Quest Exchange in Ireland

Ireland (or Éire in Gaelic) is an island located just west of Great Britain. The island is politically divided between two countries: the Republic of Ireland (which covers most of the island) and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. World-renowned for the friendliness and hospitality of its people, Ireland has a long and rich heritage that has developed over thousands of years. This long history has led the island with many interesting sites, including Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and Malahide Castle.


Few places in the world have such proof of their long history as Ireland! Everywhere you look you’ll see old castles, forts, monuments and ruins, some even older than the pyramids in Egypt. The Atlantic Ocean’s powerful waves have excavated secret caves and high cliffs, leaving a magnificent coastline with extensive sandy beaches. The strong winds of the Atlantic and the warm water of the Gulf current influence the climate, making it temperate.


Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, lies on Dublin Bay and overlooks the Irish Sea that divides Ireland and Great Britain. The city of Dublin ranks among the top tourist destinations in Europe and has an abundance of tourist attractions. Other interesting places to visit in the Republic of Ireland include Cork, Derry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway and Waterford – famous for its glass-making industry. The Irish culture has taken thousands of years to develop. Irish music and dancing are central aspects of their cultural identity. The bodhrán, which is similar to a hand-held drum, is one of the most popular instruments in Irish music, along with the fiddle and the tin whistle. Irish dancing is fiercely competitive and taken very seriously with provincial, national and international championships.

Gaelic football and hurling are the national sports of Ireland. Gaelic football is a mixture of soccer and rugby unique to Ireland. Hurling can be described as Gaelic football played with sticks and a smaller ball. These sports have played an important role in maintaining Irish culture over many years.

Program Dates


Late Aug – Mid June


Late Aug – Mid Dec
Mid Jan – Early June


Students in this program are placed in private schools in Dublin. Students have the option to select from several schools in the Dublin area for additional tuition fees. All students follow the Irish government program for the Leaving Certificate.

In Ireland students can participate in the ‘Transition Year’ before starting their studies for the Leaving Certificate. The Transition Year is a one-year vocational program without state exams. Students study some academic core subjects and one or two optional subjects. In addition, the students take short courses in different vocational subjects (e.g. drama, horticulture, motor vehicle maintenance). This option is available for an additional Transition Year fee.

The school year is divided into three terms: the first from the beginning of September until the winter holidays, the second from the beginning of January until Easter, and the third from the end of Easter until the beginning of June. The school day usually starts at 9:00am and finishes around 3:45pm. Students typically bring a packed lunch to school.


Placements are in the capital city of Dublin.

Program Extras & Requirements


Uniforms and books at school are all included in the Ireland program!

Students going to Ireland also have the opportunity to engage in limited independent student travel (with necessary permissions).


Students from EU and EEA countries do not require an entry visa for Ireland. Many countries outside the EEA are ‘visa waiver’ countries (for example U.S., Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Korea, Japan and Taiwan) and have special agreements with the Irish government and as such do not require a visa to enter Ireland but need to register after arrival. Students from visa waiver countries travel directly to Ireland but go through immigration after arrival. Students from countries requiring a visa will need to apply for a student visa at an Irish Embassy or Consulate in their home country before travel.

Ireland FAQs

Will students have access to Internet/WiFi at their home and school?

Yes, students will most likely have access to the Internet/WiFi at home and school. Most families have high-speed wireless internet access, but some have limited data that they can use each month.

Can students bring their own cell phones?

Yes, if a student has an unlocked cell phone, they can use their personal phone with a Irish carrier/SIM card. Students can also purchase an Irish mobile phone and can purchase reasonably priced “pay & talk” plans with any local cell phone provider.

Will student have a local coordinator and is there an emergency number students can call?

Yes, there is a local coordinator and regional office that will be available in case of emergency.

Can students travel without an adult chaperone, if given permission?

Students cannot travel outside of the host area without adult supervision. Travel outside of the host area with adult supervision is authorized if approved by the natural parents, host family, local partner office, and Quest.

How much money should students have for spending money?

If you are from a country outside of the EEA, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, you will be required to open a bank account in Ireland and place the sum of €3000 (for 6 months – 8 months) or €500 per month for shorter courses. You will also be required to pay a fee of €300 to register with immigration upon arrival.

What are some cultural norms that describe a typical host family in Ireland?

Irish families are diverse, so family expectations, interactions and activities vary widely. Some families may afford the student a great deal of independence, while others may expect the student to participate more extensively in family life. Some families may be very active or outdoorsy, while others may prefer to relax at home. Thus, students must be open-minded and ready to adapt to their new host family dynamics.

How are host families screened and selected?

Quest’s in-country partner is responsible for locating, screening and matching host families with our students. Host families go through a careful screening process, which typically involves in-person interviews, home inspections and references.

What is the Visa application process and how long does the process normally take?

If you are staying in Ireland for longer than 90 days, you will need a student visa. Ask a Quest representative for a visa guide if you don’t have one already. The process can take anywhere between a couple days to a couple weeks.

How will the student get to and from school? Are there any associated costs?

Most students are within walking distance. If the student lives in a larger area, like a city, public transportation (bus, subway, train) may be needed. This transportation cost would be in addition to the program fee.

Is there a possibility for students to get tutors during their program? If yes, how much would such a tutor typically cost per week or month?

Yes, students can get special tutors, if necessary. The cost for this service would be determined on a case-by-case basis as it depends on the subject area and duration of the tutoring. Tutoring fees would be an additional cost on top of Quest program fees.

Can students receive an official document from their host school with grades and completed classes after finishing their program and what are requirements for being able to get this certification?

Yes, students will receive a final school report with the subject and associated assessment listed. But, students must complete all school assignments and take all exams in order to receive this. They must also communicate with school officials about their desire to receive this documentation. Students must be proactive about this, as obtaining this documentation is their responsibility before they leave Ireland.

Application Deadline
  • March 31st
Programs Available
  • Academic Year
  • Semester Abroad
  • Spanish Immersion

Quest International, a nonprofit organization, promoting international cultural awareness and compassion by providing educational programs for American and International students to live and learn together.