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Center for Global Education and Experience Expands to Northern Ireland

A group of nine students look out over a valley with their arms around each other and their backs to the cameraStudents study abroad for many different reasons. For those who are passionate about social justice, Augsburg’s Center for Global Education and Experience (CGEE) has long offered unparalleled engagement with local communities in Mexico, Central America, and Southern Africa. 

Now that portfolio includes a fourth global site in Northern Ireland. 

In Spring 2023, CGEE will welcome its first cohort of students to a new semester program in the vibrant city of Derry–Londonderry. Based at Ulster University, the Conflict, Peace, and Transition program will critically examine the work of justice, reconciliation, and repair in relation to the history and legacy of the Troubles. 

“This program will give students a unique opportunity to wrestle with the question of building a shared future from a divided past and to witness the hard work of reconciliation after conflict,” said Patrick Mulvihill, assistant provost for global education. Coursework will focus on understanding the politics of the Northern Ireland conflict and the transition to a sustainable democracy. Students will also participate in internships at local peacebuilding organizations and engage in field visits to Belfast, the Antrim Coast, and the border counties of Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Armagh.

Augsburg CGEE programs are open to students from any undergraduate institution. Prior to its transition to CGEE, the Conflict, Peace, and Transition in Northern Ireland program—formerly known as Democracy and Social Change in Northern Ireland–was delivered through the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), with the first group of students participating in 2002.

“After the disruptions to study abroad over the past two years, we’re thrilled to be in a position now to expand our offerings,” said Mulvihill. “We’re particularly grateful to our program partners in Northern Ireland, whose commitment to experiential learning reinforces everything we’re about here at Augsburg.” 

To learn more, request information, or apply for the spring semester, visit go.augsburg.edu/northernireland.

Twin Cities media report on lawmakers’ Cuba trip organized by Augsburg College center

A bipartisan group of five state legislators, staff, and some family members traveled to Cuba as part of new interest in strengthening ties between the two countries and preparing for potential trade opportunities. Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education and Experience helped to organize the trip, which was mentioned in Twin Cities-based print and broadcast media.

KSTP aired a story covering the trip, which will be unofficial and self-funded by the participants. According to the television news organization, the trip will focus on increasing the lawmakers’ understanding of Cuba and its economic climate.

The Star Tribune also published trip information prior to the departure of participants.

Read: Five Minnesota legislators, staff head to Cuba on the newspaper website.

Augsburg College global education program touted for excellence in serving students of diverse backgrounds

An article published by the Association of American Colleges & Universities commented on the successes Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education and Experience has had in serving students of diverse backgrounds as they travel to locations around the globe. The article, titled “Global Learning: Key to Making Excellence Inclusive,” described why global experiences are recognized as an essential dimension of a liberal education and how a variety of institutions support increased student participation.

In particular, the article noted that Augsburg maintains permanent centers for global learning in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Namibia. The centers have deep-rooted connections to local communities, and staff members understand the diverse needs of the Augsburg students.

“For example, Augsburg has arranged culturally appropriate homestay placements for single parents who needed assistance with childcare, safe home environments for LGBTQ students, sober homestays for students in recovery (in addition to connecting students in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous programs with sponsors), and access to mosques for Muslim students. This commitment to creating environments for student success is a hallmark of Augsburg’s study abroad programs,” the article said.

Visit the AAC&U website to read the story in its entirety.

Anderson and Grewe add to conversation on gender equity

MinnPostAugsburg College staff members Margaret Anderson, program coordinator for the Center for Global Education and Experience, and Michael Grewe ’12 MSW, director of LGBTQIA support services, spoke with MinnPost media issues reporter Brian Lambert to discuss what Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover means for transgender people in Minnesota.

Grewe noted that media frenzy resulting from Jenner’s gender transition could provide “a way to talk about important issues like access to affordable health care, housing and equal employment” for all people.

Read the article, What does Caitlyn Jenner’s ‘Vanity Fair’ cover mean for the transgender kid in rural Minnesota? on the MinnPost website.