Location
  • Ireland
Length
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel Arts Cultural Immersion Drama
Merit-based funding, Payment plans, 529 Plan eligibility
Health & Safety

Program Details

Timeframe
Fall Spring
Housing
Guesthouse
Age Min.
17
Age Max
20

Pricing

Starting Price
17000
Price Details
Program fees include food, all travel within Ireland, artistic tutoring, art supplies and workshops, accommodation and the full support of the Irish Gap Year team.

Who is this program for?
The Irish Arts and Culture Program is for students interested in a broad-exposure art program in Europe with tangible takeaways. This is a low-stress program designed to facilitate self-exploration using the arts as a vehicle for this journey.

Many of our past students have enjoyed taking part in a community-based program. This means that you will have your own home, neighbors and really get the chance to be part of our town. It also means that you will develop independence in an environment that resembles college life.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare
Jan 05, 2024
May 10, 2024
31 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The Irish Arts & Culture Program gives you an opportunity to explore and cultivate your creative side, travel throughout Ireland, build independence and develop an appreciation of Irish arts and culture.

You'll work with local artists enjoying daily workshops in photography, creative writing, film, charcoal drawing, painting and more. You’ll explore the rich tapestry of Ireland’s cultural and artistic heritage while traveling to some of the country’s most unique and celebrated locations. This program is all about exploring and developing your creative side and no prior artistic experience is needed – Only enthusiasm!

Most importantly you will build your independence, learning to live and work with your peers, manage a household and to cultivate your creative side in a supportive environment. You’ll delve into Ireland’s cultural heritage and modern art scene, immerse yourself in our community, explore the arts, develop a self-designed portfolio and have the time of your life.

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.

Impact

Sustainability

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

  • Local Living - It's All About Community: Experience life as locals do from your Victorian home in the heart of Bundoran, Co. Donegal. Your 8 bedroom, traditional Victorian home is cosy, funky and has incredible views of the Atlantic.
  • Explore and cultivate your creative side in daily small group workshops with professional artists across a wide range of disciplines
  • Expeditions Around Ireland: You’ll get to explore the best of Ireland on our seven big expeditions (3-5 days each), each with a different cultural and artistic focus.
  • Focus in on the mediums that interest you most, working with our expert art tutors as you prepare to exhibit your work at Le Cheile art exhibition.

Program Reviews

4.90 Rating
based on 86 reviews
  • 5 rating 89.53%
  • 4 rating 10.47%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.35
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.9
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 86 reviews
Default avatar
Miguel
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The Irish Gap Year Program

The Irish Gap Year wad incredibly positive and life changing expirience for me. I learned many skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, met many fantastic people and just had a great time overall. The staff is very helpful and always supportive of the program's participants at all times. The activites were very fun and engaging. I can confidently say that I came out of this program a changed man, and that is not something that I can say about most other programs I've been in throughout my life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn how to have good relations with your roommates.
Pros
  • You get learn very valuable skills
  • Staff is extremely helpful
  • Activities are fun and interesting
Cons
  • The internet is not very good
  • I have no other cons
  • I have no other cons
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jackie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE

I had the absolute best time of my life on this program. From meeting lifelong friends to growing as a human and an artist this program has changed the way I’ll think about culture, history, art and people forever!! All the roommates including mine were very well chosen. The dynamics of all the houses were always on point. The pubs in Bundoran are lovely and safe with lots of families around. Although, the time spent in the Portbeg Holiday Homes are much more memorable. The dynamic between the group is always an amazing mix of casual time and fun outings. The staff and teachers were so caring and supportive throughout the whole program. I use a motorized scooter for my physical disability so coming across a program that supports that is quite rare. Not only did they plan accessible trips and accessible restaurants they purchased with their own money a ramp for the van we use everyday. Never once did any of them make me feel like a hassle or “too much”, as some past programs I’ve done have. The staff also bought us groceries every week based off a list we created and got us medicine from their own pockets when we were sick. One of my fondest memories is Jules ( part of the staff), making me breakfast while I was sick in bed. It’s these smalls things that IGY does that makes Bundoran feel like home.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Black pudding. I did not like black pudding I do not recommend! Although this is a famous Irish dish.
Pros
  • Thoughtful staff
  • Creative people
  • Flexible Schedule
Cons
  • Mid tier homes
  • A while’s away from town
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
ella
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

IGY takeaways

I love my time on this program! I meet some of the most amazing people on the world. The program itself was amazing. I did the arts program and i feel the the balance of art a free time was perfect and i never got burnout. Bundoran is a great town aswell they had such cute cafes, restaurants, theme parks, and really fun pubs. The housing was also great they did a really good job at arranging the rooming situations. the rooms are really big and same with the kitchens and living rooms. the staff is really nice and was always there to help with whatever you need whenever you need it. Overall i had a really good time compared to other art programs ive done in europe this one is DEFINITELY my favorite.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
come into the program with an open mind. you'll be meeting all types of amazing a fun people an will make some of you best friends
Pros
  • housing was actual vacation homes with everything you'll need
  • nice staff
  • chef cooks dinner for every house
Cons
  • 25 min walk to main town
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ruby
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring 2024 IGY

This program was a great way to start your travel journey. It was a really good introduction to traveling in Europe and the UK. If you are looking to do more traveling alone Or with others it is a great way to start. Bundoran was a super cute place to live for 3 months and I would definitely return. The pubs are great with live music and culture. Bundoran is a hot spot for Irish people the come visit so you will meet lots of people. The program leaders and art tutors are amazing and incredibly supportive with anything you might want or need. Overall I had a great 10 weeks and would 100% do it again.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of the location and explore what the area has to offer!
Pros
  • Great housing
  • Supportive leaders
  • Super fun activities and lots of freedom
Cons
  • Tiring actives and long days
  • Housing is not in the town center
15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Fidelia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year Experience

Honestly I think my experience here on Irish Gap Year was something I’ll take with me for the rest of my life. The people, the place, the staff, everything was pretty perfect. It was nice to slow down and fully take in all that’s around you. I feel like this program gave that to me. I was in the Art program segment of it and it was just what I needed. I don’t have much of an art background but the tutors were so helpful and helped me discover what makes art, art. The town itself was really beautiful and it was easy to make this town feel like home.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I think if I could do this all over again, I would pack more rain gear. Like maybe some rain pants OR SOMETHING. It rains quite a lot here in the winter months and can be quite cold so a rain jacket is definitely a must. I was so thankful to have it on hand with me the whole time. Some rain pants would have changed the game though.
Pros
  • The housing
  • The location of houses relative to the town
  • The art tutors
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Thomas
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year Experience :)

I loved my time in Irish Gap year. I was part of the Arts program and I feel that my artistic ability and talent has grown as well as meeting incredible artists and being around people who shared the same mindset helped me create lasting bonds. I enjoyed being in a house with people from both Adventure and the Art program being around a diverse net of people has helped me expand social skills as well prepare me for living with others in college. This program has helped me to live with others in harmony as well as expand my creative prowess.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future gap year students are to have an open mind and to try everything that you possibly can while you are in Ireland. A gap year program is a time to explore without worrying about academics or a job and it is a perfect time to learn about yourself. Take risks, meet new people, learn to fall in love with nature and the work that you do here, and be sure to stay in the moment.
Pros
  • Excellent Art Tutors
  • Friendly Leaders
  • Beautiful Landscapes
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Elena
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Arts and Culture in Ireland

The local artisans and workshops allowed a full, free exploration of the myriad of ways to be a creative. I learned a lot from each of the tutors and completed many works on a scale I had not thought myself capable of before this program. The town itself is full of constantly beautiful landscapes and inspiration, and the community felt close and safe for the majority of the program. This program is an excellent fit for someone who truly wants to grow and connect to others, but it is still challenging.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come with an honest desire to learn and grow both as an individual and an artist. This is not for people who want to escape, or for those who want to keep living as they have at home in the safety of their family and friends. Come prepared for a challenge and a desire to form genuine relationships both with others and yourself.
Pros
  • Varied artistic workshops
  • Beautiful landscapes
Cons
  • Faulty heating and internet
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Veronica
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

IGY LIT AYEEEE

I had an amazing time at IGY! I grew so much as a person, made amazing relationships, and improved greatly as an artist. The leaders are so friendly and helpful. The art tutors are phenomenal and incredibly inspiring. The roommates and housemates they matched me with were perfect and I will carry those relationships with me forever. I learned how to be more independent and responsible living on my own. Bundoran is a great town with friendly people. I will never forget my experience. Thank you Ryan.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Knickerbockerglory. (It’s an ice cream Sunday with a silly name)
Pros
  • It was bus
Cons
  • Serving size was too big had to waste some
11 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers