DOWN students Thomas Drake and Emma McCracken are off to study business in the USA through British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme.
Thomas (22), from Newtownards, currently studies Animation at Ulster University, and will head to Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile Emma (22), from Holywood, a student of Textile, Art and Design at Ulster University will spend the next year at the College of St Benedict in Minnesota.
Thomas, a past student at Movilla High School and Glastry College, is excited for the year ahead.
He said: “I am excited to immerse myself in college life and experience an entirely new education system. It’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet a huge variety of new people and build new friendships.
“My passions lie in the areas of marketing, animation and promotion for businesses and churches. Studying in the US will provide me with the stepping stones needed to reach my career ambitions and to be actively contributing to the future of the Northern Irish economy and enterprise sector.”
Emma is also looking forward to experiencing the American way of life.
She said: “I am looking forward to the year ahead and feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to study abroad for the year in America.
“This is going to be a great experience for me to develop my confidence, study business, learn about a new culture, make new friends and all together gaining an experience that will not only develop me as a person but also improve my job prospects in the future.”
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.
The scholarship programme enables students to study business and management for a year in American colleges, across 34 States, where they gain valuable international experience and business knowledge, helping to develop their career prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.
Since its formation in 1994, the initiative has sent over 1800 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 David Alderdice, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, who said: “We know that the students departing for the US this year will be great ambassadors for Northern Ireland and will help to further long-term links and connections between our two countries.
“The students will have the opportunity to learn from leading experts in their field and their future employability will be enhanced through internships, Ambassadorial presentations, and volunteer work in a really international context. Most importantly, our students will build links with counterparts in the United States that will last a lifetime.”
Study USA is just one of many international opportunities available through British Council Northern Ireland.
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