Wednesday, March 14th 2012 – The Ireland – United States (Fulbright) Commission for Educational Exchange has launched its Gaeltacht Summer Awards, enabling US citizens, currently studying or teaching the Irish language in the United States, to participate in Irish language courses in Gaeltacht areas in Ireland this summer.
The Gaeltacht Summer Awards are not Fulbright Awards but a separate initiative of the Ireland – United States Commission for Educational Exchange (The Fulbright Commission) and are supported by the Irish Government Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and the Irish National Lottery.
US citizens or naturalized US citizens living in the US, currently enrolled in Irish language courses in the US who have completed at least one year of Irish language instruction, or who are teaching the Irish language in the US for more than one year, are eligible to apply. Successful candidates will have their tuition, room and board paid directly to their course provider by the Commission. Successful candidates will be responsible for their own travel and any other living costs.
Commenting on the awards, Dinny McGinley T.D, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said: “The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is delighted to support these Gaeltacht Summer Awards again this year. This program will provide Irish learners and teachers with an invaluable opportunity to live and learn in a Gaeltacht area and to immerse themselves in an environment rich with Irish heritage, tradition and culture.”
Speaking about the awards, Ms Colleen Dube, Executive Director of the Ireland – United States Commission for Educational Exchange said:
“We piloted these awards last summer and were overwhelmed by the level of interest. We awarded 20 grants to US citizens who came from as far afield as Nebraska, Ohio, and Texas. Recipients made huge improvements in their level of Irish with many hoping to return to Irish Gaeltachtaí on a more regular basis.
“This year we’ve opened the awards out to US teachers of the Irish language who will benefit enormously from being immersed in the Gaeltacht to re-invigorate their classroom teaching on their return to the US.
“Since 2006 the Ireland – United States Commission for Educational Exchange has been actively involved in promoting the Irish language in the US through the Fulbright FLTA programme where we send recently qualified teachers and fluent Irish speakers to act as Teaching Assistants in US universities. At the request of the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, we are currently working on a strategy for Irish language learning and teaching in North America for the 2012 – 2016 period to inform the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, particularly the co-ordination and delivery of the Irish government’s funding for Irish language activities in North America.”
Click here to apply. Deadline is 30th April 2012.
For further information:
Communications and Information Officer
01-6607670 / 087 0576844