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The Indiana Daily Student

academics & research

O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs announces dual-degree program with University College Dublin


After five years of development, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs announced their partnership with University College Dublin on Jan. 13. The partnership will allow students to study and earn a master's of arts management and cultural policy in Bloomington and Dublin, Ireland in two years.  

Director of the arts administration program at O’Neill Karen Gahl-Mills says this degree will connect two programs with long histories, prestigious faculty and successful alumnus in America and Europe. 

“The whole point is to give students really invaluable insights on how cultural affairs is conducted around the world,” Gahl-Mills said. 

[Related: IU Bridges: Children, Langauges, World program to continue in spring semester]

Students will spend their first year at IU taking courses in the fall and spring semester. In their second year, they will attend the University College Dublin with classes spanning over three semesters in the winter, spring and summer.  

“I hope for the students that this expands how they think about cultural affairs, how they think about arts management and expands their networks,” Gahl-Mills said. 

Associate professor of art history and cultural policy at University College Dublin Emily Mark-Fitzgerald said the program aims to teach students about arts management through an American and European perspective, both of which have very different systems of cultural policy and arts production.  

“It's the first program of its kind in the U.S. or Europe and truly prepares students for international careers,” Mark-Fitzgerald said. “The work placement opportunities in both programs allow folks to gain practical experience in both countries with the support of faculty.” 

Before Mark-Fitzgerald became a professor at University College Dublin, she graduated from IU in 2002 with a master’s of arts in arts administration. 

“I know from first-hand experience that Dublin and Bloomington are both brilliant places to study and experience cultural life,” Mark-Fitzgerald said. “They're small, friendly, accessible, but also the home of world-class cultural experiences. I'm thrilled that future students will be able to enjoy the same life-changing cross-cultural experiences that I had.” 

[Related: Café Hispano gives students a breadth of Spanish culture not found in Spanish classes]

Senior lecturer in the cultural policy and arts administration program Ursula Kuhar recommends study abroad programs because of the numerous benefits. Students can learn a new culture, learn a new language, how to be adaptable, gain a more global perspective in their field of study and the importance of intercultural communication. 

“Participating in a study abroad program pushes you out of your comfort zone and students really come into their own,” Kuhar said. “You are often navigating a whole new way of life, new languages and customs and becoming quite self-reliant all at the same time.” 

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