Nigel Glenny, Program Director for HECUA’s Democracy and Social Change in Northern Ireland program, came to campus last month to promote HECUA and reconnect with past HECUA participants. HECUA’s Northern Ireland program provides participants an in-depth study of Northern Ireland as it transitions from the many years of sectarian conflict known as “the troubles” toward an inclusive democratic society.

During the semester long program, students immerse themselves into their host country through their studies, guided field experiences with local speakers and site visits, and a seven-week, near full-time, internship. Students become active in efforts toward building a peaceful future in Northern Ireland.

The Democracy and Social Justice in Northern Ireland program leaves our students with a meaningful experience. Marcy Mueller, a Saint Mary’s graduate of 2012 and participant of the spring 2012 Northern Ireland program, came away with a greater understanding of herself and made wonderful relationships with program participants and community members. She now works in youth ministry in Dubuque, Iowa.

Becca Carroll, graduating in May, participated in the program in the fall of 2014 where she completed an internship at The Junction, an organization focused on activities that aim to develop relationships, understanding, and mutual respect in the community. Through the experience, Becca found a passion for the work of restorative justice which she hopes can lead to a fulfilling career in criminal justice.

Mitchell Shuster, a participant of the fall 2015 program, gained understanding through listening to people’s stories and having conversations over tea. Mitchell also made meaningful friendships while joining the University of Ulster’s Magee Ruby Club.

Learn more about HECUA, at