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In addition to its well-established relationships with a small number of universities and colleges of the USA, St Mary's has become a committed partner in the Study USA programme, which is a Business/Management Development Programme for undergraduate students in Northern Ireland, funded by the Department for the Economy (DFE). It offers annually study places in the USA, and despite its business orientation, it is open to students studying in any discipline. The development of the very successful Study USA programme stemmed from discussions in 1993 between members of the Interchurch Committee on Northern Ireland, who considered the potential benefits and positive outcomes that students could gain from a year of study at an American College. The Committee envisaged students could bring business knowledge and international experience back into the Northern Ireland economy while simultaneously contributing to an era where the old historic divisions hopefully would become increasingly less important.

The government in Belfast supported the idea enthusiastically, recognising the significant impact that such a programme could potentially have, and thus, Study USA (formerly the Business Education Initiative) was established.

The first programme was designed and piloted in the academic year of 1994/95 and nineteen students left to study in nineteen U.S. Colleges. Over the following years, places and partnerships were established with Universities and Colleges affiliated to a wide range of churches and traditions across the USA leading finally to the consolidation of the target figure of 165 student places spread throughout more than one hundred participating institutions. Unfortunately the number of student places has reduced significantly in recent years.

St Mary’s University College is an enthusiastic and committed member of the Study USA “movement”, and this year will again be sending students to Colleges across the USA.

 

More information is available on the British Council Study USA website.