Internships offered for students interested in foreign affairs

Students in Republic and North can compete for 30 week-long placements in department

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan speaking to  transition year students at the launch of his department’s  Iveagh Scholars Programme 2015 at Muckross Park College, Donnybrook, in Dublin, On Thursday. Photograph:  Collins

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan speaking to transition year students at the launch of his department’s Iveagh Scholars Programme 2015 at Muckross Park College, Donnybrook, in Dublin, On Thursday. Photograph: Collins

 

A competition aimed at encouraging teenagers to consider a career in the diplomatic service has been launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

Transition year students in the Republic and Year 12 pupils in Northern Ireland can compete for 30 Iveagh Scholar places. The winners will have the opportunity to intern for a week in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mr Flanagan said departmental officials were the “official face and official voice” of Ireland and their lives were “challenging but exciting”.

The theme for the competition, now in its second year, is ‘Honouring the past, Imagining the future’.

Entrants are invited to reflect on important anniversaries taking place this year and next and demonstrate why Ireland’s foreign policy matters to them.

“During one week next April, the 30 successful applicants will have an insight into our work,” Mr Flanagan said.

“This could include experiencing how to handle a consular crisis or negotiate an EU agreement on climate change targets or run a press conference on a major issue or many other challenges that diplomats face on a daily basis.

“Having just returned from Belfast late last night, I am particularly pleased that the Iveagh Scholars competition operates on an all-island basis.”

Mr Flanagan was speaking at Muckross Park College in Dublin on Thursday.

Every school in the Republic and Northern Ireland will receive a pack outlining the entry requirements and guidelines, which will also be available on dfa.ie.

Students are asked to submit a written or video composition, limited to 500 words or two minutes and 30 seconds. Entries are limited to one per school and the entry deadline is November 30th, 2015.

“In reality, the everyday business of foreign relations often takes place behind closed doors, in other countries, and often in foreign languages.

“Few people see what we do, or how we do it. I am passionate about achieving greater public engagement with my department and with Irish foreign policy,” Mr Flanagan said.

“The Iveagh Scholars programme is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain a first-hand insight into the work of Irish diplomats.

“Last year’s inaugural programme was a great success and I know this internship programme, which has proven a positive experience for interns and diplomats alike, will continue to grow in popularity.”