THREE Donegal Law students who attend Queen’s University Belfast are heading to the USA next week having won a year-long US Scholarship Programme.
Alwyn Jimmy, a former St Eunan’s College student from Letterkenny is off to Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania.
Harry Boyce from Moville, a former Moville Community College student is off to Bellarmine University in Kentucky while Elle Ward from Malin Head and a former student at Carndonagh Community School will be attending Arcadia University in Pennsylvania for a year.
The three local students are among 56 students on the prestigious Study USA programme, which 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 home.
The scholarships are managed through The British Council, which is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations on behalf of the Department for the Economy.
Since the programme’s formation in 1994, the initiative has sent over 2,000 Northern Ireland based students to all four corners of the United States.
A delighted but slightly nervous Alwyn spoke to the Donegal News this week as he was making his preparations to head to college in Pennsylvania. To a small town called Latrove.
He was looking forward to studying there and especially the opportunity to study law modules which would not be available here.
“I am eventually hoping to do criminal law and Saint Vincent College offers courses in subjects such as Criminal Gangs. It will be different.
“I was really excited once I heard I got the scholarship but now as the time gets nearer I am a little nervous. My accommodation and everything is organised at the university campus and though I will be on my own there will be someone to show me around once I get there. I was talking to people who went last year and they had students to show them around.
“My family are thrilled that I got the scholarship. I am the eldest and I have one younger brother. When I was applying my parents said to go for it but they were a little nervous when they learned I got it. I managed to convince them it was a great opportunity for me,” Alwyn said.
Jonathan Stewart, Director of the British Council Northern Ireland said the were 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.
“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 inter-cultural 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,” Mr Stewart added.