Students from Northern Ireland to live American dream as part of US study programme

The students from across the north selected to take part in the Study USA programme, managed by the British Council on behalf of the Department of Economy
Emma Deighan

FORTY-eight students from the north will head to America this month to study STEM and business-related subjects.

Drawn from Queen's University, Ulster University, St Mary's University College, Stranmillis University College and Belfast Metropolitan College, they were were hand-picked for the Study USA programme, which which will see them placed across 28 states for the next academic year.

They will study specific STEM-related subjects or business including food and nutrition, law and politics and engineering.

Since1994, more than 2000 students from the north have taken part.

The British Council, the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, manages the programme on behalf of the Department for the Economy.

Economy minister Gordon Lyons said: “The benefits of adding an international dimension to our students' higher education experience are clear. It helps them to widen their horizons, develop personal resilience, confidence and skills, and offers the potential of better academic and employability outcomes in the future.

“I hope Study USA helps every student taking part to flourish as an individual and to make a positive contribution to their communities and to Northern Ireland and the wider economy on their return."

Indigo Ashbridge (19) from Larne is one of the participating students. She is currently studying for a foundation degree in marketing at Belfast Met and will spend her year at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania.

She said: “I applied to Study USA as I thought it was an excellent opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and study subjects that I might not get the chance to study at home.

“I'm most excited about getting to explore the Arcadia campus and Glenside area in Pennsylvania when I land and try to meet as many new people as possible. I'm also keen to show Americans some of my own culture and encourage people to visit Northern Ireland.”

Jonathan Stewart, Northern Ireland director at the British Council, said: “While in the US the students will have the opportunity to learn from leading experts in their field, developing inter-cultural skills that will prepare them for working in a global economy. Most importantly, they will build links with counterparts in the US that will last a lifetime."