Irish Adventure Gap Year
The Adventure & Leadership Program at Irish Gap Year provides students with an opportunity to develop new skills, explore a different culture and country, grow as individuals and make positive contributions to the Northwest region of Ireland.
Here, students will become fully involved in the local Irish community through volunteering, cultural immersion and adventure sports. You will experience and explore Ireland's rugged beauty far off the beaten track through outdoor adventure. You will undertake personal development with our unique and thoughtfully designed soft-skills and leadership module, taught by Dr. Celia Keenaghan. You will explore, you will discover & you will grow.
The skills cultivated at Irish Gap Year will benefit students not only in college/university but for their entire adult life.
- You will get a truly authentic experience of Ireland and her people
- Develop leadership and inter-personal skills with Dr. Celia Keenaghan which will take you through college and through to your adult life
- Delve into the scenery and Ireland’s epic nature-scapes through outdoor adventure such as surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking and sea-kayaking
- Get far off the beaten-track while exploring Ireland's top cultural and historical attractions
- Do service work as a volunteer with youth groups and the elderly in a small rural town in the west of Ireland
- Find out how to live sustainably through volunteer work at organic garden farms
- Immerse yourself in everyday life and the culture of rural Ireland
- Work as a team through group project work and experiential learning to prepare for the student-led & organised big trip during the final week
- Learn to surf, kayak along the Wild Atlantic Way, hike Ireland’s beautiful mountains and stand-up paddle along scenic lakes
- Get to know Ireland, her people, the culture and learn new skills along the way
- Have personal reflective time in a peaceful and beautiful part of the world
- Stay in Bundrowes House - A 19th Century Estate on the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by rivers, horses and the magic beauty of Donegal
What’s it all about?
Our Adventure & Leadership Gap Year pogram in Ireland is a thoughtfully designed program that explores Irish culture and history, challenges students physically through adventure activities and mentally through our leadership course and volunteering programs.
Our 4 Cornerstones
The program is structured around our 4 Cornerstones of – Cultural Immersion, Outdoor Adventure, Leadership Skills and Community Volunteering/Service Work. Each of the 4 Cornerstones will be developed with the students through group-led project work, reflection and on the basis of experiential learning.
Students are going to have the opportunity to really get “under the skin” of Irish culture. Not only will they be living and volunteering within the community of an everyday small Irish town, they will also visit some of Ireland’s world famous cultural and heritage sites.
The following are some of the locations visited during the 12 Week Program:
- The Cliffs of Moher and the Burren (UNESCO World Heritage sites)
- Croke Park Stadium which is the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)
- Slieve League Sea Cliffs (highest in Ireland) and Glencolmcille Gaeltacht (Irish speaking rural town)
- Iconic Dublin City the urban heart of Irish culture, where modern meets ancient in one “town”.
- Clonmacnoise Monastery, wonderfully preserved ruins of an early Christian monastic settlement
- Neolithic tombs of Newgrange, Knowth & Dowth in the Boyne Valley (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Derry City a focal point for building peace in Northern Ireland and one of Europe’s best examples of a walled city.
- The Giants Causeway, an ancient volcanic landscape in Northern Ireland (UNESCO World Heritage site)
- Belfast City and the Ulster American Folk Park
- The Book of Kells early Christian manuscripts held at Trinity College Dublin.
Ireland’s outstandingly beautiful landscape will be students’ classroom for most of this 12 week program! Almost everyday students will surf, climb, walk, paddle and kayak along the Wild Atlantic Way coastline - Ireland’s west-coast – and longest defined coastal route in the world. The 12 Week Program makes full use of the superb natural resources we have in Ireland.
Students participate in a range of outdoor adventure activities designed to be fun, achievable, sometimes challenging but most of all fun. This part of the program pairs the recreational, physical and therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure.
The Outdoor Adventure activities comprise:
- Learning to surf on the Wild Atlantic Way
- Lake and Sea kayaking
- 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
The students do not have to have any prior experience in any of the activities, nor a super level of fitness. Instead, the goal is for each participant to progress in each of the activities from their own starting point to a new personal best after the full 12 weeks.
The 12 Week Gap Year Program incorporates a course on Leadership Skills, which is delivered by a Further Education and Training Award Council (FETAC) accredited teacher. The course provides students with invaluable, lifelong skills which will help them through university, in the workplace and even in their personal life.
The course takes place once a week, for a full day, over the 12 week period and is designed to equip the students with the relevant knowledge, skills and competence to skilfully lead other people in tasks and activities both in the work place and in a voluntary environment.
Throughout the 12 Week Gap Year Program students will have the opportunity to implement what they have learned on their Leadership Skills course in a practical way through our Outdoor Adventure activities and through their Community Volunteering/Service work. Students conclude the course with a “tool-kit” of skills which they can call on throughout their life journey.
Our Gap Year Program includes a number of weekly projects where students volunteer and do service work within the local community. The Community Volunteering element sees students work with young people, the elderly and the natural environment. This element of the program very much goes hand in hand with the Leadership and Cultural Immersion and cornerstone.
Students work with a local branch of a national youth organisation that works with young people from ages 10 to 18 years and their families providing youth development and family support services to the local community.
Students do service work at The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co Leitrim and through this will learn tips and knowledge about how to live in a more holistic and sustainable manner.
Students’ voluntary work with a local elderly centre gives them great insight in to how life was in the town through their interaction and conversations with these older members of the local community. Volunteering has a meaningful and positive impact on both the community and the volunteer. In return for their time and energy students reap huge benefits.
- Accommodation - students will share a Grand 19th Century Estate Home, with several Acres of ocean frontage on the Atlantic, horses in the field and a pristine river flowing through the back feilds. All utilities, linens and extras are provided.
- Breakfast – At the start of each week students are provided with a store-cupboard of breakfast items.
- Dinner (Monday to Saturday) – Students are provided with a main meal each day except for Sunday their rest day where they can decide to cook or eat out as they please.
- Irish Gap Year staff are available 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 always located close-by.
- 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 course-work and paperwork in relation to their group projects and the leadership course.
- Staff all have occupational first aid if not a higher level.
What's Not Included?
- International flights.
- Travel insurance.
- General spending money.
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Irish Gap Year should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.