Transition Year Ireland

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Attending an Irish Secondary School during your Transition Year is an amazing opportunity to live and study in a country famously known for its friendliness and hospitality. With incredible unspoiled coastlines, picturesque villages and trails, remarkable gallery exhibitions, world-class food and drink and a rich culture and history, this programme is ideal for students who wish to fast track their fluency and experience a classroom in another country.  Irish people love to talk and conversation is one of our national pastimes, making it the ideal location for international students to make new friends through English and develop their confidence in speaking the language. Ireland is known for its cultural heritage and we are recognised all over the world for our songs, our dance and our music. Attending an Irish secondary school is an amazing opportunity for ambitious and highly motivated students and is an experience that will not be forgotten.


This exciting and rewarding programme gives you the opportunity to live and study alongside your   Irish classmates, making new friends and experiencing life as a typical Irish teenager. You can choose to attend either a day or boarding school and length of stays range from a term to a full academic year. At Tribe Study Abroad we don’t believe in a one size fits all approach and we are dedicated to offering a solution which is customised especially to your needs.


  • You are aged between 15 and 17.
  • You have studied English for a minimum of 2 years.
  • You are motivated to speak English and are willing to adapt to a new culture and environment.




We have a wide selection of day and boarding schools and the programme is available in a variety of locations throughout Ireland including Dublin, Meath, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Athlone etc.




State Day School

Tribe Study Abroad offers a broad range of state schools both in Dublin and outside of Dublin. State day schools are maintained by the state offering the official curriculum of the Irish Department of Education. State day schools are university-entrance orientated and have a broad range of subjects. The schools range from single-sex and co-educational, religious and non-religious. If you choose to enrol in a day school you will live with one of our carefully selected local host families. You will have breakfast and evening meal with your family and a packed lunch will be provided for school. Day schools are generally located within 20-30 minutes of your host family either on foot or by local transport.


Private Day and Boarding School

Private Day and Boarding schools are partly maintained by the State offering the official curriculum of the Irish Department of Education. These schools can have a prestigious reputation, excellent facilities, a wide choice of subjects, excellent sports facilities and a high percentage of school graduates to go on to attend university. Students who choose to attend boarding school have all their meals at school and are accommodated in dormitories which are shared with their fellow students. Many schools have small two or four bedded rooms with bathroom facilities. Boarding allows the students to take part in a range of sporting and recreational activities in a caring, supportive community comprised of fellow students, teachers and house parents. If you prefer a more structured environment then Boarding School may be a good choice for you. You can stay in the boarding school 5 days a week or 7 days a week. At the weekends and during school holidays you will stay with a dedicated host family and you will return to the same family each weekend for the duration of your stay.


Your host family

Your host family will be a home away from home while you are away. They will provide you with a friendly welcoming place to stay and they will also introduce you to Irish life, explain local customs and encourage you to practice your English. Our students often form strong bonds with their host family which continues long after they arrive home. All our host families are carefully screened and visited regularly by Tribe Study Abroad Accommodation Officer and many have been hosting students for a number of years. The host family will help you get your school uniform when you arrive and they will show you the way to school on the first day.

Application process

We understand that making the decision to attend a Secondary School abroad is not an easy one and we aim to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 1.

Students are invited to attend with a parent/guardian at our head office in Goatstown or to have an appointment via skype where we use the opportunity to answer any of your questions and explain the different options available to you.

Step 2.

The next step is to complete a detailed application form and also provide 2 recent school reports and a short paragraph in French introducing yourself to your new host family.

Step 3.

Our local partner applies to the school and also selects a carefully chosen host family who will be the right match for you based on your interests and personal profile.

Step 4.

Once the placement is confirmed we encourage our students to get in contact with their host family before they arrive either by email or skype – it’s a great way to start the ball rolling and you are less anxious about meeting up for the first time as the ice has already been broken.

Step 5.

Prior to travel, we arrange for you to have a pre-departure orientation either in our office in Dublin or by skype which includes an overview of the rules of the programme, health and safety along with tips and pointers on how to make the most of the experience.

Step 6.

You are then all set to begin your adventure!

Dates & Travel

We offer stays from a minimum of one term to a full academic year. In our experience students who stay longer benefit most and the longer the stay the greater the fluency and the more rewarding the experience.

In Ireland, schools have several mid-term breaks where they close for 1-2 weeks at a time. The school midterm breaks and holiday dates are as follows:

October midterm 2019: Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November

Christmas Holidays 2019: Friday 20th December – Monday 6th January 2020

February midterm 2020: Monday 17th February – Friday 21st February

Easter Holidays 2020: Friday 3rd April – Monday 20th April


What is included?

  • Individual placement in an established Irish Day or Boarding school.
  • All tuition fees.
  • Individually assigned guardian service offering support and assistance.
  • Local orientation on arrival.
  • Full board accommodation with selected host family or at weekends if in a 5 day boarding school.
  • School uniform (standard state school only).
  • Sourcing of teachers for optional extra tuition.
  • Enrolment and administration fees.
  • Monthly progress report.
  • Individually assigned local co-coordinator offering in-country support and assistance.
  • 24-hour emergency phone contact.
  • Airport greeting and transfer from final destination airport or train station to host family.
  • Pre-departure orientation in our office or on Skype prior to programme commencement
  • Advice, assistance and support from the time you contact us to the end of the stay.
  • End of programme certificate.

Not included

  • International air fares or train fares.
  • Insurances- Medical and Travel.
  • Daily transportation to/from school.
  • Personal expenses and extra-curricular expenses.

The Tribe Difference

With so many organisations offering Transition Year Abroad programmes, you may wonder why you should choose Tribe Study Abroad.
We can think of many reasons… but here a just a few:

Guardianship & Support

All high school students have a dedicated guardian. This is a Tribe Study Abroad representative who helps the student settle in and is available throughout the programme 24 hours a day for the student if needed. We take the responsibility very seriously and our guardians are highly experienced in dealing with students and are known by all our participating schools. We recognise how important it is for parents to have a clear link with their children at all times. We carefully monitor the student’s academic progress and welfare and we make it our business where possible to be there for the student at all the important moments in their school timetable including parent-teacher meetings. We follow up with a full report on the student’s welfare and academic progress is supplied.


Accreditations don’t tell you everything, but they can reassure you that the company you are dealing with adheres to the highest professional standards. Our partner in Ireland, LLI, is fully accredited by the Irish Department of Education and Science.


We are an established Irish-owned company with over 25 years of experience offering language travel programmes. We regularly deliver workshops on language learning and are dedicated to helping our students achieves their goals. We take our role as being part of the educational process seriously and we understand the importance of providing a rich, rewarding and safe experience for every student.  But don’t just take our word for it – we will happily put you in touch with former students or parents of former students for a recommendation and we welcome the opportunity to discuss further any questions you may have either in person, by email or Skype.


What will my school day be like?

School days generally start at 8.45am between finish 4pm-4.30pm.Lunch will be prepared by the host family in the morning and given to the student to eat during their lunch break in school . Some Homestay students may go home for lunch depending on where the school is in relation to their host family. Students may have a half day on Wednesday and finish early on a Friday.

What subjects will I study?

As Transition Year is an optional year in Irish secondary schools, it does not conform to the same curriculum as other years where typical subjects such as English, Irish, Maths, Sciences, History, Geography and languages are studied. In your Transition Year you will still have classes such as Maths or languages, however this is a year that acts as a bridge between the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert programmes and gives students the opportunity to take on new modules, become active in the community through community service and gain work experience. Each school has a different Transition Year programme and so the classes that you might have in your school may be different to what your friend attending another school might have.

All classes are taught through English and students typically get used very quickly to what is going on in the class as their ear adapts to the language and their confidence and fluency increases.

Can I request a particular city or region?

Yes. We aim to confirm a placement in one of your top 2 regional preferences.

How are host families selected?

Host families undergo a thorough selection process and our carefully screened by our partner Agency and the Local Co-ordinator. All host families are required to complete a detailed application form following which they have a home interview and their references are checked. Many host families have been hosting for a number of years and continue to keep in touch with their students many years after they return home.

When will I find out about my school and host family?

Sometimes placements can be confirmed quite quickly and if so you will receive all the details by emails as soon as the school and host family profiles are ready.  The most important thing is to find the right match and this can sometimes take more time but you will have the details at the latest 4 weeks prior to departure provided you have applied 3 months in advance of your departure. For applications received less than 3  months prior to departure the placement details may not be available until close to your departure.

Places in schools are limited so we recommend the application process is started as soon as possible so as to not disappoint. The usual timeframe to confirm a placement is 3 months and applications received outside this timeframe application are subject to a late application fee of €100.

Will the host family have a child the same age as me in their family?

Not necessarily. We don’t guarantee that there will be someone the same age as you in the family, and in our experience even if this is the case it doesn’t automatically mean that you will have a lot in common with them or that you will automatically be friends.  There is no such thing as a typical host family and just like your own family; they vary in size and composition with either younger children, teenagers or older children. The most important thing is that they are warm and welcoming and they want to share their culture and family life with you.  You will be spending most of the day with teenagers your own age at school and that is where you will make friends and develop a social life outside of school as well

Can I find out how other students got on?

Absolutely! Check out our Student Blogs or contact us and we would be happy to connect you with a former student who can fill you in on how they got on and answer any of your questions.

How can I have access to money while I am abroad?

The simplest thing is to arrange to bring an ATM debit card. Most are accepted at ATM machines and it is the easiest way to access money.

How will I get to school?

Your host family will help you get to school on the first day and show you the way until you are comfortable with the route. Day school students usually live within 15-20 minutes of their school either on foot or with local transport. Boarding school students usually live within 20 – 45 minutes of their school, and return to their host family on Friday afternoon and come back to school on Monday morning either with the host family or on public transport.

What kind of support will I receive while I am away?

There are a whole team of people who will be working hard to make sure your time abroad is successful and that you have a wonderful experience. This includes

The Local Co-ordinator who lives in the same area and provides support and supervision for the duration of your stay. The Local Co-ordinator will meet you after the first few days to see how you are settling in and will help you with sourcing extra French lessons.

Your host family who are on the ground and will help you if you want to join a local sports club or advise you on things to do at the weekend. You can also contact us in Tribe at any time as we have a 24/7 support line in case of an emergency or if you need anything and you can also contact your local co-coordinator at any time as well.

Should I take out extra Insurance?

Students are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure and supply evidence of same to Tribe Study Abroad. Students should also ensure they have their European Health Insurance card with them and provide a copy of the details to Tribe.

When are fees due?

Booking Deposit €500 with Application

Balance of Fees 4 weeks prior to departure.

What is the Cancellation and refund policy?

Cancellation by Client

  • €500 booking deposit – non-refundable
  • 50% Programme Fee 30 days prior to departure
  • 100% Programme  Fee – 15 days prior to departure.
  • There will be no refund after Programme Departure Date.

Please refer to our Terms of Business for more information.

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