Two local students will be jetting off to study in the USA this month.
Ballyclare student Zoe Cheshire (20) and Matthew Sterritt (20) from Newtownabbey will be among 54 students from across Northern Ireland on British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme, which 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 home.
Zoe, a previous student at Ballyclare High School, will spend her year at Spalding University in Lousiville, Kentucky. As a History with Education student at Ulster University, she is excited to be part of the programme.
She said: “I decided to apply for Study USA as it will give me the opportunity to gain business knowledge and have the chance to travel, both opportunities I couldn’t have otherwise obtained.
“I’m really excited about having the chance to go to Nashville for a short visit, the whole family are massive country music fans and I’ll just be a short drive away, so it’s definitely on my list of things to see!
“I hope this opportunity will make me more independent and give me more academic knowledge outside my usual subject at home and on my return, I plan to qualify as a primary school teacher and teach in a SEN school in the near future.”
Matthew, a previous student at Carnmoney Primary and Belfast Royal Academy, will spend his year at Dakota Wesylan University, South Dakota. As a Business Studies with Digital Technology student at North Regional College, he is excited to be part of the programme.
He said: “I decided to take part in the programme as after being in America on holiday it made me want to experience that way of life. I am also studying business and I would like to utilise the skills, knowledge and experiences I gain to further my career opportunities.
“When I return to Northern Ireland, I plan to complete my Foundation Degree in Business with Digital Technology and move into a career in this field.
“I am excited about meeting new friends and learning new things. I am thankful to Study USA for this amazing opportunity.”
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 2,000 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 added: “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 http://nireland.britishcouncil.org , email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter BCouncil_NI or Facebook.
Applications for Study USA 2020/21 will open in late Autumn.