Nova Scotians interested in improving their understanding and use of the Gaelic language can further their studies with a bursary program funded by the Scottish government and administered by Gaelic Affairs.
The bursary program, now in its second year, will support up to five Nova Scotians to attend language training in Scotland with travel, meal and accommodation costs.
The individual bursaries are valued at about $2,800.
“The bursary program from the Scottish government is an excellent opportunity and motivation for Nova Scotians to acquire Gaelic language and cultural skills through international travel and study,” said Gaelic Affairs Minister Randy Delorey. “The province is grateful to the Scottish government for the support, and we are pleased to help promote the program through Gaelic Affairs and its community partners.”
Recipients will enrol in Gaelic-language study at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a national centre for Gaelic language and culture on the Isle of Skye. In addition to formal classes, recipients will choose a Gaelic dialect as a focus for their study. They will interview a native Gaelic speaker to learn more about their specific dialect and related cultural expression, practices, values and beliefs.
“With links between Scotland and Nova Scotia so strong, it made perfect sense to open up Gaelic language training in Scotland to a small number of Nova Scotians,” said Minister for Gaelic, Scottish government, Alasdair Allan. “Scotland and Canada share a strong cultural heritage which includes our indigenous languages.
“Gaelic has been spoken in Nova Scotia for over 200 years and we are keen that this tradition continues and the number of people learning and using the language increases. Through this continued funding, we hope to strengthen Gaelic’s presence in Nova Scotia by giving more people the opportunity to learn the language and participate in academic exchanges to Scotland.”
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and permanent residents of Nova Scotia to qualify. They must submit a detailed letter outlining their experience and commitment to using the language, along with a letter of reference and proof of acceptance to a minimum two-week course. The deadline for applications is Friday, Feb. 7.
“The Scottish government will continue to work closely with the Office of Gaelic Affairs in Canada and we will extend a special invitation to visit Scotland in 2014, during our year of homecoming,” said Senior Cabinet Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, Scotland government, Michael Russell.
For more information about applying to the bursary program, contact Lewis MacKinnon, Gaelic Affairs at 902-424-4298 or firstname.lastname@example.org .