizens.
Throughout this International Conflict Research Institute-affiliated semester-long program students wrestle with challenging questions: What does it mean to be a victim/survivor? A perpetrator? How can we heal after hurt? How do we reckon with the full weight of the past? Students critically examine the work of justice, reconciliation, and repair.
Students live, work, and learn in the city of Derry-Londonderry. There and in Belfast, Dublin, and border areas, students meet with community members directly impacted by violence, who now work to share stories and foster healing dialogue. Individual internships allow students to be actively involved in the ongoing work of peace-building and community development. Past internship sites include Children in Crossfire, The Rainbow Project, and The Playhouse Theatre. Read more about Conflict, Peace, and Transition in Northern Ireland here!
- Understanding the Politics of the Northern Ireland Conflict (4 credits)
- Building a Sustainable Democracy (4 credits)
- Northern Ireland Internship Placement and Seminar (two linked courses, 8 credits total)
A seven-week internship in Derry/ Londonderry allows students to be directly involved in efforts of social change toward a peaceful future. The diverse perspectives gained at the internship will help students explore how society is progressing and analyze the cultural traditions and resources available for building a sustainable and inclusive democracy. Internship sites ultimately provide an opportunity to do meaningful work that makes a difference. Some organizations are grassroots with a local focus while others are international in scope.
Field seminars focus on human rights, equality, conflict transformation and education for democracy and help you see in action the tools used to transform conflict. Each student also carries out an independent study project on a topic of personal choice, which includes field research.
- Area/Ethnic Studies
- Conflict Studies
- Human Rights Advocacy
- International Relations
- Peace & Conflict Studies
- Political Science/Politics
- Social Policy
- Women's Studies
Please contact HECUA for current pricing, or check the website, here. Program fees include group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.
This Program is open to
Undergraduate students enrolled in a U.S. college or university who have completed their first year.
Typical Living Arrangements
- Group living
Participants Travel to Northern Ireland
Scholarships are Available
HECUA provides Scholarships for Community Engagement, Scholarships for Social Justice (for first-generation and/or low-income students) and Scholarships for Racial Justice (for students of color) for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for scholarships is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.
Application Process Involves
- Essay Questions
- Letters of Reference
- Online Application
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Spring Semester||2021||10/01/2020 **||Rolling Admission||02/04/2021||05/15/2021|
|Fall Semester||2021||03/01/2021 **||Rolling Admission||TBA||TBA|
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.