Driving into North Belfast, the first thing that greets you is a large mural of masked gunmen and the slogan, “Ready for Peace, Prepared for War.” … It is hard not to get a macabre feeling as the image of the barrel of the gun follows you up the small one way streets into the neighborhood lying behind. The neighborhood itself seems pretty average. ... As an outsider, it’s easy to forget that the image of the gunmen loom opposite on the wall behind me. However, my peace and conflict studies on the BCA Dublin program have taught me to look beyond the murals.
Why BCA Dublin?
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Savannah Olshove: Dublin, Ireland, 2017
- Break free of the traditional, touristy study abroad locations by living in Maynooth, Ireland, a quaint community known as the only college town in Ireland. Then push yourself to step into Dublin, which is only a short train or bus ride away.
- Examine how people manage conflict and gain an understanding of how it affects society by examining the Irish conflict known as “The Troubles” in BCA’s required peace and conflict studies course.
- Dedicate yourself to understanding Ireland from a local’s perspective and sign up for Maynooth University’s buddy program to ensure that you befriend and get the perspective of Irish students!
At Maynooth University you’ll be taking courses alongside Irish students and other international peers. The university offers courses in business and law, education, humanities, social sciences and STEM, making it a perfect location to take courses toward your major or general education requirements. Interested students can also explore their roots or simply make the most of their time in Ireland by completing the Irish Cultural Heritage Certificate, which offers an interdisciplinary evaluation of early Irish cultural history. The BCA course and other courses in peace and conflict studies offer meaningful opportunities to study themes of social justice and change.
Maynooth University is regularly identified as Ireland’s friendliest campus in national and international polls. The University has more than 100 clubs and societies, including sports, political parties, arts, comedy, music, dance, drama and history. The international student society arranges social evenings and weekends away throughout the year. Additionally, you’ll share housing with other international students, so you’ll quickly meet people from around the world! During the semester you will be close to all the Irish music, classical literature, lively pubs and famous theatres of Dublin.
Cultural Activities & Excursions
With the help of your BCA Dublin Resident Director, get to know the local highlights of Maynooth, find the best ways to get around and quickly gain the confidence to strike out on your own and visit Dublin and other parts of Ireland. You’ll also travel with your RD outside of Maynooth. Excursions vary by semester but in the past have included Belfast, Northern Ireland, to see the famous murals and speak with locals about the ongoing Irish peace process; Abbey Theater, to learn about up-and-coming Irish writers and artists; and Newgrange, an ancient passage tomb that predates England’s Stonehenge.
Dublin is the capital of Ireland and it’s known as one of the most fast-paced, youthful cities in Europe. Whether it’s Irish music, classical literature, lively pubs or famous theaters, Dublin has something for everyone. You can visit dozens of art galleries and museums, and enjoy the vibrant, cultural scene that makes Dublin a beautiful place to live and visit. Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature — famous writers and playwrights have left their mark on Dublin, including William Butler Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Oscar Wilde and more. Many famous actors also got their start in Dublin, including Colin Farrell and Gabriel Byrne.
Just beyond the western edge of the city of Dublin is Maynooth, a small, historic town with a population of only 8,500 people. Serving as a university town, Maynooth is a traditional Irish village that remains full of character, culture and education. The Maynooth University campus is known for its sprawling green space and modern amenities, making it a peaceful, top-notch educational facility. With its close proximity to Dublin but the right amount of separation, Maynooth is a peaceful town for residents and visitors to make their home.
Fall Semester: May 1
Spring Semester: October 15
Language of Instruction:
Fall Semester: Mid-September – Mid-December
Spring Semester: Late January – Early June