Northern Ireland

About the Program

This six-credit course, conducted over four weeks in Northern Ireland, focuses on developing a practical understanding of the Troubles that tore the country apart between the late 1960s and the late 1990s. It invites you to dive deeper into a conflict that most students aren’t learning about in typical classes. You learn what the Troubles were about, how they happened, the effect on the people, and how the country has attempted to rebuild and move forward after the end of the violence. You explore the geopolitical issues of the Troubles and how there may never be a “right” solution. Finally, the program encourages you to better understand the complexity of rebuilding a society after a conflict. The course offers a hands-on experience as the classroom consists of the cities and villages of Northern Ireland and the sources are the people we meet and the culture they share with us.

We visit actual former frontlines of the war in order to better understand what happened during the Troubles. The murals throughout the region provide you with a window to the past. We meet with politicians and community organizers from Unionist and Republican factions as well as non-religious/nationalist organizations, such as the Corrymeela and the George Mitchell Institute. We also talk with representatives from different political, ethnic, bureaucratic and educational groups to help you realize the complexity of human relations, such as those between the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Sein Fein and the Orange Order. Finally, we will observe the commemorative events of July 11 and July 12, which remain one of the more contentious issues in post-Troubles Northern Ireland. One included topic, integrated education, and one new topic, refugees and migrants, are covered in detail given their importance.

In addition, we encourage you to go beyond the conflict. Northern Ireland is a vibrant country that has survived the Troubles and has much to offer visitors, such as:

  • Great culture, cuisine and music
  • Stunning castles and cathedrals
  • Natural beauty

The majority of the program takes place within the city of Belfast. A few days will be spent in Derry and there are day trips to visit other locations such as Omagh, Armagh and Enniskillen. In addition, there is a one-day trip to Giant’s Causeway.

Go off the beaten path. Participate in the War and Peace in Northern Ireland program.

Northern Ireland quote: A nation that keeps one eye on the past is wise. A nation that keeps two eyes on the past is blind.

Academic Course and Credit Requirements

The six credits can be used towards your degree in Political Science and History. Please consult with your academic advisor to use these credits towards your degree in Economics, Education, Legal Studies, Peace Studies, Social Work and Sociology. While you must complete the required course requirements, you can alter the final project to better align with your major.

In addition, students must complete HIST or POLS 266: War and Peace in Northern Ireland course in the spring semester. This course is offered in person with a Zoom option as well as an entirely asynchronous online format.

Program Costs:  $6,750

$3,650: Includes international insurance, housing, transportation, language translator, program costs, and breakfast (consisting of baked goods and juice and coffee).

$3,100: Includes cost of flight, passport, and spending money for food and other expenses (based on $14 per meal for the entire 28 days). 

Additional expenses (such as drinks or gifts) are not included in these figures and the money must come from the students’ personal budget.

Program Length

The program is approximately four weeks in length.

Typically depart in mid-June and return in mid-July.


Students stay in a hotel together in two or more separate rooms, depending on the number of participants.

Students will be expected to be respectful of each other and negotiate space as needed.

Financial Aid

Regular financial aid is available for this course.

Wisconsin residents may be eligible for the Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant. For further information, please contact Anya Russom.

Contact Information

For more information on the prep courses and the summer travel-abroad courses, contact Dr. Khalil (Haji) Dokhanchi or Anya Russom.

Our program has its own Facebook page and past participants have agreed to respond to your questions regarding the program. Please feel free to join our Facebook group