Irish Gap Year

Irish Gap Year


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!


Bundrowes House
Co. Donegal f94xk49


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Irish Gap Year Adventure Leadership program offers a variety of activities to do (such as volunteering, surfing, and hiking), while giving you enough free time to make the program your own. I personally loved the outdoors element. Trying new things like surfing or long hikes are experiences I enjoyed. There's also a lot of traveling around Ireland and Northern Ireland, where there are often a few preplanned activities and some free time during the trip. The headquarters of Irish Gap Year is the Bundrowes House in Bundoran, a small tourist town with some good bars and cafes. The house itself is huge and provides a great shelter as well as excellent food and banter, courtesy of chef Rita.

The biggest positive (and perhaps negative) of the program is its' core structure; the group. For three months you live with -and do almost all of your activities with- the same group of people. This means that any conflicts that arise between you and another housemate need to be resolved, as you cannot escape the conflict. Fortunately, Irish Gap Year staff are incredibly supportive and have a system in place for conflicts between gappers. I personally found the close proximity encouraged my personal growth, because I could not run away from my problems. I would advise future gappers (especially introverts like me) to carve out some time for yourself, within or outside Bundrowes house.

Future gappers should also know that they will be expected to try things to the best of their ability. Opting out of a hike because you don't want to do it is not a good excuse, and same goes for volunteering. There is leniency when you feel physically or emotionally unable. In those situations, make sure to communicate with the staff the day before, as they are willing to make accommodations if given clear communication.

Overall, I loved this program. I entered Irish Gap Year feeling stagnant on my future, and am leaving it confident in my ability to pursue my own path. Irish Gap Year gave me the support and space I needed to grow, and I am incredibly grateful for the experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Some of the workshops could be more engaging and one or two could be removed. That being said, most of them were fun and interesting.
Yes, I recommend this program
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For the past three months I have been on the Irish gap year's leadership and adventure course based in Bundoran Ireland. In the past three months I have hiked mountains all over the country, been on adventures in Ireland which most people will never get to experience, and have been pushed out of my comfort zone to do things I never thought I would like cliff jump into the ocean off a fifty foot cliff. This program is all that and more, it not only the adventure and the excitement of traveling all over Ireland but its also the people who are apart of the program. I have never felt so apart of something in my life. The two program owners are great people and really connect with the students in their program. All of the program leaders are also great people and provide fun and push the students to do their best each day of the program. The program is based in a cool small surfing town on the north coast of Ireland. The town is a fun place to go out in on the weekends and have fun with all of the other gappers. The program also takes you all over Ireland, giving the gappers the full experience of Ireland everything from small farm towns to big cities like Galway and Dublin. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills while also having an adventure of a lifetime in Ireland.

Yes, I recommend this program

This was, without a doubt, the greatest experience of my life! When I was in high school I found out about this program, and decided to take time off from school and go abroad. This program was about leadership and teamwork. We all learned that we can be leaders in our own great way. What made this group an awesome team was the fact that we bonded on our very first day singing and getting to know each other right away. We stay in a house called Bundrowes, which is a thirty minute walk from Bundoran town, which is a great hangout spot and a great place to surf and kayake, which is very big here in Ireland. We also do lots of traveling, outdoor activities and community service work. This was definitely a life changing event for all of us in the program. One thing I would like to say about being in the program is just come as yourself and try to step out of your comfort zone at least once! One thing I enjoyed was all the friends I made and all the exciting adventures we went on. This is something you should not miss out on, so join and have an awesome time!

Yes, I recommend this program
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This program had an amazing impact on my life in a number of ways. Irish Gap Year focuses mainly on leardership skills and personal divelopment. I was fortunate enough to be well equipped for leadership aspect of this program but I was still able to learn many things about leadership styles and personalities. I felt comfortable for every part of the program, the trips were safe, and the guidence was true. The leaders would often take us out of our comfort zones but in a controlled way. We were entertained for most days but were given free time which was extra fun. The accomadations were wonderful, we stayed in a big refurbished manor house just five minutes out of town. Rita the house cook makes dinner every night except for Sunday’s and is gem of this program. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to expand their horizons. I cant wait to go back and visit.

What would you improve about this program?
Consistency in rules and schedule. The beds were uncomfortable. More free time
Yes, I recommend this program
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Hopping in this new experience, I didn’t know I was capable of adapting my “wake up at 6pm watch TV until 4am lifestyle at home” to hiking mountains, surfing, kayaking, and super event-packed weeks.
Ryan and Killian, the main program leaders, really know what they’re doing. Both of their experience and wisdom helps guide the entire program to meet everyone’s definition of success. I learned that they actually go explore new places on their own and then take us, which I thought really added to the spontaneity of adventure.
The three daily program leaders our group had, Chris, Matt, and Sara, were some of the best people I have come across traveling anywhere. They all were super helpful, personable, enthusiastic, excited, passionate, friendly, funny, and just good people. They really helped make my time here worth it.
Besides all of the super fun activities both in classroom and strenuous, I have to admit my fellow gappers (haha gappers is a weird term) fully contributed to my success here. Everyone was from a different part of my country and so I was learning different American culture as well as Ireland’s. The friends I made here in only three months, are friends for life.
I would recommend this program ten fold to anyone... and I concretely stand by Irish Gap Year, thank you Ryan, Killian, Sara, Chris, Matt, and of course how would the trip be complete without the sensational and traditional cooking of Rita!

What would you improve about this program?
I loved having Thanksgiving here but some gapper’s families couldn’t make the journey, so maybe end the program justt before Thanksgiving.
Yes, I recommend this program


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