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  • Locations: Belfast, United Kingdom; Washington, United States
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: AU applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Advisor: Amy Marrion
Program Description:

Open to all AU undergraduate students, this four-week, 3-credit course, Politics of Conflict Transformation, will introduce students to major theories and debates in the field of conflict transformation as well as the dynamics of the Northern Ireland Troubles, with some comparison to similar conflicts. Though violent conflicts usually end in a technical sense after formal peace processes, the divides that begat and/or underpin a conflict often carry on, as does low level violence. International organizations, states, civil society actors, and even former combatants rely on a variety of measures to prevent a return to violence. Studying alongside students from Queen's University Belfast, AU students enrolled in this course will look at international, regional, and local efforts at conflict resolution and transformation. 

This AU course can count towards several undergraduate requirements, including: the SIS Peace, Global Security and Conflict Resolution thematic area, the SIS Europe and Eurasia regional focus, and simply as elective credit. Students who are interested in having the course count towards other AU degree requirements should contact their academic advisor(s).  Credit and non-credit internships in Belfast are also available, upon request, and will vary in length depending on each student's needs and interests.

The first 2 weeks of the class will take place at AU examine the US government's role in diplomacy, negotiation, and intervention in international conflicts. Students will travel to Belfast during the second 2 weeks to finish the course at Queen's University. Any student interested in completing an internship in Belfast would continue their time in Northern Ireland after the course has concluded.


Program dates: May 15 - June 11 (tentative)

Week One (Washington, D.C.): Students will explore theoretical concepts regarding conflict resolution and outline the key US federal and legislative bodies involved in international peace making.

Week Two (Washington, D.C.): Students will visit the State Department and Congress. Students will also visit the Metropolitan Police Department, meeting with its gang task force to understand the dynamics of gang violence in the city. 

Week Three (Belfast): Students will be introduced to background information about the Northern Ireland Conflict.

Week Four (Belfast): Students will participate in numerous site visits, including Stormont (the Northern Ireland parliament), the bogside in Derry, and a Black Taxi tour in Belfast.

Students will also meet with conflict actors associated with the IRA, the UVF, and the UDA. Students will also make a site visit to the Police Services of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to discuss security and police reforms that were part of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement.


Expected student expenses include: 3-credits of AU tuition, program fee of $1,100, international travel (flights), visa fee (if applicable for non-US citizens), and some meals.
Note- housing and most transportation (in DC and Belfast) are covered by the program fee.


This program is open to all AU undergraduate students with an interest in learning more about conflict transformation in divided societies. All undergraduate students participating in the course are also eligible to intern in a few prestigious institutions in Belfast with support from our partners, Queen's University Belfast.


Students are required to make their own travel arrangements to and from Belfast. Accommodations at AU and QUB for the duration of the four-week program are offered will be arranged on the student's behalf. An information session about the program will be held at the start of the Spring 2017 semester.


Applications will be open at the start of the Spring 2017 semester. The priority deadline for application is in mid February (specific date TBA) -- applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Once admitted to the Program by SIS, students receive notification via e-mail At that time, students will be required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $300 to SIS, through the online application portal, to secure their place in the program.


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 04/14/2017
Varies by program 05/15/2017 06/11/2017
NOTE: Program dates- May 15 - June 11 (tentative)

** The time it takes to receive an admissions decision varies greatly by program; it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. Contact AU Abroad for further details on your program's admissions timeline.

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This program is currently not accepting applications.