Gap year student scoops Student of the Year award

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A Gaelic student, studying at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on a gap year, has been named as the college’s Student of the Year.

Isabelle Flower, who undertook the first-year course for fluent speakers called Gàidhlig is Conaltradh, is one of a growing number of students who come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig from Celtic or Gaelic departments at other universities to take a year out and study Gaelic in an immersion environment.

Originally from Dunbar, Isabelle is a student at the University of Glasgow, studying Gaelic and French. She has always had a keen interest in languages, but it was only in her final year in James Gillespie’s High School that she got the opportunity to learn Gaelic. Since then, she has done incredibly well, achieving fluency in Gaelic and is full of enthusiasm for the language.

Isabelle said: ‘I am delighted to be awarded Student of the Year. It was a real pleasure to do this course and it’s a great honour for my success to be recognised in this way.’

Course leader Dr Tim Armstrong said Isabelle has ‘simply excelled’ in her course work but has proved to be a ‘positive force’ outside of class.

‘Each year we have students who excel academically, and also students who are particularly gregarious and supportive of the Gaelic language community on campus, but Izzy was both,’ said Mr Armstrong. ‘Not only did she consistently use Gaelic herself, but she non-judgmentally and compassionately encouraged everyone around her to use Gaelic.’

Isabelle has also been credited with Royal National Mòd award for Learner of the Year 2018 and will be presented with this award at the Mòd in Dunoon.