All eyes on Ireland as 33,000 American-football fans touchdown in Dublin

Education in Ireland gave a warm welcome to 2,500 US high school and college student athletes, cheer groups, marching bands and key college officials as they arrived in Dublin today to take part in the Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT 2012). This event provides a great opportunity to promote Ireland’s third-level education institutes to US students. Enterprise Ireland manages Education in Ireland – the umbrella brand under which Irish higher education and English language schools are promoted overseas.

  GIFT 2012 has attracted 2,500 visitors from the United States to support their high school and college American-football teams as they compete in six games being held in Dublin and Meath on Friday (31st August). Participants come from some of best academic institutes in the US and Education in Ireland is ready to maximise the opportunity this presents to promote Irish third-level education to a highly relevant audience.

 Welcoming the GIFT delegation, Marina Donohoe, Head of Education with Enterprise Ireland said:

 “GIFT 2012 is the biggest overseas event of its kind in high school and college American-football history. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to market Ireland’s world class third-level education institutes to a large number of American students while they are here experiencing Ireland first hand. The message about studying in Ireland is also being carried to a much broader audience through the vast media attention GIFT is attracting.”

 Global Football President Patrick Steenberge, a former quarterback with Notre Dame, added:  “I am impressed with the high quality of education being provided by Irish universities and colleges. The Education in Ireland mission fits very well with that of Global Football, and their inclusive style will be appreciated by our students, college officials and parents who are visiting Ireland this week. Education in Ireland is a wonderful partner for GIFT and they will have a welcome presence at all GIFT events.”  

 GIFT 2012 coincides with the Emerald Isle Classic game between Notre Dame and Navy which will take place at the Aviva Stadium on 1st September. This game alone is expected to attract 30,000 American visitors – the largest ever group of travelling fans for a stand-alone sporting event outside the US.

 Ireland is well placed to attract undergraduate students from the US as all seven Irish universities have US Government approval for Federal Aid. This means that a US student in receipt of a US Government loan can use that loan to study at an Irish university.

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