Why Choose Us?
Choosing a gap year program, summer program or internship – these are all big decisions with lots of details to be checked. We understand this and we want to help make the decision process easier.
We have outlined some of the reasons why you should choose Irish Gap Year.
We love Ireland
It is a simple statement but it is very true. All of the team have a real passion and enthusiasm for the little green island off the coast of mainland Europe called Ireland. It is a small country packed full of beautiful landscapes, friendly people, ancient history, arts, culture and it’s a playground for adventure activities.
We want you to get to know the people, understand the history ancient and modern, listen to the music, learn about the literature, explore Ireland’s beautiful landscapes, learning a bit of the native tongue and most of all “have the craic” (translate: have fun).
We believe that by immersing yourself in all this with Irish Gap Year you too will fall in love with Ireland.
Organised, friendly and Professional
We want our students to have the best possible experience of Ireland. Irish Gap Year achieve this by creating well organised and thoughtfully designed programs, which are delivered by experienced, responsible and friendly program leaders.
Clear communication with our students, their parents, educators and group facilitators in the months prior to the start of a program, during the program and afterwards is an essential part of our service. We are always available to parents to answer questions and talk them through their concerns.
A key priority in all our programs is ensuring all participants feel safe, included and supported in all of their program activities and endeavours.
Renowned & Experienced Leadership Team
Our leadership team is headed up by Celia Keenaghan PhD and Margie O'Reilly PhD. Together Celia and Margie bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Irish Gap Year. Our Leadership & Communication Skills modules are incorporated into both our Adventure & Leadership Gap Year and Transition Adventure Program.
An Irish company with a worldwide view
Irish Gap Year is an Irish company, based in Ireland with our supporting US offices based in Philadelphia. We have a wealth of local knowledge and a variety of perspectives on Ireland.
Student have the opportunity tap into this wealth of knowledge and experience of Ireland for a once in lifetime experience.
All of our team have their own personal experiences of Ireland and each person has a different perspective on life in Ireland. Some of the team are born and bred in Ireland, others have come from the US to set up home in Ireland, some are regular visitors with family heritage rooted in Ireland and some have Irish family who have immigrated to the US.
We really feel that the team at Irish Gap Year can offer you an authentic Irish experience with a worldview perspective.
Safety, Expertise and Guidance
Ireland is in general a safe country to travel and live in. It is a key priority for Irish Gap Year that your time with us in Ireland is enjoyable and without worry or stress. All students will be supervised in accordance with their age i.e. under 18 year olds are supervised 24/7 on a ratio of 1 group leader to 8 students.
Our program leaders are experienced in working with teenagers and adults alike and adapt their approach accordingly. Program leaders are trained to be friendly, approachable and supportive to all members of their group. Senior management in turn provide support and guidance to staff members in their work.
All activities are undertaken with nationally accredited and fully insured activity providers. We are very happy to provide proof of these accreditations and insurance certificates to any person booking with us.
The team at Irish Gap Year have a total of two decades of experience delivering outdoor educational programs, volunteer led programs and leadership courses. Where we do not have expertise in a certain area we work with the group facilitator, parents, educators or students to ensure a person with the correct expertise, knowledge and certification is assigned to that module of the group’s program.
All of our staff have first aid qualifications and have undergone child protection clearance with An Garda Síochána (the national police service).
Get an authentic experience of Ireland
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.
We believe that some of the highlights of any program should be the connections made with local people. Fostering these connections is a key priority for us at Irish Gap Year.
24/7 availability in the case of emergencies
We ensure 24/7 communication in the case of emergencies for everyone travelling with Irish Gap Year. Parents, guardians, students, educators or group facilitators are provided with a list of contact people and their contact details prior to travelling to Ireland. Similarly, we require contact details so that we can ensure parents and guardians are advised of any emergency which may occur while students are travelling.
Outside of an emergency students will be encouraged to contact their parent or guardian on a daily basis. Our offices are also open from 9am to 6pm (GMT) for any general, non-urgent calls, emails or queries.