Political science students to study abroad in Northern Ireland

Several political science students will have the chance to speak with politicians, peace and reconciliation groups and former members of terrorist organizations in Northern Ireland, according to political science department chair Denise DeGarmo.

Denese Degarmo and Howard RambsyThe students will do so as part of a study abroad program from May 7 – 18.

“We have an opportunity to hear what they had to say to hear why the participated, what do they think now, so I think it’s a really important way for students to learn about conflict without putting themselves in directly in harm’s way,” DeGarmo said.

Students will also receive a guided tour of the Great Hall and Senate Chamber in Belfast, Ireland and tour Bogside in Derry, Ireland, where Bloody Sunday occurred, among other activities.

The trip, according to DeGarmo, is good for students to “learn about conflict by being on the ground.”

While in Ireland, students will take classes on the politics of Ireland, comparative European governments and political terrorism. DeGarmo and political science professor Laurie Rice will teach the courses.

DeGarmo said watching how people deal with violence and watching the students’ reactions is “probably the best aspect of the trip.” When students return from Ireland, they will put together a picture book with what they feel are the 10 most important photos from the trip and write and analysis or blog about the photos.

The trip is important for the political science department, according to DeGarmo, because there are not a lot of universities that study politics in Ireland.

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