Entry is open for a programme that offers students in Northern Ireland scholarships to spend a year studying business or business and STEM in the United States.
Study USA, formerly known as the Business Education Initiative, is managed by British Council Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy, and sees students gain valuable international experience and business knowledge, developing their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.
Since its formation in 1994, the initiative has sent over 2000 students from Northern Ireland to all four corners of the United States where they have successfully completed a year studying business at one of 140 institutions.
The programme is open to students from both Northern Ireland Higher Education institutions (Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University Belfast, Stranmillis University College and St Mary’s University College) as well as students in our Further Education Colleges (Belfast Metropolitan College, South Eastern Regional College, Southern Regional College, Northern Regional College, North West Regional College, South West College and College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise) and if successful, applicants will receive a scholarship funding package worth approximately £35,000.
Daniella Timperley (20), from Randalstown, is currently studying for a degree in Broadcast Production at Queen’s University Belfast. Through the Study USA programme, she is spending this academic year at the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas.
She said: “College life in Arkansas has been a very different experience to my life at university in Belfast. The campus is close-knit and significantly smaller so you see the same people every day which is something I like about it.
“Not only have I learnt about American culture, but there is a huge international community at my college and I have had the opportunity to take part in cultural exchange activities including pairing with a Malaysian student.
“I would encourage anyone who is interested in experiencing a new culture to apply to Study USA. The initial culture shock wears off after a month or so and you soon settle into life in the US. It is a truly enriching experience, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my year here has in store.”
Meanwhile, Queen’s Finance Graduate, Frank McCartan (22) from Newry, is currently spending his year studying business at Marymount College in Virginia.
Speaking about the programme, he said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in the US so far. My campus is just slightly outside Washington, DC, so you have the best of both worlds – the campus is green and picturesque, but at the same time you are only a quick metro ride away from the city.
“To anyone thinking of applying to the programme, I’d say just go for it. I didn’t think I would get the scholarship, but it has been the best thing I have ever done. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and I’m loving it. If you had told me I’d be living a few miles from the White House for a year studying I wouldn't have believed it!”
Also commenting on Study USA was Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland. He said: “Year on year we find that those who take part in the programme not only enhance their employability skills but also develop intercultural skills, which helps them to prepare to work in a global economy.
“Since 1994, Study USA has enabled students to become great ambassadors for Northern Ireland and helped strengthen cultural, economic and educational links and connections between the two countries. I would encourage those from a range of subjects to apply as you never know where this opportunity may lead.”
Students interested in applying for the 2022-23 programme can find the full eligibility criteria and apply online now at http://nireland.britishcouncil.org.
The deadline for applications for Higher Education Institutions is Monday, November 15 November 2021. While students at Further Education Institutions have until Monday, January 22 2022 to apply.