Learning Abroad Center
interior of the Library of Trinity College

Leadership & Social Change in Ireland

LAC Program

Investigate ethical leadership while studying the historical, cultural, and political events that led to the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland.

Program Details

Belfast & Dublin, Ireland
Winter Break
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Graduate Students
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite


While Northern Ireland is often viewed as a model for peace and reconciliation, more walls have gone up since the peace agreement was signed, and there is still pervasive segregation between Catholics and Protestants. In this seminar, we will visit several “interface” areas where ordinary citizens and informal leaders are attempting to facilitate change and provide safe strategies to move forward from this conflict. We will also learn about the role of elected officials and how their views and strategies might be similar or different from the community organizations.

The Brexit discussion and implementation in the past few years has also reopened the divide that was present during the Troubles. The challenges currently facing the two major parties (Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party) in Northern Ireland to work together and compromise will provide a good comparative analysis with the US structure of governance.

Course Description

Throughout the seminar, explore different views on the future of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We will cover the historical, cultural, and political events that led to the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. We will examine the ethics of the role that the United Kingdom played, as well as the strategies used by leaders on both sides in Northern Ireland.

Through excursions and assignments, you will reflect on your capacity for leadership and cultural competence, as well as how you might use them to impact change on a social issue important to you.

Housing & Meals

You will live in shared housing with other program participants. Welcome and farewell meals, and some other additional meals, are included in the program fee. Additional meals can be prepared in the housing or taken at local eateries.


This program will be based primarily in Dublin and Belfast. Excursions may include:

  • Corrymeela, a non-profit retreat center on the Northern Ireland coast
  • The Stormont Assembly, with the possibility of meeting local politicians
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Tour of Trinity College
  • Google Headquarters


All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
  • Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
  • Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches

Faculty & Staff

Evan Witt is the Assistant Director for Leadership Training and Development with the Office for Undergraduate Education and an instructor in the Leadership minor. 

Program Structure

Program Level
4000-level coursework

One 3-credit course

Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:

  • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
  • Small groups of 15–25 students
  • No prerequisites or language requirements
  • Included excursions and cultural activities
  • Instruction in English


You will be assessed on attendance, participation, and assignments throughout the course. Assignments include a journal, papers, and digital story presentations.

Receive Credit for: LEAD 4481

Liberal Education Fulfillments: Global Perspectives

Approved for a Leadership Minor Elective 

Approved for upper division elective credit in the Public and Nonprofit Management Co-Major

Dates Details

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Program Term Program Dates Application Deadline
Winter Break 2021-2022 December 27, 2021 - January 16, 2022 October 15, 2021

Program dates are subject to change.

If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term Abroad Date/Time Location
Winter Break 2021-2022 TBD TBD


Winter Break 2021–2022 Cost of Participation forthcoming

Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, program administration, housing, some meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, and local transportation. Generally, our program fees range between $5,500–$7,500. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, most meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.


Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

Due to COVID-19, US passport processing times are currently delayed. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now, and pay for expedited processing.


You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

Next Steps

After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Amy Garwood-Diaz or call at 612.624.1537