American teenagers with Donegal-born parents or grandparents are being offered a free summer camp in Bundoran as part of a Government-funded diaspora project.
The Global Irish Summer Camp is being by the Department of Foreign Affairs and is open to young people aged between 15 and 17 who have never visited Ireland before.
Twenty places will be available on the pilot programme this year.
Students will be based at the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland Campus in Bundoran and will get to tour Ireland.
While the programme will have a strong educational focus, it will also include “interaction with all facets of Irish society and culture as well as day trips and outdoor adventures”.
Announcing the opening of the application process, acting Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan said the camp would be “an excellent opportunity for children of Irish emigrants to strengthen their links with Ireland though a short immersive visit”.
He went on: “Following their participation in the programme it is hoped that they will leave with a new-found love of Ireland which will stay with them for many years.”
Dr Niamh Hamill of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland said the project would strengthen the ties between Ireland and its diaspora.
“It is crucial that Ireland presents itself to the world, and that future generations abroad maintain the links that have been so carefully nurtured by past generations,” she said.
Participants will have all their costs covered while in Ireland, including accommodation, meals and transport, but will have to pay for their own flights to and from Dublin.
Applicants must provide a “creative and personal submission” in the form of a written essay of less than 1,250 words, or a three-minute video, explaining why they want to take part, and outlining their Irish heritage.
For more information and to apply, see globalirishsummercamp.com. The deadline for applications is April 20.