Two local students are off to study in the USA this month after securing place on a prestigious US scholarship programme.
Ulster University students Stephen Lemon and Dearbhaile Hassan will be among 54 students from across Northern Ireland on British Council’s Study USA programme.
The programme enables students to study business or STEM subjects for a year in American colleges, across 34 States, helping to develop their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.
Stephen, from Limavady, will spend his summer at the University Of Pikeville, Kentucky, while Dearbhaile, from Culmore, is heading to Southwestern College in Kansas.
Stephen (21), who currently studies Creative Technologies, is excited to be part of the programme.
He said: “I feel that the Study USA programme will benefit me in numerous ways. Firstly, by studying abroad for a year, I believe I will have grown as an individual - I will have newfound confidence in myself and be increasingly independent, after being away from home for an extended period.
“Additionally, after studying business for a year, I will have gained new knowledge that could allow me the competitive advantage over someone who has not studied abroad, making me more desirable to potential employers.”
Stephen added: “Overall, I’m most excited about meeting all kinds of new and exciting people during my time in the US and creating lifelong friendships and relationships with them.
“I’m excited for all the memories I will create and share with the people I meet, whether it be in class, on campus, or during school breaks.”
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.
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
Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, said: “I am confident that the students departing for the US this year will be great ambassadors for Northern Ireland and will help to further important long-term links and connections between the two countries.
“Through Study USA, students will have the opportunity to not only enhance their employability skills but also develop intercultural skills, which will help them to prepare to work in a global economy.
“We wish them every success, and trust that new connections and friendships will be developed in the year ahead.”
Study USA is just one of many international opportunities available through British Council Northern Ireland.
For more information visit nireland.britishcouncil.org email email@example.com or follow on Twitter BCouncil_NI or Facebook.
Applications for Study USA 2020/21 will open in late autumn.