Maynooth University to receive first Inclusive Ireland Scholar this Fall 2021

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 21:00

The Education in Ireland and Diversity Abroad inaugural cohort of Inclusive Ireland Scholars have just been announced. A collaboration between Education in Ireland and Diversity Abroad supporting Black, Indigenous and People of Color students to study abroad in Ireland, the pioneering program was launched at the start of the year and offers awards of €3000 to be used towards tuition and program costs.

It is understood that the quality of applicants in this inaugural year meant that short-listing eight scholars was no easy feat. The selected scholars come from institutions from Montana to Massachusetts and will spend the fall semester studying at five different universities across Ireland.

Great news for Maynooth University

We at Maynooth University are thrilled and honored to receive one such scholar, Felipe Estrella, who hails from New Jersey and is a Criminal Justice major at New Jersey City University.

Maynooth University's participation in the Inclusive Ireland Scholars program and the continued attractiveness for international students as a place to study abroad with us is also a result of the hard work we put in to ensuring one of our key values of our commitment to Equality and Diversity on campus is continually upheld.

In order to get to know Felipe a little more and find out his motivations to come study with us, he has put together this short video we would like to share with you:

You can also view Felipe's qualifying essay:

In 500 words or less, tell us how you will use your experience to encourage others to study abroad:

Studying abroad is quite possibly one of the most incredible experiences one can participate in during their time in school. You learn the various aspects of your culture by engaging with others. You can empathize and cultivate the respect needed for every nationality and belief. Most importantly you can come back with not only more clarity but project the innovative approach other countries take and apply them to your own professionally since knowledge and intellect is a universal language.

As American we know we do not have our own language or identity we embrace all. If there was ever a student more appropriate to travel abroad, it is an American student. We are raised in a country where every religion culture, language and nationality reside amongst one another. I think the opportunity to submerge yourself is one specific country with their food and people will be an incredible and inclusive experience. I also as a criminal justice major and a Hispanic minority (Dominican) am compelled by the racial events and the overall the aggressive behavior of American police to learn how the international police in Ireland evade the same story lines our officers have been plagued with for such a long time.

You see I am currently trying to be an officer, but I am also attempting to make a change in the standard that has been set in all police departments here. As I have done my research, I have learned that the country of Ireland has one nationwide police department “Guardians of the peace of Ireland.” Their headquarters happens to be established in Dublin which is remarkably close to my school of choice Maynooth University.The implementation of one police department at less than 25 percent armed with guns is essential in making protection of the people and not overt aggression the primary objective. The importance of being a culture change in my career field can only be achieved by the curiosity and studying of a more well-mannered and patient police environment.

I have been enamored with visiting the country of Ireland since I was a young child. I was raised in a truly diverse and eclectic area of the state of NJ. I am from northern New Jersey close to the town of Hoboken where the Irish presence is strong vibrant and well celebrated. They always say that you are a direct reflection of where you come from. I can with all confidence say that my interactions with the Irish people have only strengthened this statement. Ireland has always been a country that has embraced its heritage and its land. This is this mythical yet peaceful imagery of Ireland that is shared by all who either visit or interact with true Irish people. It is this welcoming and embracive culture that I believe would be an incredible influence on me as a professional.

Having a clear and concise understanding of all nationalities is imperative in any intellectual and well-educated individual. I want to understand the Irish holidays and their history. I would like to taste the customary cuisines and spices. Most importantly I want to empathize on learning how the country of Ireland operates and has developed. Ignorance does not coincide with an innovative and progressive society. I could think of no other way of rounding myself to a professional well-rounded individual then to engulf myself in the exceptional and unique environment that can be offered by studying in the country of Ireland.

We will no doubt be able to bring you more from Felipe in the run-up to his preparations for his semester with us, so watch this space!

Further Information on the Inclusive Ireland Scholarship Program

The Inclusive Ireland Scholarship Program will offer scholarships for each fall and spring term. The application for Spring 2022 scholars will open in August 2021. For more information, please see the Education in Ireland website here or contact Education in Ireland Vice President Sara Dart at