Downpatrick Student Embarks On Career Journey To South Korea


Downpatrick undergraduate student Eamon Byrne is jetting off to South Korea this summer to gain valuable experience in the energy industry.

South-Korean flagThe Queen’s University, Belfast student has been selected to take part in IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience), an exchange programme managed by the British Council, which sees students from all scientific and technical disciplines undertake work placements across the globe.

Eamon, who is currently in his fourth year studying Electronic Engineering, will spend the summer working as an intern at the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER). Based in the city of Daejeon, the 23-year-old will focus on the research and development of energy technology.

Speaking about his placement, Eamon said: “I am very excited at the opportunity to gain work experience in Korea, a country renowned for its technological excellence. My future career aim is to build and establish a leading role in the electrical power sector and with the experiences gained at KIER, I hopefully can become an expert in this.”

[caption id="attachment_57346" align="alignleft" width="284"]QUB electrical student Eamonn Byrne from Downpatrick off to South Korea QUB electrical student Eamonn Byrne from Downpatrick off to South Korea[/caption]

The former St Patrick’s Grammar School pupil will be joined by 17 other students from across Northern Ireland in the IAESTE programme, with placements taking place in countries as diverse as Macau, the Czech Republic and Canada. It is hoped that the skills they gain with IAESTE will significantly contribute to their future employment prospects when they return to Northern Ireland.

IAESTE is managed by British Council Northern Ireland and is open to degree level science, engineering, technology and applied arts students in the second year of study and above.

David Alderdice, British Council Director in Northern Ireland, said: “International business connections and partnerships are vital for economic success and growth. Exchange programmes like IAESTE facilitate these connections by sending out our future business leaders into the international marketplace to gain international experience and build partnerships for success.

“This kind of work experience enhances independence and flexibility as well as communication and foreign language skills, and contributes to personal and academic development. Employers know that if students have successfully overcome the challenges brought on by international work experience, they will stand out from the crowd at interview.

“I wish this year’s entire cohort the best of luck and every success in their future careers.”

IAESTE runs in more than 80 member countries, with over 4000 traineeships exchanged each year and is the largest organisation of its kind in the world. It is supported by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) in conjunction with local universities and the British Council.

Applications for IAESTE 2016 will open in autumn. For more information visit:

 or to find out about other programmes available through British Council Northern Ireland visit: