Global Horizons: Bringing Diplomacy to the Next Generation
The Global Horizons Initiative was developed in 2015 to encourage Irish students to engage with international affairs and the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in promoting Ireland’s interests and values around the globe. The first programme of its kind in any Government Department, Global Horizons is aimed at students in second and third level, as well as young graduates, through three distinct strands: Iveagh Scholars, Diplomats in the Classroom, and Representing Ireland Abroad.
The Iveagh Scholars programme invited Transition Year students from around Ireland to come to the Department for a week of immersion in all aspects of our work. Students applied by submitting an essay or video on the theme of Ireland’s Values, and the thirty best entrants were chosen to take part. The week gave students an opportunity to experience UN and EU negotiations through simulation exercises, take part in exercises to promote Irish business abroad, and travel to Belfast to learn about the Department’s role in the peace process. The participants also discussed the importance of human rights and international development for Ireland’s foreign policy, and had the opportunity to meet Minister Flanagan and discuss their vision for Ireland and Ireland’s place in the world.
“I think it’s an amazing idea that the Department brought in young people and let them do this programme because without it, I probably would never have considered a career as a diplomat. It’s opened up a whole new world of possibilities.”
Kate Hall, Iveagh Scholar 2015
Through the Diplomats in the Classroom strand, recent Third Secretaries recruited as junior diplomats to the Department carried out workshops at secondary schools across Ireland to encourage students to consider a future career in the Department. Workshops were held at 12 different schools, including interactive presentations, quizzes, debates, and consular exercises, showing the wide range of our work around the world. By sharing information and personal experience of working with the Department, our staff increased awareness of our work priorities, and encouraged students to consider a career representing Ireland overseas.
Similarly, the Representing Ireland Abroad programme worked with third level students to promote internship and employment opportunities, at home and abroad, to recent graduates. The team worked closely with Career Officers at a number of third-level institutions, as well as the Public Appointments Service, to ensure the target audiences were aware of the wide range of opportunities available to them.
For more information about the Global Horizons programme, or to get involved in next year’s events, visit https://www.dfa.ie/about-us/global-horizons/