North Coast students Nicolas Moore and Rebekah Dunbar are heading off on the adventure of a lifetime this month after being accepted onto a US Scholarship programme.
The duo are among 56 students from across Northern Ireland on the prestigious Study USA programme, which enables students to study business or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related subjects in American colleges, across 22 States, helping to develop their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.
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 – and since its formation in 1994, the initiative has sent over 2000 students from Northern Ireland to all four corners of the United States.
Nicolas, from Coleraine, is currently a Marine Science student at Ulster University
and will spend the next year at Saint Martins University, Washington.
Speaking ahead of his departure Nicholas said: “I applied for the Study USA programme to help me step outside my comfort zone and face new challenges. This programme will allow me to experience new cultures, traditions and perspectives, while appreciating a different way of life.
“I hope Study USA will help broaden my academic perspectives, boost my employability skills and build on my self-confidence, resilience and independence. I also hope to meet many people and make lifelong friendships.”
Meanwhile, Law student Rebekah, who is from Portrush, will swap her time at Queen’s University Belfast for Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina.
She added: “I applied for the Study USA programme as I saw it as a unique opportunity to expand my horizons in the business world as well as experience new cultures. I hope to grow more independent and confident in myself, to make friends in America, and to develop my future career prospects.”
Also commenting on the programme, Jonathan Stewart, Director British Council Northern Ireland said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Department for the Economy to deliver Study USA, a prestigious scholarship programme that has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 1994.
“Study USA greatly enhances the employability skills of the students taking part in the programme, with many returning to work in Northern Ireland for employers with US and global links. Students get an opportunity to connect with another country, to really get to understand that country through living there for a year, and update their CV by developing new skills in an international setting. While in the US, the students will have the opportunity to enhance their academic skills but also to develop their people and intercultural skills that will prepare them for working for employers in Northern Ireland in the future. This year our students will be spread across 22 US states and we hope that they will build valuable links and develop friendships that will last a lifetime.
“We know that this year’s students will be great ambassadors for Northern Ireland. We wish them every success for the exciting year ahead and we look forward to welcoming them back to celebrate the class of 2024 next year.”
Applications for Study USA for 2024-25 will open in September 2023. To find out more about the programme, and eligibility criteria visit: https://nireland.britishcouncil.org/opportunities/study-usa
Study USA continues the British Council’s work, building connection, understanding and trust between people in the UK and overseas through arts, education and English language teaching. To find out more about the British Council’s work in Northern Ireland visit nireland.britishcouncil.org or follow on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.