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Northern Ireland Semester

Offered spring semester by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Open to all majors by application

See the CCS office for program costs, details and application process.

ABOUT The NIS program is designed to introduce students to basic principles and strategies of conflict transformation through a ‘place as text’ study of the conflict in Ireland. Students will visit sites of conflict that explore the historical development of the conflict in Ireland known as “The Troubles” and be challenged to apply their understanding of the conflict in Ireland to peace and reconciliation efforts in other parts of the world, including their own communities, and study the process of interpersonal communication in one’s own culture and the principles of effective communication within another cultural context. Attention is given to values, ethnocentricity, nonverbal communication, and cultural change.


Required Courses:

  • Intercultural Communication (3) Fulfills COR 374 (1) and COR 375 (3)
  • Peacemaking and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland (3) SOC 255 (Sociology Elective)


  • Irish Literature (3) fulfills ENG 112 World Literature (non-English majors) or ENG 362 20th Century British Literature (English majors only)
  • Irish Art and Culture (3) fulfills Art Foundations
  • Christian Thought and Practice (3) fulfills COR 300 Community and Christian Tradition
  • Ireland & Western Civilization (3) HIS 255 (History elective)
  • Service Learning Elective (1)

NIS students can earn up to 16 credit hours for one semester and may complete two semesters of the program.

My semester in Belfast was the greatest semester of my life. I was stretched and challenged in ways I never expected, and encouraged and loved in ways that were amazingly beautiful. Being surrounded by the Irish culture, day in and day out, was a dream come true, and I would encourage anyone else to take this life-changing opportunity. Your heart will break for those so hurt by The Troubles, laugh with the locals, dance with the music that fills every street, and sigh at the beauty of God’s creation.

Emily Dimmick
Female student seated on Northern Ireland cliff overlooking the sea and shoreline

This experience, like all CCS experiences, is subject to political and safety realities at the time of departure. CCS options can be physically and emotionally intense and stretching. Before enrolling, all participants should consult the disclosures on Physical Hardships of CCS.

SAU institutional aid (such as academic scholarships) does not apply to the Northern Ireland Semester. SAU students can apply for the SOCSOF grant or use their CCS benefit (if eligible). The Gilman Scholarship may also help fund the experience for students who are US citizens and Pell grant recipients. Please see the CCS office for program cost details.

NOTE: Students who are Pell Grant recipients and U.S. citizens may apply for the Gilman Scholarship (up to $5,000).  Attend a Gilman workshop with the CCS Director to learn how to apply for the scholarship.

To learn your next steps toward participating in this program, get an application from the CCS office and attend an International Semester workshop for important details in your planning.

Passport and immunizations required (both at additional cost).

CCS program costs do not include: tuition, passport, immunizations, or the $150 study abroad fee. The study abroad fee provides the basic international ID, insurance, travel photos and support services. For semester/summer abroad students without medical insurance, the Premium international ID card is required and costs $75.

NIS program fees do not include: international airfare, personal travel, or books.