Program Summary – Fall 2021

Adventure Leadership Fall 2021 Program Dates
Dates Sun Sept 5th to Sat Nov 27th
Length 84 Days
Fee USD $16,500

Program Summary – Spring 2022

Adventure Leadership Spring 2022 Program Details
Dates Tues March, 1st to Fri May, 20th
Length 80Days
Fee USD $16,500

What’s it all about?

Irish Gap Year’s Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program will take you far off the beaten track, deep into Irish culture and nature where you will learn much about yourself.

You will become immersed in our community and Irish culture, be challenged physically through outdoor adventure and mentally through our leadership course and volunteering in the community.

This program provides you with a platform to explore a different culture and country, discover new soft-skills, grow as an individual and make a valuable impact on the local community of a small rural town in Ireland. 

The rugged natural beauty of Ireland and warm heartedness of the people offer a unique setting for your journey of self-discovery. Our goal is to create an environment that nurtures this process. This program is not a test that is graded, it is a progression of continuous learning and reflection, struggling and failure are as much a part of the process as achievement and success.

Our Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program is based on the principles of experiential learning; learning by doing, reflecting on that experience and then applying what you learned from the reflection. The Program focuses on personal development through our 4 cornerstones of cultural immersion, outdoor adventure, leadership skills and community volunteering.

Throughout this program you will develop a deeper level of self-awareness, independence, group dynamics and self-governance. We hope that you will take with you a way of thinking and self-awareness that will last a life time.

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  • Get a truly authentic experience of Ireland and her people.
  • Enjoy living with your peers in our student houses on the Atlantic Coast and being part of the local community.
  • 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.
  • Do 80 hours of community volunteering with youth groups, local organic farms and animal shelters.
  • Immerse yourself in the culture and everyday life of rural Ireland.
  • Learn to surf, kayak along the Wild Atlantic Way, hike Ireland’s beautiful mountains and stand-up paddle along scenic lakes.

Find out more about our Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program 

Our Gap Year Program is structured around our 4 Cornerstone themes – Cultural Immersion, Outdoor Education, Leadership Skills and Community Volunteering

Our 4 Cornerstones

Student Reflecting on ViewOur gap year program focuses on character development (building independence and resilience) and cultivating valuable soft-skills in the students through an interwoven combination of outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, leadership skills course-work and community volunteering.

These are our 4 Cornerstones and they are developed with each young person through group led projects, reflection, self-governance and on the principal of experiential learning.  Find out more about our 4 Cornerstones by clicking on each of the following links or by clicking under the dropdown menu titled “Grow” at the top of every page.

Oudoor Adventure

Outdoor Adventure & Education

Biking in Glenveagh national parkWelcome to your new classroom – Ireland’s epic landscape and beautiful environment. The Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program makes full use of the superb natural resources we have in Ireland.  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 or kayak this extraordinarily beautiful west of Ireland coastline on a daily basis.

Students participate in a range of outdoor adventure activities designed to be fun, achievable, sometimes challenging but most of all fun. The Outdoor Adventure program pairs the recreational, physical and therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure.


Leadership Skills

Few are born as natural leaders. Is it a practical goal for everyone to become a leader? What are the qualities of a leader and how do they change circumstantially? What is a leader anyway?

We will delve into these questions by identifying leadership styles, personality types, team dynamics and communication skills while giving students regular opportunities to lead and practice the supporting roles of a well-functioning team.

The Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program is all about enhancing student’s personal strengths, learning to work within a team and developing the characteristics of a leader best suited to your own personality type. The Irish Gap Year team works with students to achieve these goals through a combination of interactive workshops, student-leading, group projects, team building games, role modelling and reflective practices.  

These principles are interwoven into every aspect of the program to support organic personal growth so that every adventure, surf session, kayaking tour, pub night or student led meal becomes a personal growth opportunity. 

Experiential Workshops

There are four fun and interactive half-day workshops during the first four weeks of the Adventure & Leadership Program taught by Irish Gap Year Director Ryan Allen. The workshops have been created using the best of our teams experience and supporting material from Dr O’Reilly. Each workshop is paired with light hearted, thought provoking activities designed to allow students to lead, explore group dynamics, role play and enhance their understanding of leadership.

Leadership workshop titles include:

  • ‘Know Thyself” – Personality types and my role within the team
  • So What is a Leader Anyway?’ – Leadership types and how they change circumstantially 
  • ‘Group Dynamics – The Team and the Individual’: How groups funtion in various settings, team dynamics and types of teams 
  • ‘Communication Skills’ – Verbal and non verbal communication, active listening and body language  

Our workshops are based on the introduction of essentail leadership qualities followed by group discussion and team-games / group challenges that will reinforce the workshops topics. 

Expect the unexpected and come with an open mind! 

Cultural Immersion

Cultural Immersion

Donegal Castle

Students participating in the Adventure & Leadership Gap Year Program and the Irish Arts and Culture Gap Year Program are going to have the opportunity to really delve into 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.

Cultural immersion is an essential part of these Programs.

Students will have an opportunity to interact with and be part of a modern-day community in rural Ireland while reflecting on Irish history current and ancient. Becoming deeply involved in another culture challenges students to expand their world view, while developing empathy for other cultures and people.

Modern day Ireland is the result of many thousands of years of civilisation on a relatively small island. Irish culture is complex, long and varied with much of our modern history intertwined with that of the USA.

Community Volunteering

Community Volunteering

Community Volunteering on the Adventure & Leadership Program sees students work with young people,  community groups, local farms and animal rescue.  

volunteering with liquid therapy

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. They gain a sense of achievement, feel part of a community, discover new skills, meet a diverse group of people who will help widen their world view and most of all make new friends.