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On a rainy summer’s night in Boston, I boarded a plane alongside thirty other teenagers whom I had never met, and embarked on what would become four of the greatest weeks in my life. As an Irish Life Experience participant, I spent twenty-five days in various parts of Ireland, taking classes about Irish history and culture, and visiting some of the country’s most scenic areas. My older brother went in 2012, and called it “the best experience of his life.” I had been interested in going ever since then, but I always kept pushing it off. I finally decided enough was enough, and I applied to join the ILE family!

That decision was honestly one of the smartest things I had ever done. Everyone involved in the trip truly cares about you. I thought that the ILE Staff would be these terrifying authority figures. Instead, they were the best part of the trip! The Counselors always went above and beyond to make this trip great, and were some of the most fun people I have ever met. Taryn is hilarious, but she will always take care of you, and help with any problem you might have. Angie is the sweetest person alive, and the greatest storyteller you will ever meet. The other ILE students are some of the best people you’ll have the privilege of knowing. You really do make a new family when you are there, and the people I met are already some of my closest friends.

Everyday was an amazing experience. The counselors made our classes so much fun! Whether it was Gaelic twister or Irish Jeopardy, every teacher made their class as interesting as possible. Classes didn’t take up all the day though, and they made sure to give us plenty of free time in the cities we were in. I recommend going to a cafe with your new friends and go people watching! Most days we didn’t have classes, and those were the days we would do our excursions. You’ll make awesome friends on those long bus rides, and maybe even sing a few One Direction songs with Angie! You will see so many amazing things, from Air Shows at Tramore beach to the amazing dancers at Riverdance to the intense Gaelic football matches at Croke Park-not a single day will bore you. My grandma grew up right near the Cliffs of Moher, so visiting County Clare was a really important moment for me. Everyday you experience a once in a lifetime opportunity, and make memories that will stay with you forever.

Day after day, I had a moment that made me remember “Oh my God, I’m in Ireland!” It might have been something huge, like standing at the top of Blarney Castle, or something as basic as driving on the left side of the road. You never really get over the excitement of being where you are. Joining the Irish Life Experience was truly the best decision of my life and I will cherish every moment I spent in Ireland. I am counting down the days until I can become an ILE Counselor!

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Ireland High School & College Trips To Ireland


Reviewed 08/26/15