Fifty-four students from across Northern Ireland are jetting off to study business in the USA this August.
The students have been selected to take part in the British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme and recently received last minute advice and information at a pre-departure meeting at St Mary’s University College, Belfast, before preparing to spend a year stateside.
The British Council, which is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, manages Study USA on behalf of the Department for the Economy.
The scholarship programme enables students to study business and management for a year in American colleges, across 34 States, where they gain valuable international experience and business knowledge, helping to develop their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.
Since its formation in 1994, the initiative has sent over 1800 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.
Paige Clements (20) from Moira, departs for the US on August 14 and can’t wait for the year ahead. A law student at Queen’s University Belfast, she will spend the next academic year at Texas Wesleyan University, Texas.
About the experience, she said: “I can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead. As the only girl and youngest in a family of seven, this experience will help me grow as an individual and challenge my maturity and adaptability.
“Acting as an ambassador for Northern Ireland, I hope to not only reinvest the skills I learn into my future career, but also make a positive contribution to the economy when I return home.”
Alice McElroy, a student at St Mary’s University College is also excited about the experience. From August 11, she will be studying Business and Economics at Shenandoah Univeristy in Virginia.
She said: “I firmly believe that life is for exploring, learning and experiencing new cultures. I can’t wait to immerse myself in the American college life, embrace new challenges and make new friends.
“Although I am a student teacher who specialises in Art and Design, I really want to step outside my usual comfort zone and broaden my knowledge in business and management. One of my life goals is to write and illustrate my own children’s books. Through studying Business in the USA I will develop a deeper understanding of marketing and finance to help fulfill this lifelong ambition.
“Study USA will not only greatly improve my future employability but will also have a positive impact upon every young person I will go on to educate and as such, will influence not only me, but also the next generation.”
Also Speaking about the programme was David Alderdice, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, who said: “We know that the students departing for the US this year will be great ambassadors for Northern Ireland and will help to further long-term links and connections between our two countries.
“The students will have the opportunity to learn from leading experts in their field and their future employability will be enhanced through internships, Ambassadorial presentations, and volunteer work in a really international context. Most importantly, our students will build links with counterparts in the United States that will last a lifetime.”
Study USA is just one of many international opportunities available through British Council Northern Ireland. For more information visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter BCouncil_NI or Facebook