Irish Gap Year Adventure and Leadership Program - 12 weeks Fall & Spring
94% Rating
(16 Reviews)

Irish Gap Year Adventure and Leadership Program - 12 weeks Fall & Spring

Looking for an exciting Gap Year Program whilst surrounded by stunning scenery in the Emerald Isle? Our 12 week Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program offers you the chance to really get to the heart of Irish culture and society while learning Leadership skills and having amazing adventures.

The program is built around 4 Cornerstones - Leadership Skills, Cultural Immersion, Outdoor Adventure and Community Volunteering. During the program you will see some of Ireland's top cultural sites and learn about Irish history ancient and modern. You will really get into the landscape through learning awesome outdoor adventure sports such as surfing, sea-kayaking, hiking & SUP on Ireland's rugged Wild Atlantic Way.

We offer our 12 week program twice a year; once in Fall and again in Spring, so it's never too late to join us on an adventure of a lifetime. Visit our page to start your Irish adventure.

Locations
Europe » Ireland
Program Tags
Adventure Travel
Hands-On Learning
Sports Coaching
Volunteer Abroad
Length
3-6 Months
Accommodation
Guesthouse
Inclusions
Accommodation
Activities
Airport Transfers
Equipment
Meals
Park Fees
Tour Guide
Transportation
Wifi
Exclusions
Airfare
Travel Insurance
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
17
Age Max
19
Application Fee
$15000.00
Deposit
$1500.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Price includes meals for 6 days each week, all transport within Ireland (international flights excluded), all taxes and entry fees to cultural sites, all accommodation costs, all equipment and related items for outdoor adventure sports, all course work and paperwork.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Housing
    94%
  • Support
    96%
  • Fun
    95%
  • Value
    91%
  • Safety
    94%

Program Reviews (16)

Default avatar
Carter
Male
19 years old
Minnesota
University of Kansas

Irish Gap Year

10/10

I'm glad I decided to spend my gap year in Ireland and with Irish Gap Year. Hiking, traveling, surfing, volunteering, and being surrounded by some of the friendliest leaders you'll ever meet made for a fulfilling 3 months. With lots of freedom as well as being a very flexible program, it's easy to bend the program a bit to fit the student. The program is a great opportunity to grow, meet new people and have lots of fun. I highly recommend it.

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Shane
Male
19 years old
Donegal
Other

My Irish Gap Year Experience

10/10

I had a blast on this program. The staff are engaging, fun people who really care about the students. As students we were immersed in the local culture and community of Bundoran, Donegal, where we were based. The people of this area are really friendly and inviting, and since it is so safe the students are given a lot of freedom. The house is big and comfortable, located in a beautiful coastal area about 40 minutes walk from the town. While here we engaged regularly in outdoor activities such as surfing, kayaking, cliff jumping and hiking. We also volunteered with youth organizations and animal shelters and worked on an eco farm. I got to see more of Ireland than I ever thought I would in such a short period of time. We went on trips to really awesome parts of the country, from cities like Galway, Dublin and Belfast to scenic rural areas such as Clare, Kerry and Northern Donegal. I enjoyed the hikes we went on, especially climbing mountains. For instance we hiked to the top of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo and Mount Errigal in Donegal. My favorite walk was probably our hike along the cliffs of Moher in County Clare. I loved experiencing the traditional Irish food and music in places like Doolin. While on these trips we learned to work as a team and plan out our own activities.
The program leaders are very involved in the students lives we are here, though we are also encouraged to plan things ourselves and think independently. They are always asking questions and making sure we are having a good time. They are constantly working to improve the program and I think it will only get better and better. I highly recommend this program for anyone looking for an exciting cultural adventure in an beautiful country.

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Michelle
Female
20 years old
Washington D.C.
Other

It was LIT!!!!

10/10

If you like to be around good, friendly people, this is the program for you. If you like to go on adventures and trips but still live in a spacious, comfortable environment, once again this is the program for you. That’s just part of my experience with Irish gap year, over the course of three months I have tried many new things and challenged myself immensely. For example, I tried surfing and at first did not like it; at the beginning of this program I would dislike anything I wasn’t good at. One day one of the awesome surf instructors noticed I wasn’t enjoying myself in the water, he then motivated me to keep trying and he stayed by my side until I finally got up on my board! It was amazing and now I cannot only say I was able to stand up on a surfboard, but I really like surfing now. Learning about myself and facing my own challenges was only a portion of this trip. I was lucky enough to see many parts of Ireland; my personal favorite trip was going to the Cliffs ‘o’ Moher. The hike for that trip was really fun for me because we put in such much work and than got to stop and eat lunch in a really beautiful spot, which I really enjoyed. I also liked that we had opportunities to visit cities like Belfast and Dublin. Every trip we went on was absolutely amazing, and than after every trip having the luxury of returning to the very comfortable, spacious gap year house was just grand. I was at first hesitant to leave my home in the D.C. metro area and go all the way to Ireland because I had never lived away from home before, but I’m so glad I did it. I had all the amenities in the gap year house that I have at home, plus more! The house chef, Rida is awesome, I was well fed and after all my meals I liked to lounge on the big soft couches and enjoys my free time for the day. Free time is also another thing most people think about when they consider a program like this. The ratio of activities and free time is just right in this program. Overall I would recommend this program to anyone! Especially if you want to take a year off from school or don’t exactly know what further education to pursue, this is the right program for that. 10/10!!!

How can this program be improved?

This program is flawless.

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Emily
Female
18 years old
Washington DC
Other

My Irish Gap Year

10/10

I had a lot of fun as well as experiences to grow during this program. There were lots of outdoor adventures during the first half of the trip. We went on reflection hikes, where we were prompted to think about life on a deeper level. The second half we travelled a lot more.
Now, thinking back to when I was choosing my gap year, I would have wanted people to give me honest accounts of their time and constructive criticism of their programs, so I will. I guess my feedback for this program is that not everything is running one hundred percent smoothly yet. There are times when a lot of the plans are pretty wishy washy. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is expected that this program is this way because it is a rather new program, and it just gives us students more of an opportunity to get involved.
Some of my favorite parts of this program were getting the chance to travel to different cities, meet the locals, and work on whitehill eco farm. I also really liked getting to know the staff involved. Everyone who works here really cares about the students and all are in it to make our time here valuable. I have grown so much here with the help of the staff involved.
If you choose this program, you won't be disappointed. There is something in it for everyone.

Default avatar
Lucrezia
Female
19 years old
Connecticut
University of Hartford

Good Craic

9/10

I really enjoyed the past three months here, experiencing the Irish culture in different parts of the country and living in the town of Bundoran which is a nice little surfing town with great people. I liked our hikes, surfs, kayaking, couple camping trips, and day trips. The staff was supportive and did their best to make sure that we were all comfortable and satisfied.
Our trips were awesome! Visiting both city and countryside; I loved Galway and Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher were beautiful. I really liked how we had student led trips to Dublin and Kerry which both turned out nicely and we visited some cool places.
One thing that this program will help you learn is responsibility and prep you for living on your own or with a roommate. Living in a lovely two story house (Bundrowes House), where you're responsible for tidying up after yourself and looking after everything else. Outside the house there's a nice view of the Atlantic and the mountains and you can go exploring when theres free time. For example, there's a nice cliff walk that leads all the way to town.
We volunteered with a youth group organization on some nice projects like building a float and participating in the St. Patricks Day and cleaning up a beach. Also volunteered on a horse rescue farm, grooming the horses and getting them ready for their homes. We did help out on a farm planting lettuce and trees. Only thing is I wish we could have volunteered a little more.
Overall, this program was awesome and I would really recommend it on your year off. It has a pretty balanced structure with flexibility and freedom. I'm really glad I took this as my second gap year program because I feel a lot more prepared for college and having a roommate, living on our own. I'm going to miss this place and the great people I've met but I'll be back for sure in the next few years.

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Indigo
Female
18 years old
United States
College of the Atlantic

Grand time in the Emerald Isle

9/10

Definitely do this program if you get the chance! The staff and everyone involved throughout the program are some of the best people you will meet. They are encouraging, passionate about the program and Ireland, very funny, and caring. Plus, you get to do a variety of activities with them, such as surfing, hiking, camping on an island, traveling around most of the country, volunteering at different places, and other fun things! For the first half of the program especially, I couldn't believe how much we got to do and see. They keep you busy, but there is also enough free time to be at Bundrowes House/the Gap Year House or go into Bundoran (the small town nearby) which is about a 40 minute walk from the house --I recommend walking along the cliffs/seaside. The program is flexible and works around the students' interests, which I think is very important. If you want to go somewhere or do something, they usually make it work. This program allows you to advocate for yourself, become more independent, and see what it is like to have more responsibilities. [[[[
I loved being able to travel around the country, see historical sights, and some of most beautiful places in the world (in my opinion). We had two week-long student led trips at the end of the program and also went on a good deal of other short trips around the country. There was a good balance between city trips and trips focused more on outdoor activities. The staff is always open to things you may want to do or explore on these trips, so make sure to research beforehand and let them know. This was one of my favorite parts of the program, although it was always nice to return home (Bundrowes House) after a few nights away. You will find that Bundrowes House really does start to feel like your second home! The house is very spacious and comfortable and has great views from all sides. You cook breakfast, sometimes lunch, and a group led meal or two throughout the week. You get to experience what it is like to live with awesome roommates, which makes it even better. There are a lot of great memories in this house!
I am so sad to be leaving in a couple days, but I can't wait to come back and visit. Now, I have so many connections here. There is a great sense of community here within the program, and I liked how the staff also helped you get to know more of the Bundoran community. Come be a part of it yourself! You will enjoy it for sure!

How can this program be improved?

Personally, I did not think that my leadership skills improved so that is one area that could be changed, but I know they are working on ways to improve it for the next program. We also did not do as much volunteer work as I thought we would. We volunteered at a variety of organizations which was nice, but I would have liked some of the volunteering to be more regularly scheduled. The staff is very open to suggestions and will fix any problems along the way. I was only on the second cohort of this program, so I know it will only get better from here, and it is already really awesome!!

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Mary
Female
19 years old
Grosse Pointe Michigan
University of Michigan

Galway Girl :)

9/10

Right when I left my hometown for my second program of my Gap year, Ed Sheeran's new song Glaway Girl had just hit the charts. I couldn't help but tell my friends how they will have a true Galway Girl in their midst when I returned in three months. I had always wanted to visit the Emerald Isle, however, had never had the chance until I stumbled across Irish Gap Year through my Gap year counselor. The program was awesome! I loved the adventure activities that we got to partake in every day! I now can say that I am basically a pro surfer, kayaker, hiker and various out outdoor activities that our group leaders specialize in. The staff was incredibly supportive, every member wanted to make sure that we were comfortable and happy. I built a ton of strong relationships with mentors on this program, and I can't wait to come back to Ireland in a few years. Considering that the program is newish (this being the first year running Gap programs) there were some little quirks in the program days, like getting too much free time one day, or the schedule changing around a bit. But the directors and leaders loved to hear our feedback and what the students preferred to do. This makes the program more flexible and totally worked around the students. It was the perfect mix of scheduled time and flexible hours. One of the coolest parts of the experience was that we got to plan trips to all around Ireland, and visit the most famous and beautiful sites along the way! I feel like Ireland is now my second home, and it is sad that I can't stay longer.
We did some volunteering as well on the program. We worked with the national youth organization on a ton of cool projects. For example, we had the chance to be in a St. Patrick's Day parade, in Ireland. That was pretty cool. We also worked with a horse rescue, and we were able to help prepare the horses for their new homes. However, we did not do as much volunteering as I would have liked, but Irish Gap Year is still building those strong relationships with foundations.
One thing that this program is awesome for is learning how to live on your own and getting along with roommates. Each student who lives in the lovingly dubbed "Gap Year House" by many of the locals, has a roommate in an amazing room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Students are in charge of making themselves breakfast and lunch sometimes, as well as student planned meals once or twice a week. It had really helped me to learn how to live a healthy and frankly "adult" lifestyle. And now I feel even more prepared to go to college and room with someone else!
Overall loved it, and would r8 8/8 m8.

How can this program be improved?

This program is new, so obviously it should be taken into consideration. But one thing that I would have loved to have was a bit more of a concrete schedule that shows everything we would have done, then have that be up to flexibility. It would have been nice to know all that was included in the 12 weeks at the beginning of the program.

Camden
Male
19 years old
Plymouth Minnesota

Why Irish Gap Year should be a part of your Gap Year

10/10

Hi my name is camden. I'm an 18 year old from Plymouth Minnesota. I'm part of Irish Gap year because I decided it would be a better idea for me to take some time off before going to college/university. And when it came to picking the destination I knew Ireland was the place for me! As a little kid it was my dream to go visit Ireland and it has come true. What sealed my decision was when I had the skype interview with Killian the program leader. When I had my interview with him I had many many questions and every question was answered. What was even better was the fact that Killian wanted to get to know me for who I really was during the interview to see if I'd be a good fit for the program. My biggest concern about going to Ireland was being away from my family for a long period of time. But as the time has gone on at Irish Gap Year I see them as my family away from home. Having people like Ryan, Karl, Granea "Fox", Killian, Caitriona, and Rita made everything more comfortable for me while being in Ireland. These people are all genuine, honest to good, caring, and understanding people. Everyone at this program has their own characteristics that they bring to the table and that's what makes every activity unique. There have been multiple different volunteering projects that Irish Gap Year has helped us be a part of. Some of that volunteering time was spent on WhiteHill Eco farm helping them with the process of planting and foraging the produce that hey grow in their property. The people of WhiteHill are amazing and they are people who you'd want to surround yourself with just like everyone at Irish Gap Year. The other big volunteering project we were a part of was the non profit organization known as Liquid Therapy. Liquid Therapy gave us the opportunity to take kids which different spectrums of Autism and Social anxiety surfing. There were many friendships made among the Students (Gappers) and the kids we got to take surfing. Irish Gap Year Also got us to be a part of Fróige which is a program to promote teens mental health. This program was very eye opening to know that there are so many people out there that want to help younger kids with mental health issues. And what's even better is that we got to participate in the activities the kids were doing which made that day more memorable. Overall Irish Gap Year is hands down one of the best programs you could be a part of. I have learned so much about myself from the leadership aspect of the program. Also the adventure part is something you're going to have to find out for yourself. So come on, come join the fun at Irish gap year and find out what the adventures are because I promise you once you find out what they are, you will be glad you came!

Thanks for reading,

Camden Caron

How can this program be improved?

I don't see anything that needs to change other than an outline being handed out each week if the itinerary for that weeks activities

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Charlotte
Female
19 years old
Wheaton

Irish gap year Adventure & Leadership Program

10/10

Hey my name is Charlotte and I strongly suggest you to sign up for this program. This program has just enough structor and just enough flexibility to make it perfect to change around things if you like doing certain things but not others, while also giving enough structor so you feel like your time is full and not stressful. It has an even amount of out door activities,city life and volunteer work to make sure your time is well spent here. Since I arrived on this program it has been full of new experiences and great memories to take with me back home. My favorite charity we got to work with would definitely have to be Liquid Therapy, this is an organization where we got to teach autistic kids how to surf.To prepare for the program the gappers spent a whole three weeks or so learning how to surf, because everyone who arrived in the program had no clue how to surf. It ended up to be much easier then we thought and was just a bunch of fun. So by the time we needed to teach the kids we were completely ready and excited. Through the lessons we all really got to connected with the kids, I only wish we had a couple more lessons with the kids because it was just so fun. other organizations we worked with were very community based like: organic fruit farm, painting a community center, community garden.
We did a bunch of out door activities as well like: sea kayaking, surfing, hiking, outdoor rock climbing, camping and supping. I loved all of them but I thought the hikes were a bunch of fun. We got to see a lot of different and interesting places. Like caves, islands, forests, ancient ruins and huge beautiful mountains. One of my favorite hikes would definitely have to be the Cliffs of Moher because we got to walk to these huge cliffs and sit by the edge and take in one of the most beautiful views in the world. All in all this program was amazing and exciting and The staff was super kind, trust worthy and helpful. They also through the whole trip made sure your experience was exactly what you wanted to make of it.

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Matthew
Male
19 years old
Montclair, NJ

Amazing Experience

9/10

Overall my time with irish gap year was fantastic and incredibly memorable. Living with the same people for long periods of time can be very difficult depending on who those people and how you act, however irish gap year's staff did every thing in their power to ensure relations remained friendly and never hostile. Nevertheless, with this many strangers in the same house, problems are somewhat likely to ensue, especially if the inhabitants aren't accustomed to living without a lot of family help and/or cleaning up after themselves (being adaptable goes a long way). With that being said, I still had an amzing time during the program and befriended many of my fellow housemates. The trips and adventures orchestrated by the program were very interesting and quite exhilarating; I have no doubt that I have made many amazing memories during my time in Ireland thanks to irish gap year. I found the hikes to be extremely fun and breathtaking (although sometimes strenuous), and the trips to other cities very cultural while also impeccably fun. The cliffs Moher were by far one of the most stunning things I've ever seen and the small city of galway was some of the most fun I've ever had. I found the leadership course to be very educational and I feel as though my social and leadership skills have improved because of it. The course also created an environment where teamwork was crucial which improved my team building skills through various exercises and activities. We did a lot of volunteering which was always very rewarding and lead us to meet very interesting people. In my opinion the town of Bundoran is fantastic; big enough to have night life and be able to meet new people around the town throughout the whole program, and small enough to quickly become acquainted and give a very homey feel. The house itself is quite large and very very old/historical but I assure that there are no malevolent spirits lurking around (joke). I know that I will always cherish my time in Ireland and that it was made so memorable because of the amazing staff of Irish gap year. I highly recommend this program for anyone looking for an amazing adventure, a great chance to learn important life skills, a chance to get a feel for independence, and last but not least, an opportunity for unbelievable fun.

Molly
Female
19 years old
Chicago, Illinois

Irish Gap Year

9/10

Irish Gap Year was a great choice for me. The program was a good balance of structure with freedom and flexibility. I really appreciated how the group leaders were understanding when downtime was needed and accommodating when I wanted to do certain activities. Everyone involved, our day-to-day leaders especially, was positive and kind and helpful, I got to know some truly amazing people on this trip.
Bundrowes House is large and very nice, though living with eight other teenagers can have its challenges. Bundoran is a very cute little town, though very quiet.
The adventures and activities have been very cool, rock climbing was the most terrifying experience of my life and it was awesome, learning to surf was so much fun despite the cold. We went on loads of cool hikes, ranging in difficulty from short hikes on paths to day long treks.

How can this program be improved?

The program didn't always run smoothly, but as a program just starting out I thought they handled and adapted to issues pretty well.

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Katherine
Female
19 years old
San Carlos, CA

An Amazing 3 Months in Ireland

10/10

My Irish Gap Year experience has been exciting, surprising, and the opportunity I was looking for to reflect on my gap year. Eight other students and I were the first ones to experience this brand-new program. Despite the perceived risks of jumping into uncharted territory, our program leaders adapted along the way to meet and even exceed our needs.

The House and Bundoran: Students in Irish Gap Year live in a huge, beautiful 2-story house from the late 19th century. The house was one of my favorite parts of the trip; we might go off on road trips or camping trips, but when we'd get back it was always a cozy safe haven with plenty of space for everyone to have alone time and recharge. That being said, gap year students don't usually get a whole house to themselves for a 3-month program, and sharing a house for the first time has its challenges.

Bundoran is a very small town of just a few thousand people, and a lot of its economy is based around surf tourism. At the beginning of our trip in September, there were tons of tourists from around Ireland and abroad coming into town who we got to hang out with at band performances at the surf school and in the local pubs. In November, the temperature dropped and there were suddenly a lot fewer social opportunities in Bundoran. That's one thing to keep in mind about winter here.

Did you know that Bundoran is one of the best towns for surfing on Europe? Imagine waking up, pulling on a wetsuit, and hopping on a land rover that takes you to a pristine beach with endless, clean waves. After a couple hours of surfing, you refuel with tea and digestives at the surf school. That was me about 20 times on this trip!

Instructors: The instructors for this program were incredible. They were positive, experienced, and easy to talk to. One time, they drove us to a village in the middle of Nowhere, Ireland and searched by foot for an abandoned castle ruin because they had heard it was the family castle of one of the students in our group. They also gave us a level of freedom that we, in some cases, had never experienced before. I am so happy we got to plan our 4-day trip to Cork and our 3-day trip to Dublin. They even gave us the freedom to have two alcoholic drinks whenever we're out, something that shows their trust in their students and sets Irish Gap year apart from other programs.

Activities: From surfing, cliff diving, ocean kayaking, and "hikes" that required us to climb up a mountain on all fours, to museum-going, willow sculpting, our indoor leadership class, and chill hikes, we did the whooole spectrum of activities.

One activity that was really special to me was volunteering with Liquid Therapy, an organization that teaches autistic children how to surf. I was paired with Annabel, a nine year old who was so thrilled to go surfing that we were always the first ones into the ocean. I spent five days with Annabel pulling her into waves on her board, cheering her on when she caught them, chatting with her about life, and sometimes playing games with her like seeing how long she could stand on her board in still water. It was incredible seeing her progression and getting to make a strong connection with a new person in Ireland. At the end of Liquid Therapy, the Irish Gap Year students threw a party for the kids and their parents at our house!

I would recommend this trip to everyone. I would especially recommend this trip to anyone who knows they want a structured program, yet a program that gives its participants a good-sized dose of independence and freedom to take their trip into their own hands.

How can this program be improved?

It's hard to say how this program could be improved because it has already evolved so much in just the past three months that the problems we have faced on this trip will be nonexistent for the next program. There's going to be a small bus solely for Irish Gap Year which will eliminate occasional scheduling issues with the buses we've been borrowing from the surf school. IGY students will also get a shed of wetsuits just for them, instead of borrowing them from the surf school.

I'm bummed that I didn't get to volunteer with elderly people and record their stories on this trip. I understand that with everything we were doing, all those cool activities that came up as surprises (example: Halloween surf competition with costumes!) it makes sense we would eventually become over scheduled. I also missed my one opportunity on this trip to go supping, or stand up paddle boarding, before it got a bit too cold.

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Elizabeth
Female
19 years old
Boston, Massachusetts

3 Months in Ireland!

9/10

I have really enjoyed my time on the Irish Gap Year Adventure and Leadership program. All of the leaders are really kind and genuine people, and very attentive to our needs and wanting to make sure we’re getting the most out of the program. As someone who eats gluten free, all the leaders are very helpful in making sure my dietary restrictions are met. If there was ever a problem or challenge I was facing, I felt totally comfortable bringing it up and asking any one of my leaders for help. It’s a very good program for people (like myself) who are not overly outdoorsy but would like to be, because it allows you to explore nature and try new things in an all inclusive, ‘nobody gets left behind’ kind of way. I have been able to push myself physically in this program through surfing and hiking and I’ve really enjoyed all the adventures I’ve had with both. One of my favorite memories was a day when we went on a sunset surf, the sky was pink behind the rolling green cliffs and the ocean was like glass as the waves rushed toward us. It was an unforgettable sight and experience. We also did a lot of volunteer work in the local communities, and one of the highlights for me was helping a local youth group build a garden. I've loved being able to explore big cities like Galway and Dublin, we saw everything from museums to universities and authentic Irish pubs. I especially liked Galway, and hope to go back there as much as I can in the future. Overall I'd say this is a very worthwhile program that has helped me to figure out a bit more what I want and where I'm going, and allowed me to fall in love with a new country and culture along the way! Would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of doing a Gap Year.

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Liam
Male
19 years old
Fairfield Ct
American University

Irish Gap Year

10/10

I've truly enjoyed my time in Ireland over the past three months. I have learned how to surf, gone on many hikes, and made many new friends here. I never thought I would enjoy being as active as I am here. I wasn't such an outdoors person before but now I know that going surfing and pushing myself on hikes makes me happy. My goal when I first started this trip was to feel more ready for college, and although I don't feel completely ready I can say I've grown up a lot from all the new experiences I have had.

Sophia
Female
19 years old
Houston, Texas

An Authentic Irish Experience

9/10

I came to Ireland after already being out of high school for a year, spending my previous gap year on an academic program in England and two culturally immersive volunteer programs in both Asia and South America, so when it came time for me to search for my next program, I had a clear picture of what I wanted. To be in a long-term group setting, to live in one place but still take trips and explore my surroundings. To be active and outdoors, but I also wasn't looking for something too extreme. I wanted balance, something that would be good for someone who wouldn't call themselves "athletic" or "outdoorsy." I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone, but not too far out! Irish Gap Year seemed to fulfill all of my requirements, and thus far it has met my expectations, and even surpassed some of them! For the first two months of the program we went out surfing at least two-to-three times a week, more if you were really keen! And we usually included two hikes every week exploring the beauty that is Northwestern Ireland. We also ventured out of our little bubble into the wider Ireland, taking three day trips into places like Dublin, Galway, and Belfast, a nice break from small town living especially as the weather turned and it was no longer pleasant for the more "outdoorsy" portion of the program. You get a full picture of Ireland and its people, who, by the way, are five-star. Our leaders too are amazing, easy to talk to and come with a wealth of experience, and are truly amazing people to learn from and get to spend three months with. The town of Bundoran is small, very small. During the summer season and all through September and October this was not a problem as it is a popular surf and outdoor destination. It is therefore full of new and exciting people to keep the town's vibe young and vibrant and your Friday and Saturday pub night's interesting! But as the good weather passed so did most of the tourists, and weekends in Bundoran grew slower. But fear not! Our program leaders allowed for the schedule to be flexible, so if we needed a change of scene, they wouldn't hesitate to see our needs met, sometimes taking us out of town for the weekend, etc. Living in a house with eight other 18 year-old's is been interesting to say the least, and is just as complicated as it should be expected. Kitchen and bathroom habits will always be a point of contention! Living with the same people and doing all of my activities with the same people was, for a self-admitted loner, a challenge, but all in all has taught me many valuable lessons and is not something I regret, no matter how difficult or out of my comfort zone it was. The leaders do try to help in this regard, they are attentive to the needs of both the individual and the group. As one of the guinea pigs in their first gap year program, I can honestly say that the program has been a success and I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone interested in signing up for it in the future.

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Noah
Other
19 years old
Los Angeles

Irish Gap Year Review

8/10

It was a great program that was plenty of fun. If you enjoy adventure this a great program for you. It has a large focus on surfing while also doing other activities. Since it is a new program there are some issues since they have to sort out the kinks; however, as a guinea pig for this group it was definitely worth it. They are improving the program day by day as the learn from their mistakes. The staff is great and friendly and will easily adapt to your needs.

How can this program be improved?

I think it will improve in time when they have more experience with running it. Yet they have been improving day by day and learning from their experiences.

About The Provider

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Welcome to Irish Gap Year!

Irish Gap Year provides thoughtfully-designed, adventure travel, sustainable living, eco-tourism and cultural travel programs for teenagers, university students, educators and people interested in finding out more about Ireland.

We do Fall and Spring 12 week Gap Year programs, Teen Summer

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