• Ireland
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel Cultural Immersion Hands-On Learning Volunteer Abroad
Merit-based funding, Payment plans, 529 Plan eligibility
Health & Safety

Program Details

Kayaking Trekking
Fall Spring
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
Program fees include all meals, housing, activities and transport within Ireland and the full 24/7 support of the Irish Gap Year team.
For more information on whats included in our program fees please visit our website www.Irishgapyear.com/info/frequently-asked-questions
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Park Fees Tour Guide Transportation Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

All food, accomodation, activities, travel within Ireland and full, 24/7 support from the Irish Gap Year team are included.
Please see our website www.irishgapyear.com/info/frequently-asked-questions for more details on what's included in the Adventure and Leadership Gap Year Program

What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance
What's Not Included (Extra)

Flights and medical insurance

Jul 29, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
69 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

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 workshops and volunteering in our community.

The rugged natural beauty of Ireland and warm heartedness of the people offer a unique setting for your journey of self-discovery. 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.

You don’t need to be outdoorsy to enjoy and benefit from the Adventure and Leadership Program, it’s all about a willingness to participate and pushing your perceived boundaries.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We welcome students from all walks of life and backrounds and have hosted many BIPOC students on our programs.

LGBTQIA+ Support

We welcome students from all walks of life and backrounds and have hosted many LGBTQIA+ students over the years. Ireland and Europe in general are quite progressive with regards to LGBTQIA+ policy, lifestyle and support. Irish Gap Year provides support to our LGBTQIA+ students to help them feel secure and safe during their time with us.



Irish Gap Year is a Carbon Negative Company, meaning we remove more C02 from the amosphere through our ecological volunteering than we create as an organization (including student flights to Europe).

Irish Gap Year Director, Ryan Allen is the Chair of the Gap Year Association's Sustainability Commitee and created the Association's Climate Action Plan in 2023.

Program 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!

Program Reviews

4.85 Rating
based on 167 reviews
  • 5 rating 85.63%
  • 4 rating 13.77%
  • 3 rating 0.6%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.7
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.85
  • Value 4.8
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 41 - 48 of 167 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year Adventure and Leadership

This program was a lot more chill than the program I did the first semester through Pacific Discovery which I appreciated. The amount of freedom we had was good. One thing that was a little annoying was that the town center is a mile away and we had no access to bikes. The leaders were good. The communication could have been a little better between the leaders and the group. Bundoran is a nice town but very small, so visiting cities like Belfast and Dublin is great. The staff are obsessed with surfing and we got to go surfing several times which was fun.

  • Free time
  • Surfing
  • No bikes
46 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Couldn't ask for a better 3 months

Quite honestly, I was extremely satisfied with IGY’s A&L program. I don’t know what else I could have asked for from my three months but I know I will come away from this program a more confident, happy, and adventurous person. The Irish Gap Year staff are all absolutely PHENOMENAL. Especially my individual group leaders (shout out Niall and Ryan) felt more like mentors or big brothers rather than someone paid to take care of you. They were both incredibly friendly and always wanted the best for you. The housing was truly home sweet home and I will be incredibly sad to move out of ❤️Portbeg❤️ in a few days. The location of the town is also a highlight of this program. I absolutely loved Bundoran and I think it’s a truly rare opportunity to be able to spend 3 months in the countryside of Ireland. This program is absolutely amazing for cultural immersion and I feel like I truly lived in Ireland. You get to know some of the locals and where all the best spots are in town really quickly and besides the fact that the houses are a little far away from town, the walk there is always beautiful with an option to walk along the costal cliffs. The program runs where you split your time between Bundoran and exploring cities and towns. The overnight trips are all awesome and have a good mix of tours and structured activities and free time.

In terms of things you did, I loved the variety of activities that the staff planned for us and although whether or not you loved something depended on the person, I think they planned a good mix of things so that everyone was happy. I was personally very happy with the surfing, and town exploration parts! If you go on this program make your leaders take you back to ulster folk park>>>

Overall, I came into this program with high hopes and was not disappointed. Everyone at IGY really wants the best for you and I think I grew a lot physically and mentally in this program. I even got covid in the early weeks of the program and their accommodation of that was spectacular. They brought me food everyday and set me up in an apartment where they would check in on me from a distance and make sure I wasn’t going stir crazy. Truly exceeded all my expectations. I would recommend this program for anyone looking to learn about Irish history and culture and have an amazing time living with other gappers in the countryside. I’ll be very sad to leave but I know I’ll be back sometime!

  • The staff are my favorite people ever
  • The housing is amazing. They even let you make a list of all the groceries you want 3x weekly and get them for you! The dinners were pretty good and every night you came back to a hot meal already ready for you at home.
  • Ireland is so incredibly beautiful. By the end it will be crazy how you will look out on rolling hills and the scenic countryside and be used to it.
  • There were sometimes where the communication about when we were leaving for an activity was a little off, but it was never a big deal and only happened a few times.
  • No bikes :(
42 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure and Leadership

I was a part of the Adventure and Leadership Program in the spring of 2022. I had a great time on the program and had a positive experience with Irish Gap Year. I would say that the best part of this program was the cultural immersion. Living in a small town really gave you a sense of the community in rural Ireland. Bundoran was also incredibly beautiful and you always had close access to beautiful hikes and great outdoor activities. My personal favorite part of the program was the trips to cities. We were given enough independence to have fun and explore the city by ourselves while also having set out activities. The independent housing style was also great. It definitely is not without trials living in a house with 7 strangers and no adults, but it become a space where we could all come together and hang out. The independence that they gave us was definitely a draw for me to join the program. Our leaders were supportive yet understanding that we were young adults who were free to make their own decisions. For young people looking to take a gap year abroad that focuses on travel and adventure, I would definitely recommend this program.

  • Cultural Immersion
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Independence
  • Weather
43 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure and Leadership Spring 2022

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go on the IGY adventure and leadership program. It was the perfect blend of independence while still feeling safe and cared for in a foreign country. Bundoran and Ireland in general was a great location to spend 3 months learning about yourself, appreciating nature, creating friendships, and getting to travel. I really appreciated how all the staff, no matter what job position they were in, were always there for you and were all really fun and easy to get along with. We got to do so many fun activities and had a lot of input into our schedule which was great. Some of our favorite activities were surfing, hiking, community service with Liquid Therapy, going out in town, and rock climbing. The housing was good because we were separated into 2 separate houses, 7 of us in each, so we were sometimes all together but also could spend some time alone when we needed to. We hung out in both the houses every day and ate our meals together. After long days out it was so nice to come home to a hot meal prepared for us. The food was pretty good and also they bought us whatever groceries we wanted, so we were always well fed. Overall, coming on IGY is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am leaving with so many life long friends, a fondness and increased knowledge for a new country, a greater understanding of myself, and have had such a peaceful and fun time before I head off to college.

  • Independence
  • Fun and supportive community
  • Outdoor activities
30 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Justice For Niall 2022

The opportunities given to immerse yourself in the culture of Ireland and travel to not only big cities but small scenic towns made IGY a worthwhile experience. Group Leaders do their best to ensure a positive time in Ireland and surfing with Liquid Therapy was a highlight of the 3 month long trip. The opportunity to plan a student lead trip to Dublin highlighted the leadership aspect plus you’re provided dinner almost every night. Hiking and camping is a big part of your time on IGY and I definitely enjoyed all of it. Most importantly Nial=🐐

  • Culture and Travel Opportunity
  • Surfing
  • Student Lead Trip and Leadership
30 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish gap year

Irish gal year brought so much adventure and peace in my life all at once. A huge majority of my time was spent outside, in the ocean, hiking, and anything out doors. I spent most of my time in such a peaceful environment but learning exploring and pressing my limits. I gained life long connections not only with my new friends but also with the amazing leaders. Irish gap year was just what I needed to move forward in my next adventures. This was the best experience I could imagine and I would recommend this company to anyone needing space to grow before there next adventure.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The best advice I have is to come with and open mind and be present. Be ready to grow, press your limits, and make life long connections and friends. You have to be open to new experiences and new connections.
44 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure and Leadership Fall Program

The IGY was the adventure and leadership fall program was amazing. What’s awesome about it is not just a structured itinerary that has activities like cliff jumping, hiking, traveling to cities, shopping, exploring monuments and ruins, and going to the pubs with your friends, but also the freedom you have to make your own choices. The counselors are there to help you and lead you on trips but also treat you like adults. The student led trip at the end where we got a budget and were able to create our own trip was amazing. We went to cork and stayed at a hostel where I met people of many different cultures and had a spontaneous arm wrestling tournament at 1 in the morning with all the foreigners in a common room.

What was your funniest moment?
I bought an airhorn in Galway and when everyone fell asleep on the bus I blasted it and scared the dookie out of everyone.
47 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure and Leadership: Fall Program

Irish Gap Year provided me some of the most best opportunities of my life. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this program outside of the provided itinerary list, and I think that’s part of why it’s so great. You’ll be doing amazing hiking, traveling, and workshops, but the rest of your time here is left up to you and your peers to decide what you will do. Irish Gap Year offers students the chance to not only immerse in Irish culture and adventure through nature, but also the freedom to make your own choices. Some things you can expect to do on this program would be cliff jumping, surfing, touring some of Ireland’s most famous cities, lots of hiking, and leadership workshops. For 3 months you will be living with other students from various different places and backgrounds which offers students the chance to grow and learn about each other on a deep level. If you are a young adult looking for a program that offers you activity filled weeks, the chance to experience lots of personal growth, and to make meaningful connections with peers, this is the program for you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Remember that you only have so much time on this program with the rest of your peers. This program is amazing, but it’s important to remember that how much effort you put in to every day decides how much you will get out of the program in the end.
47 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers