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NRC students secure place on US scholarship programme


Northern Regional College students Tyson McKeown, Adam Pidgeon and Matthew Sterritt are off to study in the USA this month. The trio will be among 54 students from across Northern Ireland on British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme. The programme enables students to study Business or STEM related subjects for a year in American colleges, across 34 States, helping to develop their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.

Tyson, a past pupil at St Louis Grammar and St Patrick’s College, will spend the next year at Hanover College in Indiana.

The 19-year-old, who studies Engineering, said: “I'm really excited about meeting new people and learning about the differences between cultures in the US and home – although I’m quite nervous about the length of time I will spend away from family.

“However, I feel that from this opportunity I will gain the skills and qualities needed to start, run and grow a successfully business. This year is going to be an amazing journey that will help me in future life.”

Adam (20), who is doing a Foundation Degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, will head to King's College in Pennsylvania.

He said: “I decided to take part in Study USA as I hope it will give me insights and opportunities which I would not otherwise have. This will help increase my employment prospects, as well as giving me vital experience I can add to my CV.

“In the future, I hope to continue studying and do a post-graduate degree.  I plan to find employment within the Northern Ireland Engineering industry and hope this experience will help make my mark on the global market.”

Nineteen years old Matthew will spend his Study USA year at Dakota Wesylan University in South Dakota. He is doing Business Studies with Digital Technology and is excited to be part of the programme.

He said: “After being on holiday in the US, I decided to take part in the programme as 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 and 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 2000 students from Northern Ireland to all four corners of the United States where they have successfully completed a year studying

Also speaking about the programme was Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, who said:   “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 , email or follow on Twitter BCouncil_NI or Facebook.

Applications for Study USA 2020/21 will open in late Autumn.