US Exchange Programmes
Each year between 50-60 students from Northern Ireland participate in the Study USA programme which has been running since 1994. It will allow you to spend a full academic year at an American College or University studying Business and Management. This programme will add a year to your study at QUB.
Follow the link below for further details:
What a student says about the experience
My experience at The College of Charleston for four months has been a very riveting experience. This was my first time travelling abroad by myself, thus was going to be a challenge. However this opportunity was not going to slip by and thus challenged myself to grab it by both hands.
By travelling and getting a taste of the American lifestyle, it gives me a desire to hope to return to America sometime in order to work. The American education system in my opinion is far more developed compared to the education system that l am used too. I can only speak highly of the College and thus take away a lot of things and use them in my future career. The professors were interesting characters. They were people who had so much stories and such an interesting career. I felt like I had more of a personal relationship with the professors than I have had at Queens. I also felt the education system was more equal to all learning styles and able to accommodate everyone’s needs. Overall I felt I was able to excel here compared to other places.
Apart from the classroom experience, it was like a life lesson. I was able to meet so many people and understand their cultures. In interacting with many different people, I knew I had to be open-minded and be respectful to people’s ideas. No matter how immoral I felt they were, or how obscure it sounded, I had to understand, well why do does this person think this? In essence, I felt I learned more outside the classroom than I did in a classroom. An interesting preconception that I had when I went to South Carolina was that it is still a racist state. This preconception is however still subtly true. It was a turbulent time when I arrived in America, with the rise of feminism, black lives matter and the sexual scandals that came out of Hollywood. This was a topic of nearly everyday discussion amongst students and Professors. I found it interesting that they would allow us to spark a debate on these topics. I found it rewarding and once again, you get to see wide spectrum of views.
Being in America I was able to encounter the many problems the country faces in terms of racism. At a local basketball game, a section of black students all took “a knee”, during the American anthem in order to stand for black lives matter. At first I thought was there any need for it. But then I again I thought, this is America and they are exercising their rights to protest for a grievance that really does matter to them. It was interesting to get people’s views on this. I hate labelling people, but a friend of mine warned me and said be careful these “dudes” are pro-republicans. So I asked and they were disgusted at the protest as it showed complete disrespect to the anthem and the American flag. This was a typical response amongst some people and it highlighted the people’s beliefs. View from the College of Charleston
One other interesting thing when I met some older people was that some of them have never left the country, let alone their own state. I could not believe it, I was amazed and then I guess this fitted into the preconception that Americans are very close minded. However this preconception is perhaps disappearing as I realised that the College was making a major push to get students to travel and study abroad. I felt this was a great thing the college was supporting and perhaps other places could follow suit on this.
During my time I was able to join the many groups the college had. There were so much and each one offered something unique. I felt this was an area in which Queens could improve on in terms of societies. Along with this, the College had so many speakers and events on that interested me. The most interesting one was meeting a Holocaust survivor and able to ask questions. It is this kind of experience and opportunity I feel you can get only in America.
The dorm life was an interesting experience and I felt like it did not suit me too much. The first week my lifestyle did not suit my roommate, thus I changed and lived in a student house with a guy who had the same likes and dislikes as me. Sharing a room was interesting, it was the typical American student lifestyle and thus I had to adapt to it. I thought I would become homesick in my time here, but with the people I met and the routine I stuck too I was able to overcome this. It was not until my final week in which I just wanted to be home. Overall these four months are something I can look back on and say I did it, and done it to my best of my ability. I have learnt many skills and experiences, and it is with these traits I hope to carry with me in the future when I become a teacher. If had to give advice to anyone who is studying in university, I would recommend travelling. If you have the opportunity, do it. The four months gave me a taste of the American lifestyle and possibly a place I could live in, in the future.
International Students visit America's only Tea producing plantation