Fifty-three 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 in 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.
Niamh Sammon (20) from Derry~Londonderry, departs for the US on August 23 and can’t wait for the year ahead. A law student at Queen’s University Belfast, she will spend the next academic year at Ferrum College, Virginia.
About the experience, she said: “Words can't describe how excited I am to step outside my comfort zone and I still can't believe how lucky I am to be jetting off to study in Virginia for an entire year.
“I've been away from home before but not for more than a month, so I do expect the experience of adapting to a completely different culture to be challenging; but I couldn't be happier to have the chance to do so!
“Through Study USA I am determined to broaden my horizons, become more confident and self-reliant; and return with a newly gained skill set, knowledge and perspective to equip me in making a positive contribution to Northern Ireland.”
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