Ireland, a land still influenced by indigenous culture, has an amazing culture expressed through Irish games, music, and literature. From its amazingly green countrysides, ancient monuments to its mystical beaches, Ireland is definitely a place worth exploring. Rich in culture, home to some of the greatest minds in the Western world, Irish writers from Francis Bacon to James Joyce have changed the way we see language and the world. Taking a gap year in Ireland can be a truly life-changing experience!
Ireland is an inspiring and exciting place to take a gap year. You may never want to leave this fascinating country, and you may not be the same person when you return. Ireland truly has it all!
Types of Programs
Citizens from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are eligible to live and work in Ireland on their working holiday scheme. Americans must be between 18 and 30 and recently graduated / currently still enrolled in college. Canadians must be between 18 - 35.
Today, Ireland is economically stable and a popular spot for tourists on vacation, but even so, there are still plenty of opportunities to make a difference while enjoying the sites and sounds of this beautiful country. Volunteering in Ireland is a great way to give back and create rewarding personal memories at the same time.
While most people travel to Ireland for the sole purpose of taking in the gorgeous scenery. All countries suffer from similar ailments, and your help would be greatly appreciated. There are plenty of opportunities to work with orphaned children, support the elderly, or participate in the conservation of Ireland’s scenic beauty.
Ireland’s ancient history contains sheer unadulterated beauty. The Giant's Causeway and the county of Kerry are two must-see locations for visitors. Ireland’s beautiful beaches and sheer cliff-sides offer climbers and surfers a prime spot for fun, that is, if they don’t mind being cold!
But there is so much more to Ireland than the countryside and rocks. Other incredible attractions include Dublin, Trinity College, and the Guinness Storehouse. The cities are packed with pubs, and live music can be found everywhere. However, Ireland’s ancient mystery might be its most appealing aspect. For example, visit the Boyne Valley, where massive megalithic passage tombs can be found. These Graves are older than both Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Ireland will not disappoint even the most adventurous explorers!
Reputation! That’s the best way to describe what an internship in Ireland will give you. Businesses are looking for committed individuals. What better way to impress a future employer than by having experienced a professional international internship! Interning in Ireland is the perfect opportunity to amp up your resume in an interesting international context. Don’t miss out!
Choices! Internships in Ireland are offered in nearly every professional field so that interns may gain experience most applicable to their needs.
Planning Your Trip
Cost of Living in Ireland
Dublin came out cheaper in the cost of living index than 41 other European cities, including London and Paris, but the Irish have higher taxes and a higher cost of food than in the United States. Ireland also uses the Euro, which is slightly more powerful than the dollar. A few ways to plan effectively are to bring your own food for lunchtime/snacks and to take public transit when possible. Taxis (like in all cities) are expensive. Before you freak out, your cab driver is not going the wrong way on the road, they drive on the left-hand side over there!
Culture and Etiquette in Ireland
Most Irish citizens are Catholic. While the church’s role has diminished in recent years, as a generational divide has occurred, many adults are still quite observant and conservative in their views. Religion still has a strong say in society’s view of family and marriage.
The extended family is very much the dominant social structure. While urbanization has impacted recent years, city dwellers will often find their ties to “home” above all else.
While religion plays a large role in society, this does not mean that the Irish people are rigid or intimidating. The Irish have a reputation for their wit and humor. They are quick-tongued with jokes, being eloquent and witty speakers. They pride themselves on being able to find humor, and it is often self-deprecating or ironic. It is common for the Irish to trade insults and tease one another (called “slagging”) with people to whom they are close. If you are teased, it is important to take it well and not see it as personal. The Irish have a rich history in storytelling, which was used to pass information down through the generations (poems and songs also served the same purpose). Ireland has an astonishing history of incredible writers, including Francis Bacon, Edmund Burke, William Congreve, Oliver Goldsmith, James Joyce, Frank O'Connor, John O'Keefe, and George Bernard Shaw. The Irish are proud of these famous artists, whose unique styles have continuously changed our storytelling ideas for hundreds of years.
Health & Safety
There is no perfect way to avoid all threatening situations. For example, terrorist threats from Northern Ireland have lessened in recent years but are still a possible concern. It only takes one crazy person to ruin everyone’s day. However, for the most part, Ireland is a safe country with adequate healthcare and a strong and dependable police force. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll encounter threats of violence as Ireland has relatively low crime rates, but always be conscious of your surroundings.
Gap Year Programs in Ireland
Cow House Studios Gap & Summer Scholarships
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High Mountain Institute Award
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What are the benefits of a gap year in Ireland?
Ireland, or the Emerald Isle, is an excellent destination for gappers looking to experience growth through cultural immersion and those interested in seeing the natural beauty spanning across the island. There are many great programs that will teach participants about Ireland's art, culture, food, and history.
How much does it cost to live in Ireland for a year?
Ireland has a higher cost of living than the US, and f Dublin is your dream gap year destination, you can expect even higher living expenses. For those looking to lower their costs, work exchanges should be a consideration to help offset the high cost of living.
What kind of visa do I need for a gap year in Ireland?
A visa is not required to enter Ireland for residents from many countries; however, you will need to apply for permission to work in Ireland if you desire employment during your stay. Review the Ireland Department of Justice website to review your specific visa requirements and apply.
What are the most popular types of gap year programs in Ireland?
Ireland is known for its cultural expressions through music, festivals, and literature. Art and cultural immersion programs are popular for gappers looking to learn about the history of Ireland. Additionally, it is common for those looking for a low-cost gap year to become an au pair for an Irish family.