USA trip of a lifetime for two Fife College students

18th November 2022

Fife College has welcomed back two students who have been studying in America as part of a once-in-a-lifetime trip funded by one of its scholarship programmes.

Fife College has welcomed back two students who have been studying in America as part of a once-in-a-lifetime trip funded by one of its scholarship programmes.

Abigail-Rose Cloete, from West Wemyss, completed two art courses at the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York earlier this summer, joining Oscar-winning actor Robert Redford and countless other accomplished figures in the arts as a Pratt alumni, while Niamh Hogwood, from Cardenden, recently returned from a historic building design internship, all thanks to a George Lauder Bursary award.

The awards, offered through Adam Smith Scholarships, part of Fife College, are generously funded by the family of George Lauder and the St. Andrews Society of the State of New York, which has fully supported both students’ stays including food, travel, and accommodation.

William Garner, George Lauder’s great-great grandson played a pivotal role in planning and arranging the details for both students’ visits, ensuring they had the most enjoyable and memorable time while maximising every opportunity of their stay.

Both students were awarded the scholarship opportunity at the end of 2019, however, their trips were postponed due to Covid and travel restrictions.

Abby and Niamh have both studied BA (Hons) Creative Enterprise at the College, Niamh graduated this year and Abby is currently in her final year.

Abby spent two months over the summer studying at the Pratt Institute Manhattan, one of the top ten Colleges for art and design in the world. Staying in the Halls of Residence she was able to fully immerse herself into life as a student in NYC, she enjoyed classes, meeting new friends and experiencing the distinct creative vibe at Pratt and in New York.

Abby said:

“I did not realise just how life-changing this experience was going to be when I applied for the George Lauder Bursary.

“I have had the privilege to study abroad, explore a new city, meet incredible people, and make lifelong friends along the way. Every step taken throughout this journey has taken me closer to opportunities and possibilities that I could only have dreamt of.

“I am eternally grateful to the Lauder family, The St. Andrews Society of the State of New York and Fife College for providing me with this wonderful opportunity.”

Niamh, who studied HND 3D Design with Architecture before going on to do the Creative Enterprise degree programme, recently returned from a three-month trip to Baltimore where she produced a range of computer aided designs and videos to support staff at Mount Clare Museum House.

Baltimore’s first museum house, Mount Clare House is the oldest example of grand Georgian architecture in the city and Niamh’s work will be used to help explain to visitors the evolution and interesting history of the house

Niamh said:

“Having never travelled on my own before, I was delighted to receive the George Lauder Bursary – this gave me an opportunity to take the biggest step of my life. I have come home as a completely different person with much more confidence.

"Working at Mount Clare Museum House was an incredible experience as I was able to use the skills that I learned through Fife College in 3D Design to contribute materials for the grand re-opening which I was lucky enough to attend just before I departed back to Scotland.

"I am so grateful to everyone who looked after me whilst I was there and welcomed me into their family and homes.”

The award of the George Lauder Bursary celebrates the vision of George Lauder, the Uncle of Andrew Carnegie, in promoting the foundation in 1899 of a Further Education College in Dunfermline, now known as Fife College. Andrew Carnegie also donated funds to the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York which supports the Bursary.

Lyn Gold, Scholarship and Alumni Engagement Lead at Fife College, said:

“We are extremely fortunate to have this amazing scholarship as part of the range of scholarships and funding we offer to Fife College students.

“This is a truly life-changing opportunity that Abby and Niamh have thoroughly enjoyed and during which they have been fantastic ambassadors for Fife College.

“We are enormously grateful to William Garner, the Lauder family and the St Andrew’s Society of the State of New York for their continued support of this scholarship.

“We are currently on the lookout for two more lucky students to follow in Abby and Niamh's footsteps in summer 2023 – applications are now open for students studying HND level and above, as well as former students who have left us within the last four years.”

Adam Smith Scholarships, part of Fife College, is one of the largest college scholarship programmes in Scotland, awarding thousands of pounds each year to support students, develop opportunities, open doors and transform lives.

For further information about scholarships, including details on how to apply for the 2023 George Lauder Bursary, visit the Adam Smith Scholarships page on the Fife College website or email [email protected].

Applications for the 2023 George Lauder Bursary close on Monday, 12 December 2022.

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