Study Abroad / Affiliated Programs / HECUA

Northern Ireland


Democracy and Social Change

Fall and Spring Semester

In 1969, society in Northern Ireland was seized by violent conflict that erupted from issues relating to civic, political, and social differences. Today, Northern Ireland provides an example of the vast dimensions of transition from conflict to a sustainable democracy. In the Democracy and Social Change program, you will examine the historical, political and religious roots of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the prospects for peace and the progress being made. Classes are held at the University of Ulster with field study in selected regions of Northern Ireland.


The courses are taken as an integrated whole and provide the equivalent of a semester’s worth of credit.

Understanding the Politics of the Northern Ireland Conflict (1 course)
Building a Sustainable Democracy (1 course)
Internship Placement and Integration Seminar (equivalent to 2 courses)


Students live in Derry-Londonderry for the majority of the program, with the exception of a four day orientation on the north coast and an extended field visit to Dublin and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland later in the semester. Students begin their seven-week-long internship placements, supported by weekly seminars, in week four. The final two weeks of the program offer time for reflection and the completion of independent research projects.

In Derry/Londonderry students live in apartments with shared living spaces in Duncreggan Student Village.



This HECUA semester abroad is an Saint Mary’s Affiliated Program. As such, all Federal and State aid (except work study) and up to $2,000 in Saint Mary’s institutional aid may be applied to the program’s costs. Contact the Director of Study Abroad to discuss program fees and financial aid.

HECUA distributes three distinctive scholarships to students applying or enrolled in HECUA programs. To learn more visit HECUA’s Scholarship Resource Page.

Program Dates/Application Deadline

Program Dates:

Spring 2019: January 31 – May 10
Fall 2019: August 29 – December 6

Application Deadlines:

March 15th (Fall Programs)
November 1st (Spring Programs)

Application Procedures

To be eligible, you must have at least a 2.0 GPA (preferably a 2.5 GPA) and be of sophomore status.

Apply and Pay Application Fee of $50 online, submit a copy to the Study Abroad Office along with Saint Mary’s required paperwork.  Application may be picked up in the Study Abroad Office, International Center, the Heights.

Apply Now!

Acceptance is contingent on a thorough review of the student’s application and subsequent approval from HECUA.

Next Steps

After acceptance, complete the following required items.

  1. Pay $500 non-refundable program deposit payable to Saint Mary’s.
  2. Attend all orientation sessions.
  3. Obtain a passport. Submit a copy of the first page to the Study Abroad Office.
  4. Arrange travel plans. Submit a copy of your flight itinerary to the Study Abroad Office.
Country/City Information

Northern Ireland covers 5,459 square miles in the northeast of the island of Ireland, about a sixth of the total area of the island, and has a population of approximately 1,685,000.

Coleraine is a large town in County Londonderry at the mouth of the River Bann. It is 56 miles northwest of Belfast and 31 miles east of Derry. It has a population of approximately 24,000.

Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland and the second largest city of Ireland. The population within city limits is approximately 276,000, and approximately 579,000 live in the Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area. It is near the mouth of River Lagan and has the Castlereagh Hills on the south and the Antrim Hills on the north.

Derry (Londonderry) is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and covers both banks of the River Foyle that is connected by two bridges. The population within the city proper is approximately 83,000, and approximately 91,000 live in the Derry Urban area.

The whole of Northern Ireland has an oceanic climate, rather wetter in the west than the east, although cloud cover is persistent across the region. The weather is unpredictable at all times of the year, and although the seasons are distinct, they are considerably less pronounced than in Minnesota. Average daytime maximums are 44 °F (7 °C) in January and 64 °F (18 °C) in July.

When Central Standard Time is in effect in the United States, Northern Ireland is six hours ahead.

British currency (sterling) consists of pounds (£) and pence (p), sometimes referred to as “quid” and “p.” 100p = £1. Notes are issued for £5, £10, £20, and £50 and coins for 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2.

More Information

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Winona Campus
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Fax: 507-457-6917