What's it about?

The Transition Adventure Program (TAP Program) is a highly structured 3-week summer program that provides both adventure and hands-on social and personal development based curriculum, along with support and mentoring for high school students.

The Transition Adventure Program offers students (Co Ed ages 14-17) the chance to explore a new culture, participate in daily outdoor adventures and meet a diverse group of new friends from all over the world, all while continuing to build valuable new skills, both in our classroom and in the real world.

Students are based at Irish Gap Year’s Bundrowes House, a 19th Century Victorian Estate, on the spectacular Atlantic Coast in Co. Donegal in Ireland’s Northwest. From here students will explore some of Ireland's most significant cultural and natural hotspots.  

The Irish Gap Year education team is headed by Margie O'Reilly-Allen PhD. who facilitates experiential and integrative learning focusing on group work and collaboration. Immersive experiences such as budgeting and shopping for the group dinner or helping to plan an afternoon kayaking trip gives students the opportunity to continue their self-development by applying their organisational skills while experiencing a new culture and making new friends

Our nature and adventure-based activities allow students to experience Ireland’s rugged and beautiful landscape every day. Activities such as camping, surfing, sea-kayaking, hiking, and stand-up paddle-boarding keep students physically and mentally active throughout the three weeks and provide a natural classroom for our students to develop.


  • Continue to develop the organisational, personal and interpersonal skills neccesary for success.
  • Community living at Bundrowes House, a fully restored 19th Century Irish Victorian Estate on the Atlantic Coast.
  • Small & diverse student groups (12 students or less). 
  • Experientially based & integrated curriculum taking place both in and out of the classroom. 
  • Students taught through fun, immersive experiences, in a supportive setting.
  • 7 modules and over 14 hours devoted formally to hands-on group work, reinforcing Independent Living Skills, Executive Functioning, Emotional Growth, Interpersonal Development and Leadership.  
  • We support core areas of personal growth through mentoring & leading students on real-world experiences.
  • Discover the epic beauty of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way along the north-west coast through outdoor adventure activities like surfing, camping, kayaking and hiking.
  • Spend a day on an organic farm and get to know the locals, camp out under the stars at a secluded beach and tell stories around the campfire
  • Learn more about the culture and history of Ireland by visiting some of the top cultural and historical attractions
  • Hike along rural paths filled with wildlife, waterfalls and lush green fields

Dates for Upcoming TAP Programs

TAP Program - July every Year

Program Reviews


Fees: Transition Adventure Program

On Appliction

Recommended Dates

Recommended dates for flights are July 1st to July 29th for the 2018 program.   

How to Apply

To apply for our Transition Adventure Program, you must first create an account. It's an easy process and can be done by following the link below.

We will reach out to you by email once you've registered your Irish Gap Year account and encourage students to begin their application.

Upon receiving a complete application an interview will be conducted with student &/or parents over the phone.   

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 (April 29th) prior to the start of the program.

To start the booking process and manage your registration and payments please create an account

Click Here to create an account.





TAP Students at castle

The Transition Adventure Program develops core areas that underlie the struggles facing young people as they transition to adulthood. Throughout a high-school career students must develop the tools to help them succeed in college, an environment where young adults find themselves with a tremendous amount of freedom and a lot less external structure. It is a challenge to balance academic and social opportunities while living away from home for the first time.

Many of our themes will be familiar to students coming from schools with learning difference support and our goal is a continuity of learning goals for these students over the summer months. Our Transition Adventure Program works with students to continue developing and practicing the personal and interpersonal skills to succeed as young adults. Personal development work is combined with daily outdoor adventure, community immersion and enriching cultural opportunities to keep students active & healthy during their stay in Ireland.

Our Focus 

Students Baking

The Transition Adventure Program combines 7 classroom based modules focusing on improving student’s personal and inter-personal skills. The aim is to increase student’s readiness for independent living and ultimately college.

The modules have been developed by Margaret O’Reilly-Allen (PhD) who is a professor and program director at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Dr O’Reilly-Allen has over 20 years’ experience working with college students from freshmen to senior year and through graduate school.


Executive Functioning Skills

Organization, motivation, goal setting & time management are important skills for young people to develop in order to succeed as adults. These skills are covered as our first module and integrated into all aspects of the TAP Program.

Stress Managment

Developing strategies to identify and manage the stresses that are part of transitioning to adulthood.

Independent Living Skills 

Self-care, cooking skills, cleaning skills and money management are integrated into our daily schedule as adults. We discuss and practice these important aspects of independence throughout the Transition Adventure Program.

Titanic Expo

Interpersonal Development

Interpersonal awareness and effectiveness, teamwork and empathy are needed to succeed in any group or community. During their time in Ireland students will practice working collaboratively as a group and honing their individual strengths for the good of the group. Students are also encouraged to self-advocate when they are in need of help.

Assertiveness Skills

It is important that students speak up for themselves in an assertive manner that is not aggressive. Assertiveness skills help in peer to peer communication, study groups, teams, interactions with adults and conflict resolution.

Leadership Skills 

Confidence, effective communication and commitment are all qualities of a good leader. Students practice asserting themselves as leaders throughout the Transition Adventure Program as they develop their own styles of leadership and find out where they fit into various group dynamics.

Personal Goal Setting

Learning to incorporate personal values and ethics into every aspect of life is a significant part of personal growth into adulthood. Character and gumption are developed when young people learn how to hang in there and stay committed to goals even when situations are challenging.

The 7 modules are delivered using experiential learning techniques, group-led work and problem solving challenges. Students are shown how each life skill or module can be applied to their everyday social & academic life and are given daily opportunities to put these skills into practice in the real world.

The learning outcomes are interwoven throughout the TAP Program and paired with outdoor adventure and cultural activities to keep things fun and exciting.

Outdoor Adventure

The Transition Adventure Program balances the challenges of learning new life skills for college with the exhilaration of doing adventure activities in Ireland’s great outdoors.

The majority of the Program is based along the world famous Wild Atlantic Way – the longest defined coastal route in the world. Students will walk, climb, surf, paddle and kayak this extraordinarily beautiful west of Ireland coastline for 13 days of the 3 week Program.

Students participate in a range of outdoor adventure activities designed to be achievable, sometimes challenging but most of all fun.

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

  • Country walks with time for personal reflection

  • Stand-up Paddle-boarding on the sea and lakes

  • Camping in stunning wilderness locations

All of the adventure activities are conducted by fully qualified and experienced instructors whose main focus is to ensure the students have fun, get involved, work as a team and really engage with each other as a team. Students do not have to have any prior experience in any of the activities.

All students will be supported and guided throughout all activities. The Outdoor Adventure program aims to challenge students physically, engage them with the natural environment and most of all help them bond as a team.

Cultural Immersion

Donegal Castle

Students will delve into Irish culture partly by staying in a small rural town and by visiting some of Ireland’s world famous cultural and heritage sites.

The following are some of the locations visited during the Program:

  • The Cliffs of Moher and the Burren (UNESCO World Heritage sites)

  • Croke Park Stadium the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)

  • Learn to Irish dance and perhaps speak a “cúpla focal as Gaeilge” (a few words in Gaelic)

  • Iconic Dublin City the urban heart of Irish culture, where modern meets ancient in one “town”

  • The Giants Causeway, an ancient volcanic landscape in Northern Ireland (UNESCO World Heritage site)

  • The Book of Kells and other early Christian manuscripts held at Trinity College Dublin

  • Panoramic views of stunningly beautiful Connemara National Park in west county Galway


  • Accommodation at Irish Gap Year’s Bundrowes House, where student will share rooms with a roommate of the same gender. All linen and towels are provided.
  • All accommodation while travelling in Ireland is private and Failte' Ireland approved.
  • 24/7 Supervision of students throughout the entire program. 
  • Breakfast is provided each morning – in general this will include bread, butter, jam, cereals, tea, coffee, juice. Students and group leaders will dine together. 
  • Dinner and lunch – all students and leaders will dine together. .
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure.
  • All transport during the Program.
  • All course-work and paperwork in relation to their group projects.
  • All equipment and transport necessary for all the Outdoor Adventure activities.
  • All entry fees and taxes in relation to the cultural sites students will visit.
  • All staff conducting activities are fully qualified and trained to teach the activity
  • Fully insured and certified activity providers and transport providers.
  • Irish Gap Year staff are available 24/7. Parents or guardians and teens are given a dedicated telephone number to call if they need to get in contact urgently.
  • Staff all have occupational first aid if not a higher level.


  • International flights and travel insurance.
  • The Transition Adventure Program is non-clinical in nature and is not a therapuetic program. 


The safety and constant supervision of the students participating in our programs is our number one priority. We want parents to feel relaxed and reassured their young person is in sensible and reliable hands. We want the young person to feel supported and included in all aspects of their adventure to Ireland.

Students are supervised 24 hours a day throughout the entire program. An Irish Gap Year staff member is available 24/7. Parents or guardians are given a dedicated telephone number to call if they need to speak to their child urgently. Students are also provided with this number and staff are always located close-by. We can provide you with a copy of our policy document regarding these matters at your request.

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