Program Summary - July to August 2021
|Adventure Leadership||Summer 2021 Program Details|
Sunday, July 11th to Sunday August 8th, 2021
Program Summary - May to June 2022
|Adventure Leadership||Summer 2021 Program Details|
Thurs May 19, 2022 to Fri June 17, 2022
What's it all about?
The Adventure & Leadership Immersion Program is a structured, short program designed to give students an opportunity to explore Ireland, develop strong leadership skills and build their independence.
Students will be able to immerse themselves in the culture and daily life of a small, coastal town in the west of Ireland along with challenging their boundaries through exploring the great outdoors of our rugged Atlantic coastline and mountains. Community living will be augmented with regular trips to some of Ireland’s best-known cultural sites along with some lesser known wonders.
The program offers a fun and low-stress balance of community living, outdoor adventure, leadership development and cultural travel throughout Ireland. This program is all about exploring Ireland’s epic landscapes and pushing your comfort zone!
- Develop leadership and inter-personal skills.
- Participate in our experiential leadership skills workshops, full of team challenges, student led projects and be a student leader.
- Experience Ireland’s epic landscapes through outdoor adventure sports such as surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking and sea-kayaking.
- See more of Ireland with overnight expeditions to the cities of Dublin, Belfast and Galway.
- Live on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in the quaint seaside town of Bundoran, County Donegal.
- Enjoy daily adventures throughout the Northwest of Ireland exploring castles, coastlines, villages, art galleries, National Parks and more.
- Local Living: A community based experience that brings you deep into Irish culture.
- Enjoy the support, mentoring and humor of the Irish Gap Year team.
Our application process is done entirely through the website, click the 'Apply Here' link above to get started. You'll receive automated emails from Irish Gap Year prompting each step of the process.
- First create and register your account with Irish Gap Year. It's an easy process that only takes 5 minutes.
- Your Irish Gap Year Student Portal will be activated. Next you'll complete our questionnaire and medical form (through your student portal).
- We'll be in touch with you via email to organize a phone call to get to know you better, answer your questions about the program and officially welcome you aboard.
- Your orientation materials will be available through your Irish Gap Year Student and Parent Portals.
Upon acceptance, a 10% deposit is required to secure a place on this program. The balance of the program fee is then due 90 days prior to the start of the program.
Find out more about our Adventure & Leadership Immersion Program
The Adventure & Leadership Immersion Program aims to give students a distinctive perspective on Ireland through the three cornerstones of Leadership Skills, Outdoor Adventure and Cultural Immersion.
Each day is a balance between physical activities and cultural and leadership workshops. All designed to be fun and light-hearted so that students can learn through experience while building up friendships and bonds with their fellow students.
The aim of the Leadership cornerstone is to guide students in their understanding of their own leadership style, teach them effective leadership skills and help them recognise the importance of group dynamics and communication skills.
The students will be brought through a series of 6 experiential learning half day workshops during the program. These workshops will cover topics such as creating a personal mission statement, leadership styles, communication skills and problem solving.
Students will have the opportunity to enact their leadership skills in real life during the program. Every 3 days a new student leader will be appointed who will be responsible for house management, motivating the “troops” and presenting on cultural outings and outdoor activities they have done during that week.
Team challenges touching on leadership skill development will also be interwoven through the group’s outdoor adventure activities such as, preparing for camping, leading a hike, working together to build rafts.
The great outdoors will be your classroom for much of the duration of this program. Despite being a small country Ireland is renowned for its epic landscapes and beautiful environment. Our program is based in the heart of this landscape on the Wild Atlantic Way over-looking the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by mountains.
Supported and guided by our fully qualified and experienced program leaders, students will make full use of our wonderful natural environment. Students will go surfing, kayaking and hiking 2 to 3 times a week with additional one-off trips of wilderness camping and boulder climbing.
The Outdoor Adventure activities comprise
- Learning to surf on the Wild Atlantic Way
- Lake and Sea kayaking paddles
- Hiking in some of Ireland’s famous natural landscapes
- Climbing along boulders
- Stand-up Paddle-boarding on the sea and lakes
- Camping in stunning wilderness locations
Students have the chance each day to really experience the wonderful natural environment of the local area, they increase their confidence and develop their physical and mental beings.
Students on the Adventure & Leadership Short Program will be living in and experiencing daily life in a small, rural west of Ireland town. They will have the opportunity to get to know the locals and interact in a modern-day Irish rural community. Students get to stay in Bundrowes House, a Victorian home located on the shores of Donegal Bay.
In addition to community living the students will go on several over-night trips to places of cultural and historical significance throughout Ireland.
Some of Our Expeditions and Site Visits around the Northwest
Glenveagh National Park
We’ll tour the haunted 19th century castellated mansion and learn about it’s dark past, have a relaxed lunch in the café and do some light trekking on some of the wonderful walking trails in the park. Waterfalls, mountains, lakes, castles, ghosts.
Slieve League Sea Cliffs and West Donegal
Prepare to be astounded and slightly terrified by Europe’s highest sea cliffs towering 2,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. That’s right, a 2,000 ft drop straight into the sea!
Slieve League means ‘the grey mountain’ in Irish, perhaps the early occupants of the area caught it on a bad day, because there is no shortage of inspiration and colour here.
Donegal Castle and Donegal Town
Donegal Castle is an excellent example of a fully restored Gaelic fortified castle and holds a significant place in the history of our region as the home of the last stronghold of the Gaelic Chieftains during the time of The Flight of the Earls. The castle is said to have been built on the site of an early Viking fort.
Donegal Town is a quaint and bustling town that offers wonderful shopping, cafés, art galleries and local walks along the coast and forests.
Majestic landscapes and sweeping views of Donegal Bay, brightly coloured fishing boats, cliffs, golden sand and the iconic Classiebawn Castle make Mullaghmore Headland one of the gems of the northwest. This placid landscape becomes ferocious at times with giant waves pummelling the coastline. These mammoth waves are regularly surfed by ‘tow-in’ surfers and if this happens we will make a special trip out for students to witness these daredevils.
Our nearest City, Sligo is major hub for the performing arts, studio art, music and poetry. Sligo is home to The Model Art Studio (which houses many Yeats originals on display in their galleries) where you will be enjoying your daily art workshops. Sligo is known throughout Ireland as the home of William Butler Yeats and is renowned for its literary legacy. Many of the places Yeats wrote about in his poems we will visit.
We will also be enjoying live music and theatre at the Hawkes Well Theatre in Sligo and perhaps even a night out in the pubs!
Overnight Expeditions Around Ireland
Our overnight expeditions around Ireland are a big hit with our students. You'll be travelling in the comfort of our own minibuses with the Irish Gap Year Program Leaders on expeditions. Our groups stay in top-rated, centrally-located hostels and guesthouses on our overnight trips.
Dublin City – Capital of Culture and Craic
Our expedition to Dublin City is designed to give you a hand-on sample of Dublin’s artistic and cultural heritage. The trip starts with a day touring the city’s most notorious literary pubs, where gangsters, revolutionaries, novelists and poets shared many pints of Guinness while plotting the 1916 uprising.
Actors will perform on-site the works by acclaimed Dublin writers such as James Joyce, Roddy Doyle and Sean O’Casey to give you an interactive insight into where and how modern Ireland was shaped. We’ll enjoy a group meal in one of our favourite, funky Dublin pubs before heading off for free time in the city.
Day two will involve our Dublin City Photo-Scavenge, taking you off-piste to some of Dublin’s lesser known heritage sites as well her ‘must-see’ locations. We’ll also visit the National Archaeology Museum that houses antiquities ranging from ancient bog-mummies to Viking weapons to Celtic treasures and gold (including one very interesting golden torc from 3,000 years ago that was excavated on-site at our student house, Bundrowes).
Belfast: Perspectives New and Old through Street Art
When people think of Belfast the first thing that usually comes to mind is political turmoil of the 1960’s – 1990’s known as ‘The Troubles’, but we’re here to meet a new generation of artists, activists and politicians that have rebuilt the city into one of Northern Ireland’s most vibrant communities.
Our focus will be a comparative survey of the old Belfast versus the new Belfast through the lens of street art. We will tour Belfast’s most notorious neighbourhoods that witnessed civil unrest for over 30 years, we will speak to the people directly involved in the conflict and hear their stories.
You will tour the inner cities unique and politically charged street art murals followed by a street art sketch class in the evening with local artists who will also provide pizza and beer. We’ll discuss the different perspectives on Belfast’s tumultuous past and enjoy all that modern Belfast has to offer.
Our second day in Belfast will involve free time to explore the excellent shopping and food on offer in the city. After that we’ll make our way to The Giant’s Causeway (by way of Game of Thrones film locations) where we’ll encounter one of Ireland’s most magnificent natural wonders.
Galway: Ireland’s Culture Capital and the Aran Islands
Ask any Irish person to name their favourite places in the country and chances are Galway will be at the top of the list. Galway is Ireland’s culture capital, with excellent pubs, live music, street buskers, restaurants and a history that stretches into deep antiquity.
Our time in Galway will include a visit to its excellent museum, a group dinner at Ireland’s best fish n’ chips shop, a group pub outing to listen to traditional Irish music and plenty of free time for you to explore the city with your mates.
On day two, we will make the journey to the nearby Aran Islands, one of Irelands most rugged, remote and ancient places. We will explore Dun Aengus, a cliff-side Celtic fortress that boasts unrivalled views of the Irish coast and Atlantic, then warm up with lots of tea in the local pub.
Who is the Program for?
This program is for students interested in being active outdoors and exploring Ireland off the beaten track. This program will take you deep into Irish nature, culture and community. If you are looking to further develop your leadership and communication skills, you will benefit from this program.
The Adventure and Leadership program provides a supportive environment where students can recharge, come out of their shell and become more independent. You do not need to be ‘outdoorsy’ to enjoy and benefit from the Adventure and Leadership Program, it's all about a willingness to participate, pushing your boundaries and self-discovery.
- Students will eat their evening meals together each day except for Sunday which is a rest day/ free time day. Evenings will be interspersed with group games, cinema nights, bowling and attendance at local events.
- Accommodation - students will share our amazing student housing that includes a fully stocked kitchen, large bathrooms, two living rooms and 8 bedrooms with spectacular sea and mountain views. All linen and towels are provided.Breakfast – We keep the kitchen fully stocked with your favorite breakfast items.
- Lunch - A wide range of lunch foods are provided, and students have free range over our fully stocked kitchens to create their own lunches.
- Dinner (Monday to Saturday) – Students are provided with a home-cooked dinner every day except for Sunday their rest day where they can decide to cook or eat out as they please. We'll also teach you to cook a few of our favorite Irish dishes in our cooking lessons
- Irish Gap Year's support 24/7. Parents and guardians are given a dedicated telephone number to call if they need to speak to their children urgently. Students are also provided with this number and staff are located close-by.
- Pick-up and drop-off at Dublin International Airport on arrival and departure
- All equipment and transport necessary for all the Outdoor Adventure activities.
- All staff conducting activities are fully qualified and trained to undertake the activity.
- Fully insured and certified activity providers.
- Fully insured and certified transport providers.
- All transport to and from cultural sites and other activity locations.
- All entry fees and taxes in relation to the cultural sites students will visit.
- All accommodation in relation to the over-night cultural trips.
- All coursework and paperwork in relation to their group projects and the leadership course.
- Program Leaders all have professional experiential learning experience and occupational first aid if not a higher level.
What's Not Included?
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- General spending money (We recommend 100 Euro per week)