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Capitol chance for St Andrews student

A third year undergraduate at the University of St Andrews has gained a place on the prestigious Washington-Ireland Programme as part of the Class of 2006.

Ian Collen, who is studying French and German, beat off hundreds of applications for the project which provides 26 third level students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with training in leadership and public service, alongside an exciting and challenging internship in Washington DC.

Programme Manager Ryan Moffatt said, “This year we received over 400 applications. For Ian to be selected as one of the final 26 is a credit to him and an indication of the calibre of students that the University of St Andrews produces”.

Twenty two year old Ian, from Lurgan, will be based at the US Department of Education and is relishing his American adventure – “As an aspiring teacher, the internship will be a great opportunity for me to gain an insight into education administration and the American school system”.

The other internships range from placements on Capitol Hill to PR firms, governmental departments and NGO’s. One of the exciting new placements this year is in the Irish Embassy – ironically, one of Ian’s colleagues will travel thousands of miles to work on Irish soil!

As well as working with some of the world’s most powerful people, the interns are also required to complete 50 hours of public service in their home community. This gives the interns an opportunity to develop their leadership skills in two contrasting environments.

During their time in DC each of the students will have the opportunity to speak at a variety of events including the Northern Ireland Bureau, the Irish Embassy and a special Congressional Forum.

To complete their ‘all American’ experience, the interns will be staying with American host families. This proves to be an exciting and educating experience for both the students and their hosts.

DC-based Programme Director Paul Costello, further outlines the programme’s directives – “By taking 26 of Ireland’s most promising students and placing them in a highly professional environment, we hope that each graduate of the programme will further themselves and, as a result, better their home country and community”.

You can follow Ian’s progress through his online web journal at: www.wiprogram.com.

For more information, please contact Ryan Moffatt on 028 90 971059 or email belfast@wiprogram.org.

ENDS

Jpeg image of Ian available from Claire Grainger, University Press Office – contact details below.

Issued by Beattie Media – www.beattiegroup.com On behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information, please contact Claire Grainger, Press Officer – 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk; Ref: press releases/iancollen View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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