Location
  • Ireland
Length
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel Arts Cultural Immersion Drama

Program Details

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

Pricing

Starting Price
$16,500 USD
Price Details
Program fees include food, all travel within Ireland, artistic tutoring 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 15, 2021
May 21, 2021

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

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.
  • Artistic Exploration and Workshop: Self-Designed, Unique and Tangible. Explore your areas of artistic interest from photography to found art/upcycling to music and performance to creative writing in our workshops.
  • 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.

Program Reviews

9.52 Rating
based on 29 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 8.6
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 29 reviews
Default avatar
Jackie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IGY arts Bundoran

I really loved Irish gap year! The students and the faculty were all very kind, cooperative and supportive. We had a ton of craic despite covid being a thing (although there is not much covid in Ireland anyways). Our leaders, Fiona and Phil, made sure we had ample opportunities to see as much of Ireland as possible. We took a few trips up to Northern Ireland and visited Derry and Belfast (which I loved so much that I will actually be spending the week after the program in Belfast). We also took a trip to Galway which was super quaint and packed with a lot to do. Overall I would totally recommend Irish gap year to any student who needs a year off of college or a gap in between high school and college.

What was your funniest moment?
I honestly don’t think I could pick just one funniest moment but we had so much craic as a household. I know all of us will be going home with a whole slew of inside jokes.
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Definitely would recommend

Doing this gap program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This experience was unforgettable I’ve discovered that I am a much better artist than I had initially thought and over the course of 3 months, i feel like I’ve improved on those skills. I also really got along with the tutors and feel like They’ve helped me bring out the artist in me. Our program leaders (Phil and Fiona) were amazing and I found that they’re easy to talk to and they made the program 10x better. I’ve also met some amazing people that were a part of this group that I will definitely be keeping in touch with after the program.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Exploring the mines was probably the most surprising thing we did because I never thought I’d end up going into an abandoned mineshaft and that was really cool.
3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Hudson
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IGY 2021

Attending IGY was one of the best decisions of my whole gap year experience. I learned so much about art—not only practical skills, but also the values of unjudged creativity and perseverance. Seeing the natural beauty of Ireland through hikes was wonderful, and though covid prevented us from visiting as many cities as I would like, I’ll remember the places we did visit forever. Anyone who enjoys nature, art, or is even just open to pushing themselves into something new (I wasn’t much of an artist myself before I came here) will love this program.

2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Livia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year 2021 Arts & Culture Program

Going on IGY's arts and culture program this spring was the best thing I did this gap year! Our program leaders were so lovely and welcoming (s/o Phil and Fiona!), and the arts tutors are amazing at what they do. The program is kept exciting (even during covid) with lots of hikes, arts workshops, day trips out to different cities, and group activities around Bundoran. I met some of my favorite people while getting to enjoy all the beauty of county Donegal--I'd definitely recommend this program to anyone who's excited about art or Ireland :)

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
climbing through abandoned mine shafts, hiking up mountains, surfing, exploring cities, cliff jumping, and creating an art exposition, to name a few!
3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sadie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year

My time with Irish gap year has been so valuable and fun despite COVID restrictions. The arts program is focused around workshops with local artists, and in the beginning everyone tries out the various mediums before focusing on a few for the final expo. All of the tutors are incredible; my favorite workshops were painting with Lani and charcoal with Michael. I learned a lot and made some pieces I’m really proud of. If drawing and painting aren’t your thing, there’s also leather working, jewelry making, creative writing and more. Plenty of chance to challenge yourself regardless of prior experience. Some other highlights of the trip were hiking (we explored an abandoned mine shaft!), exploring cities like Belfast and Derry, cliff jumping, surfing, and just hanging out at home with everyone. I appreciated that the program leaders trusted us to manage our own house and free time. I’ve made so many long-lasting memories & friends on this trip, and would recommend it to anyone looking to stretch their wings, make art, explore a new place and learn a bit about yourself along the way.

What was your funniest moment?
So many! Most recent was when we brought an inflatable kiddie pool down to the ocean, blew it up and tried to see how many people we could fit into it without it capsizing.
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Emily
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience

I had a great time at IGY! Despite some unfortunate let downs due to Covid, It was an overall amazing experience. I made many new friendships, saw some beautiful places, tried new things, and learned a lot about myself along the way. The staff was fantastic; they were friendly and supportive and truly made the experience what it was. The tutors who taught our art classes were super talented and I think I improved my art skills greatly, especially in the mediums I was unfamiliar with. My time at IGY will stick with me forever and I will look back on it with fondness.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I did not know much about the Irish landscape before my trip and the various hikes we went on really made me appreciate the beauty of Ireland. Our visit to the Giant’s Causeway was particularly interesting. I had never seen anything like it before. I don’t know what I expected but it definitely wasn’t that!
3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sadie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Irish Gap Year

Living in Ireland for the past few months has been so much fun despite COVID restrictions. The arts program focused on workshops with local artists, and we all tried every medium before choosing several to focus on for the final exhibition. I especially loved painting with Lani and charcoal with Michael, and made some pieces I’m really proud of! This program is for people of any art level; there's plenty of opportunity to challenge yourself and have fun no matter your experience. If drawing and painting aren’t your thing, there’s also leather working, jewelery-making, or creative writing.
Some other highlights of the trip were beautiful hikes, (once we explored an abandoned mine shaft!!) dips in the ocean, surfing, making our own short films, and just having time to hang out together at home. I made so many lasting memories & friendships with the people in my group, and I appreciated that IGY gave us the freedom to manage our own house. I recommend this program for anyone looking to stretch their wings, make art, explore Ireland, and learn a bit about yourself along the way.

What was your funniest moment?
So many! Most recent was when we brought an inflatable kiddie pool down to the ocean, blew it up and tried to see how many people could pile into it before sinking. (Four).
3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alexis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My IGY Experience

My experience with Irish Gap Year was so much more than I ever could have expected. I felt respected as an adult in every instance, which made a perfect bridge between high school and college. The staff was personable and welcoming, making me feel comfortable to share my needs and issues no matter what while still maintaining a friendly relationship that allowed us to have a bit of, as the Irish would say, craic.

This was my first experience abroad and never once did I feel isolated or unbearably homesick. The environment that was fostered both by my peers and staff was second to none.

The activities got me into a routine that I never would have been able to develop or expect of myself before, and I left a changed, more mature person.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would be more open to new experiences sooner. There were several occasions where my comfort zone was pushed, and never once did I regret it.
2 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers