Archived Page

Please note: The HECUA ‘Democracy and Social Change in Northern Ireland’ Programme has now relocated from the UNESCO Centre at the Coleraine campus to INCORE at the Magee campus. These pages are now archived (September 2013).

Student Profile

Matthew Berg

University: University of Minnesota
Cohort: Spring 2011

Tell me a bit about your back‑story: Where did you grow up? How would you define your formative years?

I grew up in different parts of the Twin Cities.

Tell me a bit about an issue you care passionately about.

I care about the disingenuous voice that children are given. They are told what is important for them but are never given a chance to express the issues themselves.

Why did you choose to do the course?

I wanted to learn the different issues within Northern Ireland.

Was the course what you expected?

No, it was far better than expected.

Where did you intern while participating in the programme? What did you like most about your internship and in what area did you grow the most?

I interned at St. Columb’s Park House. I loved the ability the organization gave to young people. They gave them a chance to experience a positive and safe environment with people from other backgrounds.

What were/are your impressions of your HECUA program director?

I was incredibly impressed with Nigel Glenny. It is quite an amazing experience to be taught by him.

What were the most challenging aspects of this programme?

The amount of emotion and passion I felt for the issues was substantial and could not foresee the effect it had upon my learning experience.

What advice would you give to others considering this programme?

Be open and considerate with your emotions. Do not hide them and make sure to be driven by them.

How did this programme make an impact on your life and how you think about your future?

Thinking critically about learning has made me re‑evaluate the methods I employ within life.

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Matthew Berg Matthew Berg on the beach