Newtownabbey student secures place on Study USA programme

Matthew Sterritt (right) from Newtownabbey who has been selected to travel to America as part of the British Council's prestigious Study USA programme along with along with fellow Northern Regional College students Tyson McKeown, Adam Pidgeon from Mid & East Antrim  (pictured)
Matthew Sterritt (right) from Newtownabbey who has been selected to travel to America as part of the British Council's prestigious Study USA programme along with along with fellow Northern Regional College students Tyson McKeown, Adam Pidgeon from Mid & East Antrim (pictured)

A young man from Newtownabbey has set off on an American adventure having secured a highly coveted place on the British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme.

Matthew Sterritt was one of three Northern Regional College students to be selected for the programme along with fellow Ballymena NRC Campus peers Adam Pidgeon and Tyson McKeown. The trio will spend the next academic year studying Business or STEM subjects at an American college.

The Study USA scholarship funding package is worth approximately £35,000 per student and will cover the costs of their accommodation for the academic year, a generous book allowance and a return flight to the US.

Engineering Careers Manager at NRC Bill Watson, a strong advocate of the programme, said: The purpose of Study USA is to produce graduates with an international, business-orientated perspective who will be capable of eventually making a contribution to advancing the Northern Ireland economy.

“I tell my students to think how they can make their CV stand out from other applicants. The Study USA programme is just one of many exciting international travel opportunities of which students at Northern Regional College can avail. Taking part in Study USA gives them a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop new skills and qualities to demonstrate their employability. Employers recognise that the participants have stepped outside of their comfort zone. They have done something different and shown they are prepared to take on new challenges, which is a very important attribute to have,” Bill explained.

Matthew (19) is delighted to have been selected for the programme and will be attending Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota.

He said: “Whilst on holiday in America, I realised how much I love the American way of life and decided to apply for the Study USA programme. I’m excited about meeting new friends and developing different skills and am so grateful for this opportunity.” On his return, Matthew intends to complete a Foundation Degree in Business with Digital Technology and move into a career in this area. He said: “The skills, knowledge and experience I will gain through the Study USA programme will help to further my career.”

The College first participated in the programme in 2013 and, since then, nine students have taken up the opportunity to spend an academic year in the USA. Applications for Study USA 2020-2021 will open this month. For further information go to http://nireland.britishcouncil.org/opportunities/study-usa