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I stumbled upon the Irish Life Experience website by accident and knew at once it was perfect for me: A chance to spend a month in my favorite country in the world learning about things I was deeply interested in! A few months later the adventure began and I realized that my very high expectations did not even come close! The country was as beautiful as I remembered, the classes and tours as interesting as I had hoped. But I hadn’t bargained for the people. ILE’ers and locals alike, this trip was populated with some of the nicest, most interesting people I have ever met! In the course of a month, I became as close to these people as to most of my friends back home.

This program is aptly named: The Irish Life Experience, because it was, for me, the experience of a lifetime in Ireland! It made me consider my life and how Ireland as a place would feature into it (Very prominently if I have anything to say about it!)! Through this trip, I explored the deep love of Ireland and Irish culture that I had formed on my last visit. Ireland now feels as much or more like home than Seattle-where I actually live!

If you love travelling, exploring other cultures, meeting wonderful people and just generally having a blast, I can not recommend the ILE strongly enough! One word of warning: Prepare for serious withdrawal when you leave. I already can’t wait to go back to Ireland!

This little blurb cannot even begin to express how grateful I am to have been allowed to experience the magic that is the ILE!

-Raizel (Prunes) B.-Seattle, WA-Student 2011

When Raizel discovered the ILE website, it seemed too good to be true. Exploring the language, culture, history, literature and natural beauty of Ireland as well as connecting with her own cultural heritage-what could be better? Then my “mother” concerns kicked in. Would she be happy? What would the group experience be? Who were the teachers and counselors? What do I really know about this program? I started with a long email of concern to Taryn. Within hours, Taryn responded with such a thoughtful, thorough, articulate and kind response that I had to work hard to maintain my skepticism. Taryn was organized, informative, and managed to convey her deep love of her work: to provide a rich and transformational experience for teens. A few emails later, my only remaining concern was what Raizel’s experience would be. While Raizel was away, I visited Taryn’s blog regularly. I enjoyed the detailed updates cataloging their adventure. I studied the photos looking for signs of strain or distress. In photo after photo, I saw true and complete joy in my daughter’s face. Early on, I relaxed and simply enjoyed my daughter’s happiness and my own vicarious pleasure in their grand adventure. My heartfelt thanks go to the entire ILE team who gave their all to the kids in their care and who provided an extraordinary experience of Irish life.

-Michelle F., Seattle, WA-Mother of Raizel (Prunes) 2011

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Ireland High School & College Trips To Ireland

Reviewed 09/30/11