Matt Powers

Matt Powers, 2005 Scholar, Queen's University Belfast and SOAS

This year I came to Queen's University in Belfast. It's been one of the best academic years of my life. I wanted to study ethnic conflict, and what better way to do it than walk amongst the murals and walls depicting hatred, then witness reconciliation, building projects full of hope, and the founding of a parliament? Queen's takes studying very seriously and practically, and the students follow suit. Classes were short, but direct and to the point, and the less formal pub discussions which followed were productive until about the fifth Guinness. Also, the Irish-Nor'n Irish-British people in Northern Ireland are amazing, open, cool people (though they admittedly have identity issues). I made some good friends - all of whom are going to conflict-ridden areas of the globe next year - so the degree was applicable to those who took it. I think the students that came and did their MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict enjoyed their year here.