Local students fly the flag for Ballymoney

: From left: Bernadette Miller (Antrim), Mary-Claire O'Mullan (Ballymena), David Hunter (Ballymoney), Paul Mckay (Ballymena), Andrew Kelly (Randalstown) and Dean Boyle (Dunloy). INBM29-15S
: From left: Bernadette Miller (Antrim), Mary-Claire O'Mullan (Ballymena), David Hunter (Ballymoney), Paul Mckay (Ballymena), Andrew Kelly (Randalstown) and Dean Boyle (Dunloy). INBM29-15S

High flying Ballymoney students David Hunter and Dean Boyle, will soon be jetting off to study business at colleges in the USA.

The pair have been selected to take part in the British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme, having undergone a competitive selection process.

David (20), a Business student at the University of Ulster, will be heading to Coe College in Iowa, while Dean (19), from Dunloy, is off to Seton Hill University, Pennsylvania.

Dean is currently a student at the Northern Regional College, studying for a Foundation Degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

David and Dean will be joined by 53 other students from across Northern Ireland on the prestigious scholarship programme, which enables students to study business and management for a year in American colleges, across 34 States.

Through the initiative, it is hoped that both students will gain valuable international experience and business knowledge, 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 Employment and Learning (DEL).

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 business at one of 140 institutions. Last year the programme celebrated its 20th anniversary at Titanic Belfast, with graduates, alumni and employers all gathering to mark its success.

Speaking about the programme, David Alderdice, Director of British Council Northern Ireland, said: “Study USA is a great way for local students to boost their core employability skills and gain invaluable experience working in an international setting.

“While in the US, 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. T

“We know that this year’s students will be great ambassadors for Northern Ireland and I wish them every success in the year ahead.”

Study USA is just one of many international opportunities available through British Council Northern Ireland. From Washington to Wisconsin, Nebraska to New Jersey. Opportunities are spread through many states - giving students the chance to experience the huge cultural and geographical diversity of the US. You don’t need to be a business student to apply. Participants from a wide range of academic backgrounds have benefitted from developing their business skills in the USA.

Study USA is open to all full-time, pre-final year students of any discipline from undergraduate degree or HND courses at a Northern Irish institution.

For more information visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org, email opportunity@britishcouncil.org or follow on Twitter: BCouncil_NI.