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Ah, the Gaeltacht. Remember the days? Busloads of mid-teen adolescents would head down to the depths of the Wesht for three weeks (costing a bomb) to try and shove Irish into our mouths…

Most of the time we came back with less of the mother tongue than when we left, and had some interesting experiences at the céilí with some lad you've probably seen in Coppers seven years later and almost died of mortification.

The jealousy of the other kids who managed to get a bean an tí who could actually cook was too real. News has now hit us that a scheme similar to the Erasmus programme will allow up to 175 students to study in the Gaeltacht for a semester.

College students will be offered the chance to spend three months in Connemara under the new language immersion scheme announced today by the Department of the Gaeltacht.

New government funding worth €250,000 will allow students to live with families while attending third-level courses for the entire summer.

Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne made the announcement in Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Carna, an off-site part of the NUI Galway campus.  

Image: Flickr/janmennens

The Minister said the scheme “will be of benefit both to the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht”, and is aimed both at students with Irish as a core subject in their university, and at those who need the language to work in certain jobs and the public service.

The subsidy is worth up to €1,428 per student, and is payable to families qualified under the department’s Irish Language Learner’s Scheme.

Minister Kyne commented:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to announce this new funding in further supporting third level students across Ireland to further enrich their Irish through spending three months living with Gaeltacht families while they are attending a qualification course in the Gaeltacht."

Image: Flickr/Will

"For many years, students learning languages have had the opportunity to spend time immersed in a target language while studying abroad on Erasmus. A fund will now be available for the first time which will help students to spend an entire semester in the Gaeltacht.” 

Students studying primary school teaching often visit the Gaeltacht as part of their course, as a proficiency in Irish is required.

We've all got some hilarious teenaged memories from our time in the Gaeltacht, be the recollections good or bad, so this should be interesting…

Feature image: Flickr/Dora Meulman

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Travelling to Galway is always a good idea.

With the lively city's famous flair for fun, friendly locals, cultural richness and non-stop night scene, it's a must-visit for Irish folk and tourists alike.

If you are heading west, there are a few treasured eateries you should definitely check out while you are there. 

Yummy Crepes

Mick's famous creparie is a Galway institution. 

The stall has been a focal point of the Galway market for donkey's years, situated in the shade of St Nicholas' Church in the city centre.

The traditional ham,cheese, scallion and mustard crepe is always a winner, or get more experimental with your choice of fillings. 

 

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WA Cafe

Using the freshest of ingredients, the authentic sushi at WA Cafe is an unmissible hallmark on Galway's seafood scene.

The cafe, snuggled amongst the harbour-side traders at the docks, is run by a Japanese-Galwegian family who bring the delectable flavours of sushi and ramen to life.

The cafe just won The All-Ireland Best World Cuisine 2017 award at the The Irish Restaurant Awards, so snap up a platter of their sashimi quick! Oh, and pick us up a packet of Pocky on your way out. 

 

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Biteclub

A list of the finest Galway eateries wouldn't be complete with our adding one of the country's edgiest street food specialists. 

Biteclub Streetfood Discotheque brings a menagerie of eclectic menu choices to life, ranging from spicy fish tacos and Korean sesame chicken to deep-fried churros and the creamiest mac and cheese in the land. 

Oh, and it's a cardinal sin to leave Biteclub without sampling one of their lethal watermelon and gin slushies. 

 

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Seven

Seven is a bar/restaurant tucked away in Galway's Latin Quarter. 

The intimate and welcoming vibe is perfect for a hungover breakfast with the gang, or try the extensive drinks menu as the evenings grow darker.

Opt for their classic full Irish breakfast on cheat day, or tackle the delicious goats cheese and roasted vegetable panini.

 

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Tribeton

Known for its edgy yet sultry decor and champagne cocktails, Tribeton has been delighting the palettes of Galwegians since it opened.

The industrial backdrop sets the scene for a night of gourmet bar snacks and beverages, or you can go all out and opt for their night time menu. 

The grilled salmon with chorizo cream and the Belvedere Spritz cocktail are the ideal menu options.

 

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Caprice Cafe

This delectable delicatessen is about to celebrate its first anniversary. 

While it may still be the new kid on the block when it comes to Galway eateries, the brunch behemoth on Church Lane has already made a mega impression on diners in the city of tribes.

Try the delectable calimari with citrus salad if you're in the mood for a lighter bite, or go all out with the luxurious lobster and eggs at brunch. 

 

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