AN A-Level student is to fly to America to study at one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Kate Whitaker, 17, beat off competition from 2,000 others to win the chance of a week at Harvard University, in Massachusetts, where she will learn what it is like to study at an Ivy League institution.

The teenager, of Granville Street, Colne, is hoping the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ will allow her to take up a full-time position in the US once she has passed her exams in English language, English literature, history and French.

Kate, who dreams of being a journalist when she graduates, said: “I am absolutely ecstatic. I do not think it has sunk in yet. It is an opportunity of a lifetime and I want to embrace every second of it.”

The Nelson and Colne College student applied for the scheme with the Sutton Trust’s US programme.

After a tough application process, which involved her writing eight essays, creating a video about herself and attending a four-day selection process in London, Kate, who lives with her mum Judith Duxbury and dad Alan Whitaker, finally received the email she had been hoping for offering her a place on the all-expenses-paid trip in August.

Kate, who is responsible for the creation of her school magazine Jigsaw, said: “Being accepted into the US Sutton Trust programme has opened so many doors and inspired me to apply to US universities to complete my undergraduate degree.”

Samantha Barnes, head of division for science, mathematics and computing at Nelson and Colne, said: “Kate has done extremely well. The selection process was tough and Kate put a lot of effort into her application.

“She has been rewarded with this fantastic opportunity to study in the US for a week.

“I'm delighted and excited for her.”