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Study abroad on the “The Emerald Isle” with its glorious scenery and friendly, welcoming people. Ireland offers a wealth of things to see and do, from stunning coastal views and ancient monuments to lively towns and cities. Become immersed in Irish culture while gaining maturity, independence, and confidence!

During your time studying abroad at a high school in Ireland, you’ll become thoroughly familiar with the Irish way of life by living with a carefully-selected host family and continuing your education at a local secondary school in one of our host communities.

You’ll quickly recognize that the Irish know how to have great craic (the Irish word for fun)! Music is central to Irish life and is usually at the heart of each community. Sport is a prominent feature of Irish life, too. Hurling and Gaelic football, Ireland’s two national sports, are the most popular of all.

What's included in your experience

  • 70 Years Experience


Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.5
Age Range
15yrs, 0 months
17yrs, 7 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement
COVID-19 Vaccine Recommended, not required*
*AFS cannot predict and is not responsible for changes to host school or government health requirements which may change from the time of application and could impact program eligibility

Based on differences in culture, strict government regulation of medications, and other local customs, it has been our experience that not all of our international AFS partners are able to support students with certain diagnoses, including but not limited to, severe allergies, strict dietary restrictions, ADD/ADHD, and those currently taking or who have taken psychotropic medications and/or received counseling for mental/psychological issues within the past year. If this applies to you, please get in touch with an AFS Study Abroad Specialist early so that we can determine the right experience for you.

Your Journey to Ireland

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience. AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you. You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure.

From there, your journey in Ireland will begin when you land, where you’ll be met by staff, volunteers and meet your fellow AFSers from around the world. Shortly after arrival, you will attend an arrival orientation and get a crash course on Irish culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures. Discover the true meaning of craic and more when you encounter the lush and majestic landscapes, fascinating people, and vibrant culture of Ireland!


Your Irish High School

High School in Ireland

The Irish school system varies significantly from the U.S. school system. Students are typically placed in the equivalent of the U.S. Junior or Senior year, the placement for which is subject to the determination and availability of your host school and cannot be guaranteed. While Junior year typically focuses on project-based learning, Senior year usually emphasizes earning certificates. Both tracks provide an exceptional and immersive learning experience.


Social Life in Ireland

Embarking on an Irish adventure may include Irish dancing, hiking the unforgettable countryside, or simply taking in the sounds of a local fiddler. Plus, depending on availability, you may find workshops spanning all areas of interest, including history, writing, drama, storytelling, politics, and peacemaking!

You may also engage in hurling and Gaelic football, Ireland’s national sports! There are many other sports available too, such as basketball, hockey, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, and more. Common social and cultural activities also include drama, debates, quizzes, exhibitions, films, discos, and excursions.


Housing and Meals

Ireland is world-famous for its use of the potato in dishes such as Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, bacon and cabbage (with potatoes), boxty, coddle, and colcannon! Expect your Irish dining experiences to be easygoing and informal, with quality homegrown produce and wholesome ingredients. Plus, Irish cuisine is constantly evolving with wonderful new recipes emerging from its top cooking schools and Michelin star chefs, so you’ll receive an appetizing blend of traditional and modern Irish cuisine!

Scholarships and Aid

We believe that studying abroad should not be contingent on personal finances. When you apply, we work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with available scholarships and aid. 100% of accepted applicants with demonstrated need receive funds.

Learn More

What's Included

  • 75+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 32,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

Visa Info

Do I need a visa/residence permit for Ireland? YES. Residence Permit
How do I apply for the visa? (By mail, In-person, In host country) In host country
Visa/Residence Permit Process Difficulty Level (Easy, Average, Complex) Easy
Estimated Visa/Residence Permit Expenses
($ – $$$)
Frequently Asked Visa Questions Visit our general visa FAQ page for more information.

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Ireland.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.