Irish Gap Year

Program Reviews

Default avatar
Allie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Euro Explorer ‘22

This program is amazing at teaching valuable travel skills. We traveled through 4 countries in 4 weeks and got to see so much. I can not speak more highly of the leaders and their adaptability. They all truly do care about each and every student. This program also allows for you to travel without the stress. There is also tons of time to explore on your own or in small groups which adds a much needed independence level. Traveling in a group adds safety and makes everything so much more fun. Throughout the 4 weeks we did lots of city tours and exploring as well as hiking in the alps and swimming. There are a few built in free days but this program is definitely tiring. It is constant moving, living out of a backpack and hostels. It is so much fun but definitely something to be prepared for. Irish Gap Year is an amazing company run and staffed by equally amazing people.

Pros
  • Train travel throughout Europe
  • Structure and social aspect of being in a group
  • Leaders
Cons
  • extra money spent on snacks lunch and meals on free days
  • very tiring both socially and physically
Default avatar
Chloe
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Euro Explorers

The European Explorer program is a chance to explore European cities by train. European Explorers has been a chance for me to learn how to be a solo traveller and be more confident. I have also made amazing new friends and memories. This program is a chance for you to learn how to travel on your own. I think this program has definitely been a struggle in the sense that it can be very tiring but I am so grateful for it as I have grown so much over my time in Europe. I truly have had the best time!

Pros
  • Travel from city to city is paid for
  • Free time
Cons
  • Travelling constantly so can be exhausting if you aren’t up for it
  • Cost (Not all meals are paid for)
Default avatar
Alberta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

European Explorer 2022

Irish Gap Year’s European Explorer program surpassed my expectations and fulfilled my gap year goals of cultivating independence, making friends/meeting new people and cultural immersion throughout Europe.
Prior to the program I had never travelled abroad and was seriously lacking independence. I had some anxiety about the safety aspect of travel. However throughout the program I felt very safe with the support of our program leaders and my peers.
This program got me out of my comfort zone socially, physically, emotionally, energetically and financially. At the end of this experience I have discovered so much about myself and my personal limits. Additionally, I have grown immensely and made some incredible memories.
The complicated aspects of travel such as making reservations, buying tickets etc we’re all taken care of by IGY. Not having to worry about this component removed a ton of stress for us.
I would strongly recommend the European Explorer program to anyone who wants to build up their independence, travel Europe on their gap year and have a group of peers to travel with!

Pros
  • A group of peers to travel with
  • Not having to worry about booking hostels and train schedules etc.
  • Incredibly thoughtful program leaders who were super supportive.
Cons
  • Long days of train travel were exhausting.
  • I learned travel can be unpredictable, plans that change can be frustrating.
  • The health risk was a con I experienced. I got covid.
Default avatar
Chloe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Time on European Explorer

I had a great time doing the European Explorer program. My leaders were always super supportive and always gave us recommendations for each city we traveled to. They navigated lots of complicated travel with a bunch of 18 year-olds, which is not always easy. We had lots of free time in each city but almost always did a walking tour to get our bearings. My favorite cities were definitely Prague and Munich. We always tried the cuisine of each country we visited, and you could always find food you were happy with, even for our pickiest eaters. I really bonded with the people on my program, and I know that they are people I will keep in touch with after my gap year. Backpacking around Europe for a month is not for the faint of heart though, it is exhausting and draining!

Pros
  • Lots of Travel
  • Great Social Support
  • Independence/Freedom
Cons
  • Really Tiring
  • Cost (lots of other stuff you have to pay for while abroad)
Default avatar
Mika
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Euro explorer

This trip is a nice bite of Europe. You get to visit many places, and get surface level understanding of each location. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a program that will give you a little bit of everything. There’s good variety and the course leaders are very helpful and kind. The social aspect is lively and I enjoyed having dinner with everyone at night, having all our dinners organized made the trip much easier. However if you’re looking for a very in depth program, I don’t think that’s achievable through the 4-week course and If you’re considering this program I would also suggest to be prepared to walk quite a lot as some of the hostels ended up being 45 minutes away from the more interesting parts of each location, and walking to and from hostels that are more out of the way becomes more difficult with the backpack. You get a significant amount of free time, but the leaders aren’t always very knowledgeable on each place so you might have to do a lot of your own research. However I made some fantastic memories on this trip, with my personal highlight being hiking through the Austrian alps. That aside it’s a good experience to have and a good course to consider. They put in a lot of effort to take good care of you.

Pros
  • Free time
  • Cool activities
  • Visiting both urban and rural locations
Cons
  • Not very flexible
  • Not much downtime
  • Not great hostel location
Default avatar
Audrey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

European Explorer Program

This program was honestly amazing, it’s such a great opportunity to meet and connect with people your age and to experience a range of different cultures. It’s a great mix of structured time and free time to explore on your own in each city. The leaders are incredibly kind and helpful, and I met some wonderful people on this program. The leaders are also great at providing support without being overbearing. The amount of travel involved can be kind of exhausting, but it’s honestly worth it for the amazing experiences. This program has really built my confidence as a solo traveler.

Pros
  • Experiencing lots of cultures
  • Free time
  • Support and safety
Cons
  • Not much time in each city
  • Barely any time alone
  • Lots of travel
Default avatar
Aspen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Euro Explorer

The European explore program is a great program that teach students in between Highschool and college how to travel on their own. You get to meet new people from different parts of the country or different countries. Everyone is around the same age. The European explore program helps you learn about different types of cultures around Europe. It helps you find new foods to try and see what types of clothes they where. There’s a good amount of independence and scheduled time. The leaders are all very nice and they all treat everyone equally.

Pros
  • Free time in cities
  • Learn different cultures
  • Making new friends
Cons
  • The chances of the trains
  • Not a lot of time to be a long
Default avatar
Liam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Euro Explorer

For my first time in contentinental Europe I couldn’t of had a better program to teach me the ways about backpacking. I made life long friends and learned so much about the world and how easy it is to travel. The program leaders were amazing people and good friends now. They figured out the train system and hostel living while we could fully experience the new environments. I saw so many things I’d never thought I see and I can return home with a different perspective on the world. I hope to work with them in the future.

Pros
  • People
  • Experiences
  • Fun
Cons
  • Some bad food experiences
Default avatar
Annika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Euro Explore

While on this program I met some amazing people and now have some new friends from all over the world. This kind of program is great for people who like a fast paced environment, and who are first time travellers. We covered a ton of cities and country’s in one month, and had a good amount of free time. Although this trip was sometimes exhausting with constantly moving around, it was worth it and I honestly enjoyed every place we went. I had a lot of fun taking photos at every beautiful city we visited. Overall I’d definitely recommend this program to other people on a gap year. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. So Thankful for all the leaders and the people I met along the way.

Pros
  • people I met
  • Fully organized for the attendees
  • good amount of free time
Cons
  • must pay for lunch and breakfast sometimes
  • train mix ups adding time to travel days
  • extra expenses in most hostels
Default avatar
Julian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

European Explorers Trip

This program is a fast paced trip traversing across numerous cities in Europe, so pack your bags for moving around! For us, going through Germany, Austria, The Czech Republic, and Italy, we got to look through various lenses to experience European culture. In each city, we stayed in hostels, providing a unique style of traveling and a great way to meet new people too, wether it be within the program, at the hostels, or in the cities themselves. For just a months length, it’s a great way to open your eyes and search out some new corners of the world.

Pros
  • Good group dynamic
  • Leans into exploring new places and meeting new people
  • Friendly and thoughtful leaders
Cons
  • A bit too much moving around