Our daughter, Catherine, a junior in high school was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the 2011 ILE Program.
If you are considering the ILE for your child, don’t hesitate-it is a fabulous experience. It is far beyond any standard tour and learn program. In addition to traditional tourist fare which you might expect (Yes, they did kiss the Blarney Stone.), the ILE offered the opportunity to experience Irish life and culture in a way which would never occur on tourist trips-a trip to a local hurling contest and an opportunity to meet an artisan who hand crafts hurleys; attendance at a Gaelic football match in Croke Park, and a chance to cheer for Dublin and wear Dublin colors; a street parade/festival and dancing in the streets in Galway and bicycling in the solitude of the Aran Islands; an opportunity not only to hear traditional Irish music, but to sit with the musicians and to learn about their music, their instruments and their lives. The classroom sessions were perfect-enough to learn about Irish history, literature, art and language, but not so much as to seem like work. The counselors were fabulous-personable and kind-and they made great efforts to foster a group spirit, including a scavenger hunt through the streets of Waterford town. From a parental point of view, I always felt that Catherine was safe and supervised, yet had enough freedom to experience Ireland and its people on her own (Or with one or two friends.) as well.
The ILE helps Irish-American students experience, feel and understand the significance of their Irish roots in a way which reading, courses, trips with parents etc. could never accomplish. If that is something that your family deems important (We surely do) we strongly recommend the ILE.
-Kevin W.-New York, NY-Father of Catherine 2011Share It!
Ireland High School & College Trips To Ireland