Are you interested in learning about a culture that inspired tales of leprechauns with pots of gold under rainbows and lucky four-leaf clovers?  If it’s luck you’re looking for, then Ireland is definitely the country for you! In just a matter of months you could be living the life of an Irish teenager as you study in Ireland on your AFS student exchange program!

Ireland has always had a strong connection with Australia. In fact, large numbers of convicts that arrived here around the time of European settlement were Irish! Things have changed a bit since then, however, the Irish have had to fight hard for their typically green, hilly homeland, making it a source of great pride for all Irish men and women. Nowadays, Ireland is heavily involved in the development of the European Union and the Irish are known for their hospitality and openness, making it an ideal location for your exchange. Personal relations in Ireland are pretty informal, a lot like here in Australia, as apposed to other northern European countries.  Foreigners should be prepared to be the object of curiosity, especially in rural country areas!

The Irish tend to be quite laid back when it comes to time.  If you were to ask when the busses cam in a rural district in Ireland, you shouldn’t be too surprised to receive the answer “oh every so often with a few gaps in between”.  It is this laid back nature that helps make Ireland an attractive location for Australian students to study in.


The schooling day in Ireland runs from 9.00am to 4.00pm. On Wednesdays, school  typically finishes at 1.00pm and students have the afternoons to themselves. Afternoons are dedicated to sports in most Irish schools. Subjects include Irish, English, mathematics, science, a European language and a subject from either the social, political or environmental stream. The majority of schools are single-sex schools with obligatory school uniforms


Both Irish and English are the official languages of Ireland, with English being the predominant first language. Irish is spoken as a first language by a small minority of the population of Ireland, however many can speak Irish as a second language.


The climate in Ireland can be described as mild and humid.  The warmest months are from May to mid-September, with temperatures usually remaining between 15°C to 20°C.  The days in winter can be drizzly, cold and are shorter, with the sun setting around 4pm.

Depending on daylight saving, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are between nine to 10 hours ahead of Ireland.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to you home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.


The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) program will support your intercultural learning experience. This state-of-the-art program prepares you to successfully navigate new cultural environments—during your AFSNext experience and long after you finish the program. Online intercultural learning modules combined with in-person sessions help you develop practical and global skills, knowledge and attitudes that employers need and mission-driven organizations believe will help achieve their social impact goals. You will receive your certification upon completion of the training program.

Explore the Programs Available in Ireland