Good Evening, my name is Kirsten Quinn and I am a senior Human Rights and Conflict Studies
major from Birmingham-Southern College.
My choice of study and my career aspirations were a direct result of my transformative experience with Study Abroad Ireland. As a native of the Southern United States, I’ve grown up knowing the struggle for equality within my own backyard and the ongoing fight for civil rights in America. However, exploration of study in Ireland allowed me to make my abstract understanding of the fight for civil rights around the world more concrete.
This recognition was the opening of the door to what Seamus Heaney would call the “Republic of Conscience”. I believe my experience is a result of John and Niamh’s unique program. This program gives students the opportunity to grow and learn in an environment of emerging equality and with a culture of acceptance. The course began with lectures and field trips about the Irish troubles but soon expanded to encompass the stories of women, the LGBT community, and the transformative power of art.
My time in Ireland is without a doubt the best outcome of my collegiate experience. It transformed me as a student and as a person.