Adventure and Leadership Program: Semester Length, Fall and Spring Cohorts

Video and Photos

Van Halen
Van Halen
Conor Almighty
Conor Almighty
The Greasy Spoon
The Greasy Spoon
Fleetwood Matt
Fleetwood Matt
Group Shot
Group Shot
Jumping
Jumping
Climbing up a castle
Road trip

About

Irish Gap Year’s Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program will take you far off the beaten track, deep into Irish culture and nature where you will learn much about yourself.

You will become immersed in our community and Irish culture, be challenged physically through outdoor adventure and mentally through our leadership course and volunteering in the community.

The rugged natural beauty of Ireland and warm heartedness of the people offer a unique setting for your journey of self-discovery. Our goal is create an environment that nurtures this process. This program is not a test that is graded, it is a progression of continuous learning and reflection, struggling and failure are as much a part of the process as achievement and success.

Throughout this program you will develop a deeper level of self-awareness, independence, group dynamics and self-governance. We hope that you will take with you a way of thinking and self-awareness that will last a life time.

Highlights
  • Expeditions around Ireland: Each expedition on the Adventure and Leadership Program is unique with its own area of focus and theme. The expeditions are 3 to 5 days each and will and bring you far off the beaten track and face to face with Ireland’s hidden
  • Community Immersion: Live in your own magnificent Victorian home on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean on Ireland's rugged Northwest coast. Your home is cozy, quirky and quaint. Here you'll learn invaluable independence building skills with your peers!
  • Volunteer in the Community: Make a meaningful and positive impact on our community as you volunteer on farms, animal shelters, with local youth groups, Clean Coasts Ireland and other local organisations.
  • Develop your Leadership and Communication Skills: Our leadership workshops are fun, interactive and experiential. You'll learn much about yourself and others as you are challenged to work within a team on a wide range of projects.
  • The People: Irish people are amongst the freindliest and funniest people you'll come across anywhere and our gappers always love getting to know the locals. They're quirky sense of humor and unique outlooks on life won't disapoint!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 67 reviews
  • Housing 9.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 31 - 45 of 67
Default avatar
Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Time Flies

Hopping in this new experience, I didn’t know I was capable of adapting my “wake up at 6pm watch TV until 4am lifestyle at home” to hiking mountains, surfing, kayaking, and super event-packed weeks.
Ryan and Killian, the main program leaders, really know what they’re doing. Both of their experience and wisdom helps guide the entire program to meet everyone’s definition of success. I learned that they actually go explore new places on their own and then take us, which I thought really added to the spontaneity of adventure.
The three daily program leaders our group had, Chris, Matt, and Sara, were some of the best people I have come across traveling anywhere. They all were super helpful, personable, enthusiastic, excited, passionate, friendly, funny, and just good people. They really helped make my time here worth it.
Besides all of the super fun activities both in classroom and strenuous, I have to admit my fellow gappers (haha gappers is a weird term) fully contributed to my success here. Everyone was from a different part of my country and so I was learning different American culture as well as Ireland’s. The friends I made here in only three months, are friends for life.
I would recommend this program ten fold to anyone... and I concretely stand by Irish Gap Year, thank you Ryan, Killian, Sara, Chris, Matt, and of course how would the trip be complete without the sensational and traditional cooking of Rita!

What would you improve about this program?
I loved having Thanksgiving here but some gapper’s families couldn’t make the journey, so maybe end the program justt before Thanksgiving.
James
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Grey Sky Warm Feelings

I opened the shutter on my airplane window to a grey, forebearing sky, “would these three months be the worst of my life?” , I thought as I de-planed and headed wearily towards the customs line. My mind was racing as I worried about whether I would be able to make friends or whether the counselors would be friendly or harsh. I had no clue what to expect because I hadn't researched the program at all. However, as I walked out onto that busy dublin terminal, and saw the friendly, jovial faces of Chris, Sarah and Killian, all my worries washed away. From the moment I walked into the cozy, clean, Bundrowes House, I felt at home. Ryan and Matt the other two program leaders welcomed us with open arms. Since then, i have made connections I will most likely have for the rest of my life and taken on obstacles both mental and physical that have forced me to think differently as I conquered them. I also will never forget how great it felt to finish a long, enriching day of hiking or surfing, and coming home to a warm home cooked meal made by the lovely Rita! Honestly this program has helped me transform into a much more indepedent, thoughtful, and adventurous person and for that I recommend it to everyone!

Default avatar
William
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Quarter of a Year

This program is one of the best programs to send you’re children on, the amount of support and growth is an amazing trait to find in a program such as this. After having gone through three months of living with this program, I have had many amazing experiences, I have made four life long friends and wouldn’t change this experience if I could, I love this program and am sad to see this end, but I know that deep down this has changed and matured me further than college or any other program could. I loved being here, I loved the staff, I loved the culture, and I am thankful for the ability to fully appreciate what an amazing program this truly was. If you have any question on whether to spend a semester with Irish Gap Year, the answer is yes, for it had been the most amazing experience of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
This is an amazing program, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Default avatar
Aidan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review of Irish Gap Year

My experience with Irish Gap Year over the past three months has been a blast. Learning to surf, traveling around different towns and cities, and having the opportunity to do volunteer work have all been great learning experiences for me. Living in a house with 10 other people was fun and we managed to create a tight knit community. For me, going on trips to cities (such as Dublin and Galway) every other week was definitely one of the best parts of the program. I was introduced to this program by my brother who had done this program last year, he seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed it, so I decided to do it this year. For future participants, drinking alcohol is not allowed in the house, but there are many great pubs in town. For the trips to other cities, hostels were used as lodging. I highly recommend Irish Gap Year.

Default avatar
Bowen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year

I came over to Ireland with my only expectation being to have fun in the outdoors. Irish Gap Year is much more than that, the community and bond made with your fellow gappers is life long and lets you experience many new activities and environments previously unknown. Everyday you wake up to new task and plans each one being unique and thoroughly thought out to help you grow as an individual. There is a constant since of adventure always leaving you wanting to experience the activity more. It’s a great way to grow in self confidence and good transition from childhood to adulthood. It was a fantastic three months and I wouldn’t change my experience at all it was truly life changing and I’m so happy I chose to do this program as well as thrilled with the personal results of it.

Default avatar
Jack
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 3 months ever!

Honestly, I could not have asked for a better experience than this program! It blew every expectation out of the water. The housing is phenomenal! It is right on the water and is a short walk from the town. The staff are totally cool as well. While they are there to watch over you, they are also our friends. They come with us on all of our student trips and daily activities, but do so in a way that still allows independence. The food really beat my expectations. The cook, Rita, is amazing! Fresh meals every night and I don’t think I was disappointed with a single one! Totally awesome program and 10/10 would recommend. Ireland has so much to offer and we got to travel a ton and really explore the entire country! We traveled everywhere from Galway and Dingle to Dublin and Belfast! Everything was very organized and well put together.

Default avatar
David
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

my gap year experience

The gap year for me was the best choice I could take in this moment of transition between school and the future. I made friends, gained independence and got to know myself better. Imdont give myself credit but I did feel from the start to the end I did change a little bit but the rest of the people did notice a big change. Now I do feel like I stand up for myself and atleast dont feel that every single times things are impossible. I discoverred a country I hadnt been to and had the curiosity to go to and saw the culture way of life and the kind people at the bars that seemed quiet but wanted to know your story. In this program I pushed my confort zone and would do it again but without heights. I would come to ireland any day to re visit my stay here i plan to stay in contact with most of the people here as I laughed and becames friends i want to have for the rest of my life

What would you improve about this program?
some specific activities I thought were childish such as feroyga i didnt mind being around younger people just the activity done
Default avatar
Caroline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience

I have always wanted to come to Ireland ever since I can remember and when I found this program, I knew this is how I wanted to spend part of my gap year. I loved all the activities we participated in having to do with learning about leadership and life skills as well as the adventures and volunteering we did in the outdoors surrounded by nature. It was so nice to go on trips around to different parts of Ireland while also have a home base back in the beautiful town of Bundoran. We all learned how to work together as a group and live with people with different personalities and backgrounds while also making lasting friendships. The leaders were all exceptionally helpful in every aspect and made sure to have a good balance of supporting each and every one of us while also making sure to give us our own freedom and independence. This program helped me grow as a person and I discovered so much about myself and the people around me. I gained so many skills that I will take home with me and use throughout my life. Irish Gap Year gave me an incredible experience of a lifetime and I highly recommend this program to anyone that is interested.

Gideon
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Review

I enjoyed the Program as a whole. The activities were fun and varied, each providing a unique experience that I would not have participated in had I not been in the program. I quite enjoyed the surfing and kayaking experiences as well as all of the other outdoor activities. The staff is quite nice and they make a point of pushing you to be better and to be more independent. The housing quality is wonderful. The overall experience left me wanting to stay in Ireland and explore its beautiful country more.

What would you improve about this program?
Clearer communication between leaders and students would be wonderful. It would help to lower the stress of being in a foreign country with a new group of people.
Default avatar
Hannah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year

This was an amazing experience, I'm glad I was able to come on this gap year program and be apart of it with everyone else who was on the program. The activities we did where great and the workshops where also very helpful. All of the other students who where on the program where nice and caring for each other, there was a very good bond between us all and also the leaders of the program. I would recondmend this to others who love hiking and being out doors.

What would you improve about this program?
N/A
Erin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Self Growth and Outdoor Learning

I can confidently say that this program helped each student, myself included, individually gain the skills they need to live on their own. We had time to establish lasting bonds with each other and all of the leaders, who were extremely helpful every step of the way. They granted us the freedom to make our own decisions, while investing their time in ensuring that we each grow as human beings during our time here. Living in our house together gave us a sense of ownership and responsibility to ourselves and each other, whether it was housekeeping, grocery shopping, or laundry schedules. We learned to live and grow with people from all different backgrounds. The leadership seminars were extremely helpful and informative, and the adventuring felt like the opportunity of a lifetime.

What would you improve about this program?
longer duration!
Default avatar
Fiona
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Growing where the Grass Grows

As someone who had never been outside of the US, I was looking for a gap year program that challenged me, but gave me a strong group to support me when I needed it. Irish Gap Year was a perfect mix of challenging, exciting, and safe. I came away from my three month adventure not only having expanded my comfort zone beyond what I thought was possible, but, but having grown so much as an individual. Irish Gap Year gives you the necessary skills to be a functioning adult, but not only that, they show you have to take charge and accomplish what you never would have thought you could.
The program gave me the confidence to not only climb mountains do activities I would have shied away from before, but to lead the charge to a new adventure I may know nothing about. The program leaders and staff provided a constant wave of support and were always ready to talk or lead a hand if I needed it.

Irish Gap year was the most incredible way to spend three months.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish we had worked more with animals
Default avatar
Ross
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish gap year

It was truly a spectacular time. The staff are amazing and are willing to do whatever to make you feel better And make sure you have a fun time. The scenery is so unreal here and the house is located right in front of the beach. The locals are so nice. And the hike said we go on our truly breathtaking and make sure you have a fun time. The scenery is so unreal here and the house is located right in front of the beach. The locals are so nice. And the hikes we go on are truly breathtaking. I would totally be willing to do it again. I totally advise doing this program.

Default avatar
SEAMUS
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring 18

I had a great time at Irish gap year I met new and different people and got to experience new things that you cant experience in the US. It was very cool to travel around the country and see different parts of history of Ireland and not just the good parts but also the bad times they have had really help you get a full picture of Irish history. I really enjoyed being outdoors as well and getting to see the different cities. All In all I had a great time in Ireland with Irish gap year and am sad it is over already.

What would you improve about this program?
Way to call for food or cabs inside the house.
Default avatar
Conor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure and Leadership Program

When I arrived in Ireland 3 months ago I really had no idea what to expect and I did not know what I wanted out of this program. the years leading up to this program were not easy for me. Early on in this program I struggled a lot to find my footing here in Ireland. Everyone here was so helpful from the beginning. I got familiar with all the leaders early on in this program ( Chris "burgers", Chris "socks", Matt, Ash, and Sara ) it was important to all of them that they did everything they could to make the transition from America to Ireland a smooth one. Another thing I really enjoyed was getting home cooked meals from Rita and Owen. I am happy I can bring a few recipes back with me. I was only in Ireland for 3 months but it seems like I was here a lot longer. We did so many fun and enriching activities including surfing, kayaking, and hiking just to name a few. My family is also from here so I learned a lot about the history of Ireland especially on the guided hikes and tours of the cities we visited. I met so many genuine people both locals and gap year students. I will miss this place very much and I am happy I was able to be a part of this program. I am confident in saying this trip has made a huge impact on my life and I have grown in many ways because of it. Thank You IGY.

What would you improve about this program?
I think this program is nearly flawless.