| Visiting Study Abroad Student from Northern Ireland Earns Scholarship |
Visiting University of St. Thomas student Adam McCoy, originally from Northern Ireland, was awarded a $5,500 scholarship by the British American Foundation of Texas during an awards dinner in April.
The British American Foundation of Texas comprises British-based businesses that provide scholarships in the areas of international business, science and technology. The foundation also facilitates programs between educational institutions in the United Kingdom and Texas.
Benjamin Fink, vice president of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, left, and John Carrig, vice president and treasurer of British American Foundation of Texas, right, award a scholarship to visiting UST student Adam McCoy from Northern Ireland.
McCoy is from Greenisland, just a few miles outside Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attends Ulster University, where he is majoring in marketing and expects to graduate in 2017.
Through the study abroad program Study USA, McCoy studied business at UST for the 2015-2016 academic year. The William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies supported McCoy’s tuition by raising funds from British American Foundation of Texas and private donors.
Study USA, a program offered by the British Council of Northern Ireland, enables university-age students from Northern Ireland to study for one academic year in the United States. Students have the opportunity to refine their business and management skills, while experiencing another culture firsthand. Additionally, this program increases the profile of Northern Ireland in the United States. Each year between 50-60 students from Northern Ireland participate in the Study USA program, which has been running since 1994.
McCoy’s dream was to serve in the British Army, and he began working toward this goal by participating in the Army Cadets, a volunteer organization aimed at giving military training to those 19 and younger. After spending some time in the Army Cadets, McCoy learned about the Study USA program and realized that attending university for a higher education could be possible. He gained inspiration to attend university and to study abroad from his grandmother who did both at a later age in life.
He said his time in America was both exciting and a little unnerving.
“Before entering university, I never thought I’d be 4,545 miles across the Atlantic from home,” McCoy said. “Nor could I have predicted at the start of my American experience, how desperately I would want to stay.”
After classes ended this May, McCoy returned to Northern Ireland, where he will complete his degree and look for employment in the areas of human resources or marketing/branding.
The William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston is the only Irish studies academic and cultural program in the Southwest. The Center is listed as one of the top 10 Irish Studies programs in the country by IrishCentral.com.