Live with an Irish family, study at a local school, and revel in a unique cultural wonderland.
Get ready for an authentic Irish educational experience, complete with a traditional school uniform. At a local boys’ or girls’ high school, you’ll study alongside Irish peers and choose from a wide variety of courses, all taught in English. What will you do on weekends? Catch the latest movie on a rainy day in Dublin. Surf at Lahinch Beach, a rugged beach near the Cliffs of Moher. Visit the Ring of Kerry, a peninsula in southern Ireland. These are just a few of the things students do with their host families, CIEE friends, and other international students.
Upon arriving in Ireland, you will be greeted by your host family. Within a few days of settling in, you will meet with your Local Coordinator, who, along with your host family, will be your primary support in Ireland. Your Local Coordinator will arrange an orientation — for you and any other students placed in your area — within the first few weeks of the program. During orientation, you and the others will participate in different workshops focusing on a variety of themes — culture, academics, social norms, current events — all designed to best prepare you for your experience in Ireland. Additionally, you’ll likely take part in some fun activities and enjoy a nice meal!
“Being in Ireland made me appreciate home, and being back home has made me appreciate my time abroad even more. When I think back on my time abroad, every image in my mind is as clear as if I were still there. I brought a bit of Ireland back with me. My school jumper is hanging up in my closet (and I can’t wait for winter to come, so I can wear it again!), cards and little notes from my friends are scattered around my room, and pictures hang everywhere, always making my day a bit brighter.”
–Lauren B., CIEE High School Abroad Alumna
Rolling hills, bustling cities, and historic sites make the Emerald Isle an unforgettable learning environment.
Discover the majesty and rich culture of the Emerald Isle.
With CIEE, you’ll have the unique opportunity to experience Ireland as its own people do. Give Gaelic football a try with your classmates after school, or meet up with friends at the local pub on a Saturday afternoon for traditional Irish stew and soda bread. Join your host family for a scenic drive, or hike through the countryside on a crisp fall afternoon.
From sleepy Louisburgh, nestled at the foot of Croagh Patrick, to charming Ballylickey in the heart of magnificent Bantry Bay, Ireland offers an idyllic setting for a high school study abroad program. Through classes at a local high school, extracurricular activities, and living with a host family, you’ll immerse yourself completely in Irish culture and discover what it’s like to step outside of your comfort zone and make the world your classroom.
“I currently reside in the beautiful town of Ennis, Ireland. Although it seems very vast at first, it is a small place. There are beautiful buildings of bright colors and string lights that line up in rows along the streets’ edges. Rain or shine, the sidewalks are always full of people. It’s a very busy and alluring place with lots of liveliness.”
–Kalli B., CIEE High School Abroad Participant
You will receive an official record of classes and grades from your local school in Ireland. Credit transfer will vary from school to school, country to country, so please consult with your U.S. school guidance counselor.
After immersing yourself in unfamiliar practices and customs, you’ll become better equipped to interact with people from other cultures — in school, on the job, or in your personal life. In today’s interconnected global economy, intercultural skills have never been more important.
94% of participants said their intercultural understanding and knowledge improved as a result of their participation in the CIEE High School Abroad program, while 93% said their experience made them more aware of global issues.
“Ireland is my home now — will always be. When you leave, a part of you gets left behind, like a remembrance. I love Ireland, I love the people, I love the culture, and I love who I have become because of my experience. I have met so many life-changing people who will never leave my memory. This journey was about finding who you are and what kind of person you are.”
– Catherine S., CIEE High School Abroad Alumna
Independence & Resilience
Come home better prepared to make transitions, take control of new situations, and appreciate challenging experiences for what they are: opportunities to learn and grow.
90% of participants said their level of independence increased as a result of their participation in the CIEE High School Abroad program.
“My entire definition of ‘home’ had changed. ‘Home is where the heart is’— and at that time, my heart was in Ireland.”
– Lauren B., CIEE High School Abroad Alumna
Studying abroad gives you the kinds of life skills that can’t be learned in a classroom — and shows college admissions reps that you’re already one step ahead in terms of initiative, maturity, and independence.
79% of participants said their experience with CIEE helped shape their college applications.
“I learned things that aren’t taught in schools: what is really important to me, what I want out of life, and how to be more open-minded and confident.”
– Sophie R., CIEE High School Abroad Alumna
Passion & Direction
Upon return, you’ll likely have a better sense of what you want to study in college or even pursue as a career.
86% of participants felt their experience with CIEE impacted their educational or career pursuits and goals, while 96% of participants said they regularly use the knowledge and skills they acquired while abroad with CIEE.
“Everyone is shocked to hear that I studied abroad when I was 15 years old. I’m shocked myself — yet, quite frankly, I’m shocked that it isn’t more common to study abroad in high school. CIEE gave me an opportunity that most people have never heard of. The program transformed me into the person I am today, with impeccable people skills and the ability to adapt to any environment. I owe a huge thanks to the CIEE program. I am proud to be a CIEE alumnus!”
- Alex A., CIEE High School Abroad Alumnus
Sample Activities & Excursions
Explore rolling hills, medieval castles, and historic sites you’ll always remember.
The land of Shaw, Swift, Joyce, Lewis, and Yeats beckons. Ireland’s rolling green hills are dotted with cozy tearooms and medieval castles. Yet cities are equally known for their tech and pop music scenes. Irish history comes alive during excursions to museums, cathedrals, galleries, and historic sites in and around Dublin. Farther afield, you might travel to Achill Island, Connemara, and Galway in the West of Ireland, or journey to Northern Ireland to tour Belfast. You’ll have a whole year or semester to discover the country — on your own, with new CIEE friends, and with your host family.
CIEE students have made the most of their time in Ireland with a variety of adventures, like visting the Galway Christmas Market, the Dromoland Castle, and the shops of Limerick. Where will your wanderlust take you?
Meet the Staff
Nina’s passion for international education stems from her own experience living with a host family and attending a local high school in a small town outside of Avignon, France during her sophomore year of high school.
Upon her return to the U.S. with refreshed perspectives and yearning for cross-cultural exploration, Nina continued to pursue her interest in the French language and immersive experiences.
As a French & Francophone studies major in college, she spent a semester studying and living in Nantes, France, and a semester in Rabat, Morocco, on a CIEE-led program. She is thrilled to help facilitate short and long term study abroad programs for high school students with the hope that their experiences are as transformative and inspiring as hers was.
Rachel has been committed to supporting study abroad since high school, when she traveled through Europe on a cultural exchange program. Returning home with a greater understanding of her world, she sought out opportunities to see new cultures. Through studying in the South of France, living and working in Paris, and traveling to over 25 countries, Rachel has seen firsthand the power of immersive study.
Since then, she has been helping American and international students experience the transformative opportunities study abroad can bring. She is excited to help high school students and their families have a great experience studying with CIEE!