Human Rights and Peacebuilding in Ireland & Northern Ireland 2024

Program Dates: May 28, 2024 - June 16, 2024

Program Description: Human Rights and Peacebuilding in Ireland & Northern Ireland

In this program, we will travel to Ireland and Northern Ireland to study how societies once divided by intense conflict come together once the violence is over. We will visit former conflict zones, peace walls, and other cultural sites in Dublin, Belfast, and Derry/Londonderry. Against a backdrop of stunning scenery and historic architecture, students will witness how legacies of conflict and reconciliation are etched into everyday spaces, such as the walls and murals of Belfast’s sectarian neighborhoods, the elegant curves of Derry’s Peace Bridge, and the grand lobby of Dublin’s General Post Office, the site of the 1916 Easter Rising. In post-conflict zones where there may be no shared narrative about what happened, it is critical that we listen to multiple viewpoints, dwell in gray areas, and acknowledge differing opinions even in the search for consensus. Students on this trip will be encouraged to reflect and think critically about historical controversies, learn about the delicate process of peace-building, and appreciate the importance of trust and tolerance in divided political settings.

Students must be available to meet some Tuesdays 5-6pm during spring semester.

 Program website: <>



Ireland is a land of unique myths and legends from the Vikings to the Gaels, and offers both breathtaking scenery and deep history. But as connected as Ireland is to its ancient past, this relatively new nation has had a powerful global impact on modern literature, culture, music, and the arts. Famous Irish artists include James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, U2, Hosier, Cillian Murphy, Saoirse Ronan, and Sinead O’Connor. Founded in the 7th century, with a population of one million, Dublin is a wonderland of world-class museums, music-filled pubs, and diverse cuisine for all budgets. Come experience some traditional (Trad!) Irish dance and music, and good craic (that’s Irish for good times).

Northern Ireland (not to be confused with the Republic of Ireland!) is truly a hidden gem. An underexplored corner of the United Kingdom, N.I. has wild, rugged coastlines, rolling countryside, and modern, vibrant cities like its storied capital Belfast, where the Titanic was built, and Derry/Londonderry, setting for the hilarious show Derry Girls. Northern Ireland was created by partition in 1921 (history we’ll learn all about!) and remained part of the UK when Ireland declared its independence from the British Empire. After decades of civil unrest, referred to as “The Troubles,” Northern Ireland passed the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and is now a vibrant, welcoming place to visit. Join us for a cream tea in the famous Walled City of Derry/Londonderry, and a windy ramble along the stunning seascape of the Giant’s Causeway. Enjoy the local cuisine, like fish and chips, Belfast baps, Ulster fry-ups, and of course a good pint. No one can fully understand Ireland without spending time in the North!



All program participants will be enrolled in both of the courses below.

If you have taken one or more of the courses below, or need a similar but different course to meet major or minor requirements, you may seek permission to take a substitute or "special course." Approval for such exceptions is at the discretion of the faculty leader(s), department chairs, and the college dean, and will require the University's special course form. Please contact the program leaders before you begin your application.

Course Prefix

Course Name



HON 3515-101

Human Rights in Ireland & Northern Ireland


Dr. Belinda Walzer

GLS 3530-101

Empire and Peacebuilding in Ireland & Northern Ireland


Dr. Jessica Martell


Faculty Leaders


Dr. Belinda Walzer 
Assistant Professor
English Department 

Dr. Belinda Walzer is an Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetorics, and Technical Communication in English at Appalachian State University. Dr. Walzer specializes in rhetoric and composition, human rights discourse, post-conflict reconciliation, and transnational gender studies. She has traveled, lived, and researched in South Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Ireland, and the UK. Her current research focuses on human rights and rhetoric, transnational feminism, and everyday violence. She is the author of multiple article and book chapters on human rights and rhetoric. She teaches classes in the English Department, GWS, and Honors in writing, rhetorics of resistance, human rights, transnational feminism, and literature and mass violence.


Dr. Jessica Martell
Assistant Professor
Interdisciplinary Studies Department

 Dr. Jessica Martell is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Appalachian State. Between studying abroad at the L’università di Verona and Oxford University, long-term working residencies in New Zealand and Rwanda, and research trips throughout the U.K. and Ireland, she is deeply committed to global living and learning. Dr. Martell is the author of multiple books and essays on literature, food, film, and the environment, with particular specialties in Global Studies and Irish Studies. 


Program Cost: $3,394

Billable program cost includes lodging, all tours, guides, and cultural sites, one welcome and one farewell dinner, and all in-country transportation.

Please note - Students are responsible for the total program cost upon submitting the application and deposit. Refunds are contingent upon meeting the minimum enrollment of the program. If a student needs to withdraw before departure, that student may be eligible for a refund if the program has met minimum enrollment and is therefore viable. 

Estimated Additional Expenses


Tuition - Resident

$152.54 / credit hour

Tuition - Non-Resident

$172.54 / credit hour



Passport (if needed)



Personal Expenses (e.g meals)


Optional travel insurance policy*


*Additional travel insurance policy for students is highly recommended. Other personal expenses should be budgeted individually.

Non-billable costs are estimates only and will be affected by personal spending habits, currency fluctuations, etc. Prices listed in USD unless otherwise noted.  Students are encouraged to start planning for their study abroad program costs well in advance.


Application and Payment Schedule





 Upon receipt of application

Remaining balance due




Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control.  Further details about Appalachian's withdrawal/cancellation policy can be found at this link.


Application Process

  1. To apply for this program, please contact one of the program leaders (Dr. Walzer or Dr. Martell)  and provide your Banner ID and email address. Program leaders may request additional information or a meeting to discuss the details of the program and your interest.
  2. When permission to apply for the program is granted, you will receive an email from your program leader with instructions to apply.
  3. Apply to the program following the instructions from the program leader.
  4. Print, sign and drop off your application at the Office of International Education and Development at Plemmons Student Union (PSU), Suite 321 ( 3rd floor), 263 Locust Street Boone, NC 28608. Your application will be considered complete when you have submitted your digital application, paid the $300 deposit, and dropped off your printed and signed application. The fee cannot be paid until it appears on your student account. Please note that it may take 2–3 business days for it to post to your account. You will receive an email with instructions for paying the deposit fee. Instructions can also be found in the application.