Larne students taking part in Study USA scholarship programme

Two Law students from Larne are heading off on the adventure of a lifetime this month after being accepted onto a US scholarship scheme.
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Sienna Taggart and Zoe Shields are among 56 students from across Northern Ireland who are taking part in the prestigious Study USA programme.

Study USA 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.

Students Sienna Taggart and Zoe Shields pictured (from left to right) with Dr. Erin Hinson, Study USA Student Support Advisor; Richard Leeman, Skills Division, Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, and Claire Hamilton, Study USA Programme Manager.  Photo: The British CouncilStudents Sienna Taggart and Zoe Shields pictured (from left to right) with Dr. Erin Hinson, Study USA Student Support Advisor; Richard Leeman, Skills Division, Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, and Claire Hamilton, Study USA Programme Manager.  Photo: The British Council
Students Sienna Taggart and Zoe Shields pictured (from left to right) with Dr. Erin Hinson, Study USA Student Support Advisor; Richard Leeman, Skills Division, Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, and Claire Hamilton, Study USA Programme Manager. Photo: The British Council

Queen’s University student Sienna (20) who is from Ballygally, will spend the next year at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Nebraska, while Zoe (20), who currently studies at Ulster University is heading to Spalding University in Kentucky.

Speaking ahead of her departure, Sienna said: “The Study USA programme is such an exciting opportunity to travel to the States for the first time. I applied as I wanted to be able to meet new people and be involved in a different college experience than at home.

“I’m so excited to meet new people from around the world, be forced out of my comfort zone, and learn new skills and attitudes that I can carry forward when I return back to university at home.”

Jonathan Stewart, Director of the British Council Northern Ireland added: “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.

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“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

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

The organisation works with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries.

In 2021-22, the British Council reached 650 million people.