Student Exchange Programs in Ireland

Experience true Irish culture

Let your student exchange program to Ireland deliver you to a world of ancient history, scenic wonders, and amazingly warm hospitality

Experience high school life in the charming country of Ireland as an exchange student. “The Green Isle”, as Ireland often is referred to, attracts students who want a quality education as well as true insight into the Irish culture.

As an exchange student in Ireland, you will experience a fascinating country with traditional music and beautiful scenery. Despite the small size, there are plenty of things to discover in Ireland. From crazy celebrations on St. Patrick’s Day, calm landscapes with loads of sheep and horses, to traditional Irish festivals and events in the summer.

Quick facts

Age of students: 15–17 years

Departure: August or January

Visa: Yes, limitations to program lengths may apply unless travelling on an EU visa

Area request: Yes

Soft Landing Camp: Yes, in Dublin

School day: Normally from 8.45 to 15.45

Subjects: There are both compulsory subjects and electives

Program: Classic High School

Views from Ireland

Girl in a green helmet

Our Student Exchange programs

In Ireland, we offer Classic High School program. Read more about Classic High School programs in Ireland.

Program options in Ireland

Do you want to study in Dublin or Cork? Do you have a special sport request? Your exchange – your choice!  

With Southern Cross Cultural Exchange, you have the opportunity to choose where you want to spend your exchange program in Ireland. We also have a Sport Choice if you prefer. Check out our areas and secure your spot today

Get the experience of a lifetime

Travel on a student exchange program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. Book a free call or download our high school guide! 

About high school in Ireland

As an exchange student in Ireland, you will experience Irish high school life. The education system has a strong reputation and attracts a large number of foreign students every year. As an exchange student, you will most likely be enrolled in a Transition Year.

Transition Year

The Transition Year is the first year of the “Senior Cycle” in Irish high schools. This year is usually not as demanding as the other years, which suits exchange students well. Since the classes are not too demanding, it leaves time for discovery and extracurricular activities.

Enquire now

Your spare time in Ireland

This depends on the location of your host family home on exchange. You may, enjoy live games of hurling in the bustling city of Limerick, visit the beautiful lakes of Killarney or watch the big wave surfers in Mullaghmore. One thing that is certain is that you will have lots to do and discover as an exchange student here.

Sports & music

The Irish high schools usually do not offer any extra-curricular activities such as sports. If you play a sport, we highly recommend you contact local sports clubs on arrival. Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is huge in Ireland, where hurling and Gaelic football are the two dominant sports. Why not contact your local GAA club to try it? It is a fantastic way to immerse into the Irish culture and to meet the locals.

Art and music are usually classes you can take in school. Playing an instrument is common among the Irish youths and students are encouraged to join in. If you do not play any instruments, take the opportunity to learn how to play, for instance, piano, violin or bodhrán, an Irish frame drum.

Enquire now

Staying with an Irish host family

In Ireland, the family is a huge part of the culture. Your host family will not see you as a guest, but as a part of their family. When staying with an Irish family, you will experience the Irish culture and the family life up close. The families here are often large and love spending time together. Make sure you join all your host family’s different activities, especially at the beginning of your exchange. They highly appreciate you showing interest in them and their way of life.

You and your host family will also get to know each other over several Irish stews and boxties, which are typical Irish potato pancakes. You will also experience Irish holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or “Lá Fhéile Pádraig” as it is called in Irish. It is a unique holiday and celebration you will never forget.

Howya! Tá Gaeilge agat?

Your host family in Ireland will speak English, but a large part of the population speaks Irish as well. Some good Irish words to know are “howya” (hello), “tá Gaeilge agat?” (do you speak Irish?),”sláinte” (cheers), “the jacks” (toilet), and “gas” (funny)”.

Learn about host families

About high school in Ireland

As an exchange student in Ireland, you will experience Irish high school life. The education system has a strong reputation and attracts a large number of foreign students every year. As an exchange student, you will most likely be enrolled in a Transition Year.

Transition Year

The Transition Year is the first year of the “Senior Cycle” in Irish high schools. This year is usually not as demanding as the other years, which suits exchange students well. Since the classes are not too demanding, it leaves time for discovery and extracurricular activities.

Enquire now
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Your spare time in Ireland

This depends on the location of your host family home on exchange. You may, enjoy live games of hurling in the bustling city of Limerick, visit the beautiful lakes of Killarney or watch the big wave surfers in Mullaghmore. One thing that is certain is that you will have lots to do and discover as an exchange student here.

Sports & music

The Irish high schools usually do not offer any extra-curricular activities such as sports. If you play a sport, we highly recommend you contact local sports clubs on arrival. Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is huge in Ireland, where hurling and Gaelic football are the two dominant sports. Why not contact your local GAA club to try it? It is a fantastic way to immerse into the Irish culture and to meet the locals.

Art and music are usually classes you can take in school. Playing an instrument is common among the Irish youths and students are encouraged to join in. If you do not play any instruments, take the opportunity to learn how to play, for instance, piano, violin or bodhrán, an Irish frame drum.

Enquire now
banner-img

Staying with an Irish host family

In Ireland, the family is a huge part of the culture. Your host family will not see you as a guest, but as a part of their family. When staying with an Irish family, you will experience the Irish culture and the family life up close. The families here are often large and love spending time together. Make sure you join all your host family’s different activities, especially at the beginning of your exchange. They highly appreciate you showing interest in them and their way of life.

You and your host family will also get to know each other over several Irish stews and boxties, which are typical Irish potato pancakes. You will also experience Irish holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or “Lá Fhéile Pádraig” as it is called in Irish. It is a unique holiday and celebration you will never forget.

Howya! Tá Gaeilge agat?

Your host family in Ireland will speak English, but a large part of the population speaks Irish as well. Some good Irish words to know are “howya” (hello), “tá Gaeilge agat?” (do you speak Irish?),”sláinte” (cheers), “the jacks” (toilet), and “gas” (funny)”.

Learn about host families
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Four exchange students in Ireland

Soft Landing Camp in Dublin

Our popular Soft Landing Camp in the beautiful Irish capital of Dublin is an optional extra for long program students. We stay in Dublin for three nights, and you will meet other exchange students from around the world.

Soft Landing Camp is only available for students starting in August.

Hear from former exchange students in Ireland

Borghild

“One of the best things about being on exchange is that you get to experience, do and see things that you otherwise might not have had the opportunity, money or even desire to do. This is how you get to know your host country, meet other people and challenge yourself.”

– Borghild in Monaghan

Oline

“Be yourself and be forward. You have to take the initiative in the beginning, and it can be difficult. But it gets easier and easier and if you are good at taking initiative, they start inviting you to things too. Join extracurricular activities, clubs or sports. They may not offer something you already know, but it’s always fun to learn new things.”
– Oline in Virginia

Enquire now

The best way to prepare for your exchange program is to join an Information Session Webinar.
Please click here to register and then complete your details below and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

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