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CRR Student Testimonials


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Siera Collins (2015)


In the five years prior to enrolling at ISE, I focused on the Middle East and Arabic language studies. However, I became keenly aware, during my time studying in the US and in the Middle East, that if I wanted to be impactful in my work, I needed a degree that would offer hard skills. My initial attraction to the MPhil in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation program at ISE was the equal attention given to theory and practice, and the opportunities given the school's network due to its location, relationship to other universities and being a part of Trinity College in Dublin. Still, my decision to attend ISE was solidified after I visited several other peace and conflict programs and realized just how unique and valuable this program was comparatively - not only for what it offers academically, but additionally due to its warm and laid-back community of professors and staffers.

In addition to the ISE modules which are well-structured and relevant to the experience of living in a post-conflict society, students have the choice to take classes in Dublin, providing an interesting contrast to the Belfast classes and a greater selection of modules from which to choose. Through some of the modules provided at ISE, especially those taught at Corrymeela in Ballycastle, students have the opportunity to hear from practitioners and gain hard skills.

Furthermore, ISE's connections to local organisations allows for hands-on learning in its community learning module. This module is especially important for foreign students. Through my own community learning placement, I gained a critical and nuanced understanding of post-conflict Belfast and made key connections for my dissertation research. Additionally, with the primary focus of placements being on reflective practice (integrating theory into practice) I was able to contribute to my placement in a meaningful way.

Dustin Moretz (2015)


Studying at ISE has been an incredible privilege. This program actively promotes learning about peace, conflict, and its resolution through listening and learning from those who have lived through conflict and experience its legacy firsthand. Intentionally or unintentionally, I learned so much through being immersed in the social environment of Northern Ireland, and the learning that took place was something no other program back in the States could quite offer. Learning from practitioners and everyday folk here in Belfast has been academically, professionally, and personally rewarding, and the knowledge and experiences I've gained on this program are irreplaceable.

Kelsey Thompson-Briggs (2015)


I feel so fortunate to have been a student at ISE. The combined effect of studying reconciliation in Belfast, a healthy balance of theory and practice, and the accessibility of the academic staff made for a truly unique postgraduate experience. The course enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of reconciliation, while also allowing for personal reflection on the society that I have come to call home. In particular, the opportunity to learn from peacebuilding practitioners through modules as well as community learning placements, facilitated an understanding of the challenges and complexities of the peacebuilding field, particularly here in Northern Ireland. In addition to the academic merits of the course itself, the emphasis on community, enhanced by small class sizes and friendly staff, results in a programme that allows for the development of the whole person, as well as specialised academic knowledge.

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Last updated 18 March 2016 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).