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We could never express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude for the Irish Life Experience trip to Ireland our daughter, Emily, participated in this past summer. When we first learned about the program we knew that it would be a wonderful experience and opportunity for any young person, but considering Emily had barely any experience with such independence we weren’t certain that this was the right time in her life to pursue this trip. The thought of sending a child abroad alone for nearly four weeks in the care of a group of unknown people would make any parent hesitate. We continued researching and looking for other options that would be challenging and rewarding, but keep Emily closer to home. We even looked at a few other study abroad programs, but we kept finding ourselves going back to the Irish Life Experience. The more we looked at the pictures on Taryn’s website and Facebook page, it became obvious that the kids had an amazing time, and after reading the detailed information provided it became clear that the ILE could offer Emily the chance to have a truly unique and authentic experience. The ILE appeared to promote a less stressful and more well-rounded opportunity for Emily to join, interact and travel with a group of her peers in a well-supervised environment while being exposed to her Irish heritage by a group of enthusiastic and passionate counselors, guides, and teachers. The other programs that we researched seemed competitive, stressful, and scripted with the hidden agenda of primarily providing students with a means to “pad” their resumes for college applications.

We still can not believe that we took a “blind leap of faith” and sent our daughter on this trip. In the beginning things were challenging and difficult for our homesick daughter. Although we questioned whether or not we made the right decision we knew that Emily would have to persevere, because coming home early was not an option. This could have easily been the most miserable four weeks that turned out to be the biggest mistake that we as a family made, but Taryn and the ILE Counselors proved to be everything that we had hoped for. The safe, caring, and nurturing environment that they provided helped Emily become more relaxed and comfortable so that she could finally enjoy herself. This experience has given her so much more than she can even begin to realize. She has made some great life long friends who have helped her discover so much more about herself. The benefits of exploring the beautiful country of Ireland with a wonderful group of people will forever more be a positive part of Emily’s life that will help shape who she becomes as an adult. We can not thank Taryn and the Irish Life Experience enough for giving us the opportunity to give Emily this priceless gift.

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Ireland High School & College Trips To Ireland

Reviewed 09/24/14