Carrickfergus student Karl Willis has jetted off to the USA to take part in a prestigious study programme run by the British Council.
The 23-year-old was chosen to take part in the scholarship scheme after undergoing a competitive selection process.
He currently studies Sport and Exercise Sciences at Ulster University, and is bound for Texas Wesleyan College.
Looking forward to his American adventure, Karl admitted he was “nervous”, but excited about the trip.
The local man departed for the US on Monday, and will start his classes on August 17.
“For me the next year will be a completely new experience – I’ve never been away from home before, so I hope through this to mature and find my own two feet in the world,” he said.
“I’m also looking forward to the Texan heat - even with my fair skin - and want to try out for the golf and football teams.”
The British Council, which is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, manages Study USA on behalf of the Department for the Economy.
This year, the programme will give 53 Northern Irish students the opportunity to study business and management for a year in American colleges.
Since its formation in 1994, the initiative has sent over 1800 students from Northern Ireland to all four corners of the United States, where they have studied business at one of 140 institutions.