What's it About?
Irish Gap Year's Custom Programs provide High School and College groups unique international education options in Ireland. Irish Gap Year will collaborate with your organization to develop customized, faculty-led programs, taking into consideration your school's interests, budget and timeline. Programs can be designed for credit, service hours, experiential education or a combination of the three.
Custom programs of 10 – 21 days are available during winter and spring break and during June and July for groups of 10 students and up. Irish Gap Year’s excellent reputation, education expertise and extensive nationwide network means that your schools time in Ireland will be both memorable and hassle free.
All custom programs begin in the capital city of Dublin where the Irish Gap Year team will meet your organization with our buses at Dublin airport. From there we’ll explore some of Dublin City’s most iconic sites and bring your group face to face with the history, culture and people that make Dublin unique. From Dublin, your group’s custom itinerary will be delivered according to your school's specific interests, with the entire country of Ireland at your fingertips.
Of course, we do suggest spending some of your time in residence along the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way at Irish Gap Year's Bundrowes House.
Ireland is one of Europe’s safest and friendliest countries. We have excellent services and infrastructure, are English speaking and place a high value on education. There are many cultural and historical attractions that lend themselves to a wide variety of curriculums for visiting schools.
Ireland also has the world’s longest coastal road network and many spectacular national parks that boast a variety of landscapes to explore.
With our long and rich history, progressive mind-set and strong economy, we are an attractive location to supplement your students' global education.
Designing Your Program Contact Us
We’re always excited to hear about the unique programs that schools want to design. You might have an idea of what you want your school group to do but not a detailed plan yet. We will collaborate with you and take you through the steps to turn your idea into a reality. The following are items for consideration as you design your program:
- Location: Most custom programs begin and end in the beautiful capital city of Dublin. From here your group will have the option of travelling anywhere in Ireland on their program. Using our knowledge of Ireland we will work with your school to create an itinerary that suits your needs.
- Duration: We are flexible when it comes to the dates and duration of custom programs and support January-term, Spring break and Summer programs.
- Academics: We can work with you to further enhance the academic content of your custom program by including relevant site visits and identifying expert guest lecturers and speakers across a variety of disciplines.
- Experiential Learning: Consider adding an element of service learning, team-building, leadership skills, outdoor adventure or cultural immersion to supplement your program. There is no learning like learning by doing and we have the skilled team to deliver this aspect of the program.
- Accommodation: You may select between bed and breakfasts, homestays, hotels and dormitories depending on your location, for both students and faculty. We also suggest that groups spend some time at Irish Gap Year's Bundrowes House, our fully equipped, 19th century Victorian home on the shores of Donegal Bay over-looking the Atlantic Ocean.
- Logistics: Irish Gap Year provides all logistical services making your time in Ireland effortless and smooth running. Irish Gap Year's mini-buses will provide airport transfers and all internal travel in Ireland. Our drivers are also experienced educators and guides who will happily lend local knowledge of the country. All passes, classroom time, activities and food are provided – all you need to bring is your faculty and students.
Here are a sample of some of the custom programs that Irish Gap Year provides. Programs may be combined with elements of service learning, outdoor adventure, cultural expeditions or our leadership workshops to create a one of a kind experience for your school.
Of course, we can tailor these to your school’s specific needs, or build a completely unique program.
Global Classroom – (Faculty-led for Credit)
Who’s It For? College or High School Groups
Duration: 10 Days to 3 Weeks
Ireland becomes your classroom as your students' study history, the arts, agriculture, the sciences or business on site throughout the country. We will arrange for your group to meet experts in your area of study and visit the locations throughout Ireland where education meets the real world.
We recommend that your group also spend time at Irish Gap Year's Bundrowes House, our fully equipped 19th century Victorian home on the shores of the Atlantic. From here students will experience the culture and beauty of the north-west striking-off on cultural day trips and site visits to supplement your curriculum.
Our global classroom program aims to deliver the equivalent of one full course (3 credits) at either high school or college level. The academic content is delivered by your faculty with support from the Irish Gap Year team and credits are issued by your organization. The Irish Gap Year classroom is available at Bundrowes House and classrooms can be arranged where needed while touring Ireland.
Transition Adventure Program
Who’s it for? High School Groups, Ages 14-18
Duration: 10 Days to 3 Weeks
The Transition Adventure Program offers students the chance to explore a new culture, participate in daily outdoor adventures and build valuable real-world skills.
Your students will participate in experiential and integrative workshops taught by Irish Gap Year Director Ryan Allen. Workshops include Executive Functioning, Stress Management, Independent Living Skills, Communication Skills and Leadership Skills.
Throughout the Program your students will have the opportunity to put these skills into practice through group work, student led projects as well as shopping and budgeting for student-led meals. The Transition Adventure Program is designed to prepare young people for the practicalities of college life and their transition to adulthood.
Transition Adventure Program students are based at Irish Gap Year’s Bundrowes House. From here students will travel the country with Irish Gap Year Program leaders exploring some of Ireland's most significant cultural and natural highlights.
Wild Ireland Mini-Gap: Service Learning, Culture and Outdoor Adventure
Who’s it for? High Schools with International Travel Programs
Duration: 10 Days to 3 Weeks
On the Wild Ireland Mini-Gap your school will enjoy a combination of high impact service learning and outdoor adventure while experiencing Ireland's culture.
Your students will also learn about growing organic produce and running a traditional family farm from Donegal-based farming families, they can even try there hand at some farm work in the process!
The majority of the Wild Ireland Mini-Gap Program takes place in County Donegal, voted as the ‘Coolest Place on Earth’ in 2017 by National Geographic.
Learn to surf, go sea-kayaking, hiking, camping and make the most of Ireland’s rugged and stunning Wild Atlantic Way with our experienced team of experiential educators. Students will also experience the history and culture of Ireland firsthand with trips to castles, traditional villages and ancient momuments.
The Wild Ireland Mini-Gap is bold and a different take on service learning. Most people don’t think of Europe when they consider a service trip abroad, but there are social, economic and environmental issues and attracting volunteers to this part of the world can be challenging.
Help make us make a positive change and explore the magic of Ireland while you’re at it.
Seaside Holistic Retreat: Surf, Yoga and Healthy Living
Who’s it for? High School or College Groups
Duration: 10 Days to 2 Weeks
Students can rejuvenate and relax at our Surf, Yoga and Healthy Living Retreat at Bundrowes House. Fall asleep to the sound of the Atlantic just a stone’s throw from your front door, enjoy the grandeur and comfort of our 19th century Victorian ocean-front home with panoramic sea and mountain views and rich history.
Your students will enjoy daily yoga lessons taught by highly experienced local yoga teachers and afternoon surf lessons at one of Europe’s best surf beaches. They will receive expert instruction from Irish Surfing Association qualified surf coaches and Yoga Ireland qualified Yogis.
Local organic produce and healthy cooking will be provided by our in house chef who whill also work with your group to teach the students some of his favourite healthy farm-to-table recipes. Daily visits to local organic farms for fresh fruit and vegetables are also included as part of the cooking lessons.