New Fellows Welcomed to Ireland
The 2021 Ireland Fellows were welcomed this year through orientation events that took place over two days in September. Feilim McLaughlin, Director of Global Programmes at the Department of Foreign Affairs, opened the first orientation session on 14 September and fellows were addressed by Minister for State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D., who warmly welcomed them to Ireland and to the Ireland Fellows Programme. The Minister emphasised the rich history of the programme and the potential positive impact their courses and experiences will have on each participant.
In this first session, the newly-arrived fellows were joined by members of staff who had supported their applications through Irish Embassies and Missions across the world. The fellows were also fortunate to have three alumni from the 2020-21 cohort, Tekeste Haylu, Lois Simche Lebbe and Tran Thao, who shared their experiences of living and studying in Ireland and imparted their advice.
The second online orientation session was held on 17 September. Dr. Padraig Wims from University College Dublin delivered a presentation on academic life and expectations in Ireland, after which fellows were addressed by Madeline Campbell from STAND, an organisation that supports students at colleges and universities throughout Ireland to join in the movement for sustainable social, environmental and political change to help achieve global ambitions outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. The session also had the benefit of 11 more 2020 Ireland Fellows Programme alumni who facilitated breakout rooms where newly-arrived fellows could get more advice and gain more insight about what they can expect in the year ahead.
We look forward to welcoming all the fellows in person towards the end of the year and wish them all every success for the year ahead.