Skip to main content

N.S. student wins prestigious scholarship for famous Scotland university


In a few weeks, James Osagie will graduate from Memorial High School in Sydney Mines, N.S., but he’s far from a typical high school student.

The 17-year-old is this year's recipient of the McEuen Scholarship, which gives him basically a full ride to the medical school at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

The prestigious scholarship is given out to just one student in Canada per year.

"Being the only one of anything is crazy,” Osagie said. "Once I heard, my whole family heard, we were just screaming and jumping - it was just a great time.”

Though he lives in North Sydney, N.S., now, where his mother works as a doctor, Osagie was born in Nigeria.

In fact, he's called a lot of places home in his young life.

"I've lived pretty much on every continent," Osagie said.

He's lived in six countries before his eighteenth birthday - which is next week - and one of the oldest universities in Europe will make it seven.

"It's shaped me a lot,” Osagie said. “A lot of my personality comes from the fact that I've lived in multiple places."

Another thing he credits for his success is being the oldest of four children. He has a lot of cousins who are younger, too.

It might help when it comes time to choose what kind of medicine to focus on.

"So I guess I'm good with kids, and I enjoy being around them,” Osagie said. “So I was thinking maybe by the time I'm done medical school and doing residency, I might specialize in paediatrics."

As for where he might want to practice years from now, he’s lived all over the globe but said he would love to return to the Maritimes.

"This place is… it's just beautiful,” Osagie said. “I love the people, I love the Island. I'm definitely, like, strongly considering coming back to Cape Breton specifically, but to Canada for sure."

He’s also aware a great prize comes with great responsibility.

"Just for me to do well and represent the foundation well as well as… represent Cape Breton,” Osagie said. “Because when they ask me there, 'Where are you coming from?' I'll be, 'I'm from Cape Breton.’”

The aspiring young doctor graduates from high school on June 28. He is set to begin his undergraduate degree at St. Andrews in September.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

Stay Connected