Newtownabbey students secure US business scholarship

The local students will spend a year in the USA.
The local students will spend a year in the USA.

A group of local students are jetting off to study business in the USA this month.

Sophie Hagan, Ciara Cooke and Thomas Moore will join 51 other students from across Northern Ireland on British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme.

The scheme enables students to study business and management for a year in American colleges, across 34 states.

They will gain valuable international experience and business knowledge, helping to develop their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.

Sophie (21), who is currently studying Drama at Ulster University, will spend the next academic year at the Aquinas College in Michigan, while Ciara (20), also at Ulster University, studying Accountancy, is off to Edgewood College in Wisconsin.

Thomas (21), a physics student at Queen’s University Belfast will travel to Saint Martin’s University in Washington.

Speaking ahead of her departure, Ciara said: “I am really excited about the year ahead and I’m looking forward to a completely fresh experience with more independence and a chance to experience American culture.

“I truly believe this next year will be life changing and I think it’ll improve my confidence and enhance my interpersonal skills. The programme will also aid my employability as it definitely differentiates me from my competitors and will show my ability to adapt as well as help me build an international network.”

Thomas is also excited to be part of the programme.

He said: “I’m very lucky to be given this opportunity by the British Council. I get to study new subjects that I would not have an opportunity to study on my degree pathway at Queen’s, and this is an incredible opportunity to gain a more comprehensive knowledge base which will benefit me in any future career.

“I’ll be living in a new city, and I’m excited that every town and street I visit will be a new experience. Washington State has impressive mountain peaks and beautiful national parks and I’m looking forward to visiting them and trying to summit Mount Saint Helens.”

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.

Study USA is just one of many international opportunities available through British Council Northern Ireland. For more information visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org , email opportunity@britishcouncil.org or follow on Twitter BCouncil_NI or Facebook.

Applications for Study USA 2019/20 will open in late Autumn.