Meet the Locals

Ireland is renowned for its beautiful and diverse landscapes but it’s the people that make the country unique. It is a small country in size and population but it stands tall on the world stage in terms of the arts, literature, acting, music, movies and business. There is some strange alchemy in Irish people that makes the world warm to them.

A crucial part of any Irish Gap Year program is getting to know the locals. We want you to experience that great Irish personality.

“Céad míle fáilte” – it literally means a hundred thousand welcomes. Irish people are very proud of the welcome they extend to visitors. You can be from across the Atlantic Ocean or from the neighbouring town but us Irish really value giving you an open and friendly welcome.

The local people you meet on your journey with Irish Gap Year will shake hands, ask how you are, talk about the weather, ask what you think of Ireland (we love that question) and probably try and make you a cup of tea if you are visiting someone’s house.


A program or tour with Irish Gap Year is a genuinely authentic experience of Ireland. Participants will be fully immersed in the everyday life of Ireland. The Irish are famous for their openness and friendly approach and our group leaders, staff and activity instructors are no different.

We want participants in our programs to go home feeling a little bit Irish. A large part of this will be through taking part in life in the local towns and villages we visit. In particular students doing the Gap Year Program become part of the fabric of Bundoran town where they are based.

Students also develop an understanding of the people through learning some of the language, both the native tongue – Gaeilge – and also that very particular skill of speaking English like an Irish person e.g. “How’s it going?” (How are you?) “That’s a powerful day” (it’s a great day) “No bother” (no problem).

Learning about Irish music, movies, history and literature helps build a picture of who the Irish people are. We also will give students an insight into what makes modern day Ireland tick - how the country has become more multi-cultural, the effect of emigration, changes in attitudes towards religion and influential events in our modern history.

We believe that some of the highlights of any gap year or teen travel program can be the connections made with local people. Fostering these connections is a key priority for us at Irish Gap Year.

Ní heolas go haontíos

(Translate: You must live with a person to know a person)