Global Prep — 2018
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
Ireland’s ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ begins in County Donegal, an area of the Irish Republic that is rich in history, culture, and stunning coastal scenery – perhaps explaining why County Donegal was voted ‘coolest place on the planet’ by National Geographic in 2016! This beautiful location is our base for three weeks of deep cultural immersion and experiential learning. Not only will you enjoy all of the great activities of regular summer camp, but you will also learn about Irish history and culture, visit awesome and extraordinary places on guided field trips, enjoy fun classes in Irish language, music and arts, and interact with teenagers from all over the globe on our international campus. You will engage in group workshops and service projects, visit Northern Ireland and some famous sites associated with civil rights and social justice, and you will be encouraged to use the unique experiences of Ireland to think about global issues such as our culture, environment, conflict resolution, sustainability and community. But you also get to try surfing, visit castles, make lots of new friends, climb mountains, speak Gaelic and have more fun than you can imagine.
Your journey will begin in New York, where you’ll meet the other members of your group before flying off to Dublin. Once you arrive, you’ll be welcomed at the airport by local staff and attend an orientation where you’ll learn some essentials about Irish culture. Prepare to be overwhelmed by Irish warmth and hospitality as you get to know your new community!
Your program is a packed and fun mix of group workshops, guided field trips, outdoor adventure activities and fun activities. We want you to learn about Irish history and culture and be able to apply it to your world, so we have excellent teachers to explain Ireland’s ancient history and its contemporary culture. Expect to learn about the Celts, St. Patrick, Vikings, Famine, Conflict and Peace, and expect to be pleasantly surprised at how much fun history is when you see it all around you. You’ll visit ancient tombs, castles, bogs, forests, cliffs – all awesome and inspiring. You will visit Northern Ireland, and the beautiful city of Derry, which was the home of the Irish Civil Rights Movement, modelled on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King. You will be encouraged to think about the transition from conflict to peace in Ireland, and how this model might work in other parts of the world.
As you’ll be on a campus that is five minutes from beautiful surf beaches, you will get to surf, paddle and swim, you’ll also hike and climb – nothing too intensive, all the activities are led by qualified outdoor instructors, and all at a beginner level. And each evening, you’ll be guided in a highly entertaining program of fun activities, sports, music, drama and games with other teens from Ireland, UK, Europe and beyond.
You’ll live in a dorm at the Adventure Campus in the surf town of Bundoran, in County Donegal. You can expect to share a room with other students- the dorms range from 2-bed rooms to 6-bed rooms. We have two buildings on campus, which include TV room, a games room, a full climbing and rappelling tower and ropes course, a surf & kayak school and outdoor sports area, a shop, and plenty of space. The campus is always supervised by adults, and there are plenty of friendly faces to help you get settled in. There are designated times to use the free Wi-Fi, and your parents can contact us or you anytime. You have four meals daily – breakfast and supper on campus, and lunch and dinner at local restaurants, and food is healthy and plentiful. There is no problem accommodating vegetarians, vegans and other diets.
You may be familiar with Ireland’s grassy hills and towering cliffs, but did you know that County Donegal is also a celebrated surfing destination? During your time in Ireland, you can take surfing lessons (beginners welcome!) or go kayaking in the scenic Lake Leitrim. All the equipment you need- wetsuits, bootees, lifejackets – is provided for you. Your instructors are all fully qualified and experienced – they work with us all year round, and they will gently help you become awesome. The scenery and location of your walks, hikes, surfs and paddles are just breath-taking. You won’t stop looking!
You and your group will also get to learn the traditional Irish sports of Gaelic football and hurling, you’ll try rugby, archery, foot-golf, and maybe you’ll be successful in teaching the Irish the rules of American football and baseball!
"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 feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.