Development & Alumni Relations Office 


14 September 2016

A new student placement initiative, providing J1 work visas and support for 40 university students seeking quality, relevant, one-year paid internships in the United States will create additional opportunities for Queen’s students. 

The programme will offer US companies access to a highly skilled talent pool of Northern Ireland students who will inject enthusiasm, dedication and creativity into their host workforce.

The scheme is the result of a partnership between the Irish International Immigrant Centre in Boston, Queen’s and the UU, brokered by Belfast City Council as part of its Sister City Agreement with Boston. The agreement was signed in May 2014 to explore academic, business and cultural links between the two cities.

Officially launching the programme at Belfast City Hall, Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston said: “This initiative will help students achieve their full potential in their personal, academic and business lives and it will strengthen links with our Sister City Boston - so it will benefit Belfast as a whole."

Professor Stan Scott, Dean of Internationalisation, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “Queen’s offers an array of opportunities for students to enhance their degree through industry placements and study abroad schemes. Around 700 of our students each year already take the opportunity to work or study outside Northern Ireland. The University’s links with more than 200 partner organisations and 3,000 employers worldwide open doors for our students to live and work all over the world.

“We are delighted that this new partnership with the Irish International Immigrant Centre and Ulster University will create even more opportunities for Queen’s students to visit the USA and enhance their global outlook while developing vital personal and employability skills.”

Ronnie Millar, Executive Director of the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC), said: “The IIIC has many years of experience in leading international exchange programmes between Northern Ireland and the United States, and this partnership is going to build upon that work. Over the past eight years, we have worked with the business community in Boston to create excellent intern opportunities. This is a great investment in the future of Northern Ireland as students return home with greater confidence, and new technical and leadership skills.”

Samuel Lockhart, a Queen’s student who benefitted from the pilot programme explained: “I have no doubt that the experience and skills I gained during my internship played a key role in me securing a new role in biomedical research.

"I cannot thank the IIIC enough for their support and guidance during my time in Boston. I hope I can take back what I have learned and put it to use in Ireland.”

Click here for further information on the intern placement programme.

Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke (Mon-Wed) or Michelle Cassidy (Thurs-Fri) at Queen’s Communications Office, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5310.



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