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

Program Details

Fall Spring
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
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
Jan 30, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
30 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.



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

4.91 Rating
based on 78 reviews
  • 5 rating 91.03%
  • 4 rating 8.97%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.35
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.9
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 78 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

This program was a great experience for me :)

This program was very beneficial for me. I was part of the arts and culture program here. One of the biggest values I got from this experience was that it ended up being very mentally refreshing for me, which was something I needed after feeling burned out from high school. I knew that I wanted to take a gap year between high school and college, and when I found this program it seemed like a good fit, as it offered a program centered around culture and art and creativity, all things I am passionate about and wanted to feel a renewed sense of motivation towards after graduating. In all honesty, going into the program, I knew it sounded like something I might enjoy, but I wasn't entirely confident in how the experience would play out, and how fulfilling it would be, until I actually got here and was able to live it out. I feel that I met a lot of my personal goals for myself here. I’m my experience, the art tutors here are all had something unique to offer and they pushed me to create art in ways I hadn’t before. I have made a lot of work I’m very proud of here, and they are a large reason for that. Another reason was the group and the friends I made here, who created an environment that felt lighthearted, welcoming, and not high-stress. It was nice to be able to try so many avenues of creativity without having to worry about how my work would translate into a grade. It made me feel much more motivated to create art than I had in academic settings in the past. Overall, I reccomend checking this program out. I had a very positive experience here, and I feel that it’s helped me to push my independence, make great friendships, and grow my skills in art.

  • I’ve created a lot of art work here that I’m very proud of, as I feel like the art tutors here really pushed me to do my best work.
  • I’ve made some really great friendships through this experience.
  • Bundoran is such a beautiful place to be based, I really enjoyed living here for 3 months.
  • I wish we’d had a bit more time in the program overall, especially after the expo, maybe a couple more free days to decompress after the big exhibition.
  • It’s sad to leave really good friendships you make while here. Definitely Bittersweet.
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year - Arts & Culture 2023

I got a lot from the time that I spent in Ireland while being a part of this program. I got the opportunity to see some of the coolest historical sites & most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The social atmosphere was a mix, fortunately I got along really well with my housemates, but that was not necessarily a universal experience across all the houses. I met some people I really love, but there was a period of adjustment in the first few weeks as I realized that not everyone across both programs came here for similar reasons as I did. It all works out if you find your people and stay focused on what you want to do. I would recommend the arts program to anyone who enjoys painting and drawing, or doesn’t necessarily know which medium is their favorite yet. I enjoyed working with all of the arts tutors and got a lot from the workshops, though as someone who doesn’t prefer to focus on painting and drawing, I was disappointed I did not get more opportunities to work in other mediums. Going into this program having been to college I think made the living away from home/sharing spaces with roommates easier, it seemed to be harder for others just out of high school. I think this experience could be good practice for people who aren’t used to those settings. I entered this experience spontaneously and with no expectations, and looking back at my time here, I can say that I’m very glad I chose to last minute go on academic leave and fly to Ireland. I will take the lessons I learned here+places I went+friends I made with me for a long time.

  • insanely beautiful nature and landmarks
  • space to be an individual, away from familiar places/routines/people
  • friends🫶
  • more painting and drawing focused
  • social atmosphere is a bit of a toss up
  • Ireland is not known for their food, and rightfully so
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program

Irish Gap Year is a really well run and designed program that cultivates a sense of both independence and community.
I spent three months making art under the guidance of very talented professionals, all while developing relationships with my peers (who were all very talented artists), and learning how to live away from home. I’m sure the adventure part is great too.
There is also such a sense of kindness and support. Moments of stress were well handled, and creative solutions were figured out when needed.
A really great balance of structured and free time, and the overall stunning Irish landscapes, really helped this program shine.

  • Art based
  • Community building
  • Accessible to all skill levels
  • Prepare for wet cold weather
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IGY 2023 fr fr

I had a great time in the Irish Gap Year Arts and Culture program. The program location, right on the sea, is stunning and very inspiring as an artist. It was refreshing to come to Bundrowes House and work on art during the workshop days. The artist mentors were all incredibly nice, I worked the most with Anna Leask and Michael Wann but all of the mentors are some of my favorite people. I have improved on my skills while being here, and learned new mediums and techniques. I have made connections in this program that I hope to keep throughout the rest of my life. If you are considering joining this program be sure to be prepared for the Irish weather, even though you are inside a lot of the time in the fall and winter Bundrowes House is an old building so the cold is felt inside. I was thankful to have a light scarf even on the warmer days.

  • Beautiful location for workshops
  • Incredible mentors, they’re all very kind and intelligent people
  • Fellow gap year students were such great people and I can’t wait to see how they grow
  • Some scheduling hiccups which the company is working through
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Gwiddy Committee Review

I really enjoyed my experience in Ireland and Bundoran and personally felt that the program helped me to grow a lot as an artist and an individual. I have never really experienced a group of people where I felt that I have meshed with all of them outside of my family. Spending time and getting to know other artists and creative people really helped to get rid of my artist block and explore different ways of thinking and creating. Getting to know all sorts of people from both the arts and adventure and leadership programs was a big positive part of my experience as I was able to become close with people who are drawn to different things and who have vastly different mindsets. Being able to travel all over the Irish countryside and visit a couple of big Irish cities really helped me to get to know the country and the people here, as well as gave me an opportunity to have a window into the way Irish people live. Overall I had an amazing experience in Ireland and with Irish Gap Year.

  • Friends :)
  • Travel
  • New Art
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IGY review

I loved my time out here ! Ireland is absolutely magical . The staff here were lovely and very supportive . This opportunity is life changing in so many ways . I am so grateful for my time out here , I’ve learned a lot about myself that I’m eager to explore more of going out from here . Being able to do art in this environment was so encouraging . I discovered talents I didn’t even know I had . I loved the tutors so much , I never felt any judgement from them .I really enjoyed Michael wann and ken gunning as my tutors !

  • Friendly people
  • Getting to do art
  • The scenery
  • The weather
  • The food
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Arts and Culture!!!

If you’re reading this that means you’re considering doing this program to which I have to say go for it. I was in the arts and culture program and I had a lot of fun. I would not call myself by any means an artist yet I still had a lot of fun and felt accepted by the other people here even by those who had spent a year in art school. I would say that if you are someone who likes to spend time outdoors this program may not be for you. You spend a lot of time doing art inside though you still do go on trips around ireland and occasionally go surfing. The staff for arts were so nice (alex and odhran) and made it super fun. The town of bundoran is definitely rural so keep that in mind if you are a city person. Overall I am very grateful to have done this program and met amazing new friends.

  • explore art
  • down to earth people
  • accommodating staff
  • small town
  • no sun
  • lack of outdoor time
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

irish gap year- arts and culture

the people who work at and attend irish gap year are fun and kind. i recommend irish gap year to anyone who enjoys making friendships and spending quality time with unique and amazing people. in the arts group i have met like minded people who share similar passions and interests as me. the arts and adventure groups live together creating a balanced and exciting social scene. if you are looking for a more lowkey time to reflect and create, definitely apply to the arts and culture program. if you are looking for an adventure to push yourself, i recommend the adventure and leadership program.

4 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers