News release

Bursary Supports Gaelic-language Training in Scotland

Nova Scotians who want to use the Gaelic language can apply for a bursary to study in Scotland.

This is the second call for applications for the bursary program, which is administered by Gaelic Affairs and funded by the Scottish government.

"Language learning can occur more quickly through immersion and this bursary program from Bord na Gaidhlig and the Scottish government will provide this opportunity for Nova Scotians," said Gaelic Affairs Minister Maurice Smith. "The province is pleased to help promote the program through Gaelic Affairs and its community partners."

Individual bursaries, valued at approximately $3100 each, will cover travel, meal and accommodation costs for two Nova Scotians.

"With the 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 Scotland's Minister of Gaelic Alasdair Allan.

Recipients will enroll in Gaelic-language study at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a national centre for Gaelic language and culture, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. They will choose a Gaelic dialect as a focus for their study and interview a native speaker to learn more about the language and its related cultural customs, practices, values and beliefs.

"My Gaelic skills took the biggest single leap forward during my two-week experience at Sabhal Mor Ostaig because I was constantly exposed to Gaelic, including speaking opportunities throughout each day for two weeks," said former bursary recipient, Brian MacDonald, of Antigonish.

"My time at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has been a chance of a lifetime," said Melissa Nicholson of Baddeck. "My Gaelic has improved so much faster than I could have imagined, and experiencing the local cultures of the Isle of Skye and the Western Isles where Gaelic is part of everyday life has been amazing. I'm so thankful for this bursary for helping to make this experience come true."

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and permanent residents of Nova Scotia to qualify for the bursary. They must submit a detailed letter of application outlining their experience and commitment to using the language, along with a letter of reference and proof of acceptance to study in Scotland.

The deadline for applications is March 8, 2013.

For more information about applying to the bursary program, contact Lewis MacKinnon at Gaelic Affairs at 902-424-4298 or email

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotians can apply for a bursary to study the Gaelic language in Scotland.

The bursary, valued at just over three-thousand dollars, is available through Gaelic Affairs and funded by the Scottish government. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have been accepted into a minimum two-week Gaelic language course in Scotland.

Gaelic Affairs Minister Maurice Smith says this second bursary call will make it easier for more interested Nova Scotians to learn Gaelic by being immersed in a language learning environment.

Information on the bursary program is available from the Office of Gaelic Affairs.

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Media contact:

Lewis Mackinnon
Communities, Culture and Heritage 902-424-4298 E-mail: