Irish Gap Year

Irish Gap Year

About

Welcome to Irish Gap Year!
Explore. Discover. Grow.

Based in County Donegal (National Geographic's 'Coolest Place on Earth 2017), we have wild, untouched nature, unique culture and a rich artistic heritage on our doorstep.

Our semester-length, gap year programs and internships are highly immersive and designed to help your explore yourself and Ireland in a fun, safe and supportive environment.

So, what makes Irish Gap Year unique?

*Our Gap Year programs: Adventure and Leadership or Irish Arts and Culture - Whether you're an outdoorsy type or more artisically inclined, we have a semester-length, group program for you.
*We are community-based: This means you'll have your own cozy home in our quaint town to manage with your fellow gappers.
*Support & Freedom: Our gappers enjoy the perfect balance of support from our team and freedom to live independently.
*We are Irish: Explore all things Irish as we welcome with open arms into our community and culture.

Slan go Foill!

Founded
2015
Headquarters

Bundrowes House
Magheracar
Bundoran
Co. Donegal f94xk49
Ireland

Reviews

Default avatar
Annika
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This spring I spent a wonderful semester with Irish Gap Year. There is such a variety of activities ranging from hiking and surfing to volunteering with different local community groups that you will definitely get to try something new. Based in Bundoran, right on the water, the views from the house are beautiful, and you also get the chance to travel all over the country. Living in a house with your fellow gappers allows you to make close friends really quickly while still developing a sense of independence. The leaders are passionate and energetic about every activity and make each day fun. At the same time they’re there to support the students during the trip and are some of the kindest people I have ever met. I had an amazing three months and I’m sure that anyone else who chooses this program will feel the same!

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

My time with Irish Gap Year has been quite the adventure. Traveling across across the globe to spend three month with people I'd never met before is quite a leap, but was the best decision I've ever made. Almost everything about the program and Ireland itself exceeded my expectations. The house we lived in was beautiful and it's location was right by the water where we experienced the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. I liked having a smaller group because we all got along very well and actually bonded very quickly which made all the activities we did together much more enjoyable. The leaders, while strict when they needed to be, treated us like adults and acted more as a friend than a superior. Everywhere we traveled to was beyond beautiful, and I saw sights I would never have gotten at home. While there were some ups and downs, overall I definitely had the time of my life and am grateful for this experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe that communication between the staff and the students is very important and could be improved.
Default avatar
Elizabeth
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an amazing experience with Irish Gap Year. We were able to spend a lot of time in Bundoran as well as all over the country. Being able to travel all over the country and live independently for three months has definitely helped us all develop some of the skills needed for college. The trip as a whole was so much fun and definitely brought us outside our comfort zones. We got to go camping, rock climbing, zip lining, hiking, surfing, and so much more. We were also able to learn all about the culture and history of the country. If you are someone who wants a chill program that’s not very rigorous, this isn’t for you. But if you love the outdoors, traveling, experiencing new things, learning, and challenging yourself, you should definitely at least consider Irish Gap year.

What would you improve about this program?
I think communication between staff and students could be improved.
Default avatar
Tyheem
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a very good time. I got to explore the Irish country side learn a bit of ancient and modern history both with archeologists giving tours and in museums. Also got much better at hiking and surfing, the views on the mountain were really pretty and the beaches and forests, p.s. big Is really fun to walk on (super squishy). The surfing was awesome and now Im leaving and I can actually stand up on a board! I got a very good tour of Ireland and have a new understanding of the country, much more in depth. I also met a ton of the local people from communities we volunteered at like with clean coasts on Aran Mor island, and the locals in Bundoran. On top of meeting so many people I also got to make really good friends with the other people on the program and the program leaders. I’m

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The views, never realized how scenic Ireland was. The sunsets especially were my favorite, and there’s so much nature to explore around the town of Bundoran and the rest of the country
Default avatar
Rai
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was a lot of fun the staff members where all so cool and the people in the house where all so cool they tools on some of the coolest hikes ever and we got to do some amazing things like go camping on a beach or rock climbing a giant sea stack the over all trip was amazing and if you get the chance to go I would do it the people here where amazing and I have made a lot of new friends and memories and the house we stayed in was super nice everyone had there on space and there was never a problem with the house and if you need something like if you where sick or you needed something for the house some one on the staf would get it for you one of the best experience of my life I can’t thank everyone enough this trip is truly life changing I would just like to thanks again for a great experience

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve racking thing we did was when we went zip libeling but it was so much fun and I would do it again in a second

Programs

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Robert Trent Schwab

Trent is a 19-year-old from New England. He has grown up in the suburbs and had not had much travel experience prior to his time in Ireland.

Why did you choose this program?

I knew I wanted to spend part of my gap year abroad, preferably in an English speaking country. After doing some research, I found Irish Gap Year. Irish Gap Year was very well organized and helpful throughout the entire process, answering every question I had and providing me with all the information necessary regarding my living situation and internship.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Irish Gap Year arranged me with an excellent host family and a great internship position. In addition, they were extremely helpful throughout my entire stay. All of my train tickets and hostel arrangements for trips on the weekends were handled by Irish Gap Year, which made my traveling experiences stress-free.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Pack a rain jacket or umbrella every day, no matter what the forecast predicts. The weather in Ireland is extremely unpredictable, and while it does not usually pour, there are usually light rain showers for at least 15 minutes a day. In addition, it's also worth packing a few extra layers, as it can get windy/chilly.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

My workday began at 10AM and ended around 3:30PM. Usually, I would take a train into the city center after work (approx. 15 minutes away) and either grab some food, run errands, or check out a museum if I had time. During my free weekends in Dublin, I was able to explore all over the city, visiting all of the essential tourist destinations and finding some of my personal favorite pubs, restaurants, and locations.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was initially worried about how well I would be able to adapt to life in a city, as I live in the suburbs in the US and have not had a huge amount of experience in an urban setting. However, after I arrived, I realized that, while Dublin is a big city with a lot to offer, it is also very manageable to navigate and live in. Everything is for the most part within a walking distance, and I had no trouble finding my way around after the first week.

What is one small difference about Ireland that caught you by surprise?

Many of the apps and services I use on my phone in the U.S. weren’t as popular in Ireland. Rather than using iMessage, WhatsApp is much more popular in Europe. In addition, Uber is not nearly as popular in Dublin. While these are by no means big dilemmas, it can take a little while to get used to using the alternatives.

More Interviews

US visitors, meet us in person!

  1. 6 January
    Scarsdale, NY Gap Year Fair
    Scarsdale High School
    Fair:
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Presentation:
    6:00 PM - 6:45 PM
  2. 7 January
    Brooklyn, NY Gap Year Fair
    Brooklyn Friends School - Upper School
    Fair:
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Presentation:
    6:00 PM - 6:45 PM
  3. 8 January
    Fairfield, CT Gap Year Fair
    Fairfield Ludlowe High School
    Fair:
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Presentation:
    6:00 PM - 6:45 PM

Professional Associations

Gap Year Association Logo
USA Gap Year Fairs Logo