What is a gap year?
A gap year (also known as a working holiday) is year-long experience, usually taken immediately after graduating high school or college.
Note: We specialize in the latter, so if you’re on the lookout for something meaningful to do after undergrad, you’ve come to the right place.
For the parents in the room, don’t worry. A gap year isn’t an excuse to slack off. (Far from it!) In fact, it’s an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.
School is great and all, but there are… gaps… in the curriculum; there’s much to learn outside the confines of the classroom in order to lead a rich and fulfilling life.
Studies show that gap years can help young people in the post-college maturation process, preparing them for life in the “real world.” Living abroad, and the skills gained during that experience, can also set job applicants apart from the rest of the field.
And the good news? Nowadays, gap year opportunities are well established and plentiful. There’s something out there for people of various interests and personalities.
Travel is safer and more accessible than ever before. Programs are also well-equipped to provide support for participants, pre-departure and post-return.
While the gap year has become somewhat of a rite of passage—for those who are able—in countries like Ireland and the UK, it’s still considered an “alternative” path for North Americans to take.
That’s slowly changing in this day and age as more and more information people embark on journeys overseas.
Furthermore, gap year experiences no longer break the bank.
In fact, the Stint Ireland Gap Year Program is tied to the Irish working holiday authorisation visa, which allows the applicant to work and travel in Ireland for up to 12 months. (Available to citizens of the USA, Canada, and Australia; see eligibility rules here.)
Everyone has different reasons for embarking on a year abroad. Your motivations might be a combination of the following:
- Always wanted to live abroad.
- Yearn to travel and experience all the world has to offer.
- Interested in cultural immersion and exchange.
- Desire to meet new people.
- Motivated to learn more about yourself outside the context of your community.
A gap year is the perfect chance to tick any those things off the list.
What sets a gap year apart from other types of travel is that you get a chance to immerse yourself in a foreign country and earn money to support your stay and subsequent travels.
Our founder, Melanie, recalls her own experience abroad in South Africa…
I remember feeling a bit lost after graduation and under a lot of pressure to find a successful career fit without really knowing what I wanted to do. The decision to travel to Cape Town and find work there was one of the best decisions of my life. Far from delaying my career path, it really set me on my way. I think the opportunity to travel and work abroad is fantastic and can hugely help set you on your way, whatever way that may be!
If you love Ireland, our program is a no-brainer!
Is a working holiday gap year right for me?
Why choose Ireland for a gap year?
Why wouldn’t you want to come to Ireland?
Ireland might have the reputation of being a country with drop dead gorgeous scenery, quaint villages, and friendly people…
Well, yeah, it IS all of that.
The Emerald Isle is chock full of worthwhile natural and cultural destinations from the rolling green hills of the “Ancient East” to the windswept landscapes of the “Wild Atlantic Way” in the west of Ireland, along which you’ll find charming villages like Westport and small cities like Galway, the cultural heart of the country.
The world has discovered its charms—tourism is steadily on the rise.
Dublin, where you’ll be based, is a historic and cosmopolitan city that has something for everyone. A hub of creativity and innovation, you’ll find the latest trends in food, music, arts, tech, and more. Its central position on the east coast gives you easy access to all corners of the country.
If you hope to make trips to Europe as well, you’re in luck. Dublin is a major flight hub with direct flights to all the major destinations on the continent (and more)!
Of course, there’s also the practical to consider: Dublin has a vibrant job market with a wide range of work opportunities in industries from law and finance to marketing and graphic design.
A perk of taking a gap year through Stint Ireland?
We connect you with our employment partner before you arrive in Ireland so you can start networking to find the right opportunity for you.
We run a full-service program, guiding you from pre-arrival through to your return home.
No need to freak out wondering how to apply for your working holiday visa or where you’ll stay when you arrive.
Our staff will walk you through each step of the process, answering any questions or concerns you have along the way.
And, unlike most working holiday programs, we provide housing (with fellow Stinters!) when you arrive and help you get settled and comfortable in your new environment because we believe the security of having a roof over your head makes a difference.
Our goal is to put you in the best position possible to realize your perfect working holiday experience.
Click here for information about our dates, program specifics, pricing, and eligibility.
About Stint Ireland’s Gap Year Program
Interested in our program?
Sign up to our email list and we’ll send you more information about gap years in Ireland.
You have questions.
And, we’re happy to help!
Of course! Our gap year program lets you spend up to 12 months (or 24 months if you’re Canadian) on the working holiday visa living and working in Ireland, which allows you to fund your year abroad and travels.
Paid, casual work is easy to obtain once in Ireland, mostly in restaurants, bars, shops, or admin work. Professional work in select industries are also in demand at the moment.
It depends on the industry. Minimum wage is €9.80/hr. Most wages in the service and retail industries will start from there. Administrative work can range from €11-16/hr. Other professional industries will have competitive salaries depending on the job in question.
There are 10 countries in the world who’s governments have working holiday visa agreements with Ireland. We primarly work with individuals from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Each country has slightly different requirements and they can be found through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Of course if you hold an EU passport then you are also eligible.
- Guidance through your working holiday visa authorization process.
- Employment assistance through our partner Lex Consultancy, a locally based recruitment agency who works with Stint participants and is familiar with your specialized needs.
- Assistance with registering with immigration, public services, the tax office, as well as opening a bank account.
- 12-month medical and travel insurance (value of $455 USD)
- 8-week housing placement in one of our Stint Houses
- On-the-ground Program Support. (We’re based in Dublin!)
- Airport transfer from Dublin airport to your Stint accommodation.
- An orientation pack including a local travel card, care package, and swag.
- An orientation session including a tour of Dublin with one of our local partners.
- Resources and support sessions with our staff.
- Access to our Stint community including regular social events and trips.
- 24-hour emergency contact.