Ronan flies the flag for NI

Making waves: Study USA students (from left) Simon McKendry, Cora McKernan, Ronan OLoughlin, Chris Donnelly, Amy Kyle and Karl Willis at the recent Study USA Orientation event at Queens Student Guidance Centre, Belfast.
Making waves: Study USA students (from left) Simon McKendry, Cora McKernan, Ronan OLoughlin, Chris Donnelly, Amy Kyle and Karl Willis at the recent Study USA Orientation event at Queens Student Guidance Centre, Belfast.

Ballymena student Ronan O’Loughlin, is jetting off to study business in the USA this August.

Ronan, who is currently studying Film Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, will soon be heading to the Central Methodist College, Missouri, after being selected to take part in the British Council’s prestigious Study USA programme.

The 20 year-old departs on August 17 and recently received last minute advice and information at a pre-departure meeting in Belfast, before preparing for his year stateside.

Ronan said: “The nerves haven’t quite struck me yet; I’ve never studied abroad before so I have no idea what to expect really – just excitement. I’m slightly nervous of the chance that I may put on a very strong Irish accent by mistake and be stuck with it for the year. However, I think it will be a great experience full of chances to travel and create friendships from across the globe.”

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.

This year, the scholarship programme will give 53 Northern Ireland students the opportunity 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 business at one of 140 institutions.

David Alderdice, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, 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.”