Céad Mile Fáilte! Or as the old traditional greeting phrase reads in a language you might understand better: a hundred thousand welcomes! In Ireland you will surely be exposed to a lot of Gaeilge (sometimes slightly incorrectly referred to as as Gaelic or Irish), but English is the main language on this green island. And that is one of the reasons to why high school in Ireland is a great alternative to studies in England. You get the language, but with a twist.
High School Classic
High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in Ireland, from the country’s famously beautiful countryside to its equally interesting and exciting cities! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.
High School 2-in-1
Experience two new countries in one year! The new High School 2-in-1 programme gives you the unique opportunity to spend each semester of your high school exchange in a different country. You can learn an extra language, gain insight into yet another culture and make even more international friends.
STS High School Select gives you full control of your high school exchange. It allows you to choose the exact location and school you want to attend while studying in Ireland. We work with carefully selected schools in some of the country’s most spectacular locations, which offer high academic standards, superb learning environments and wonderful host families.
With the High School Select programme you get a tailor-made high school exchange that perfectly matches your profile and preferences. You tell us what is most important to you, and we’ll make sure you get the exact experience you’re looking for.
Below you can find a selection of schools we work with in Ireland. We’re confident you’ll find a school that suits you to perfection!
Order our free brochure!
Order our brochure now and read all about STS High School, our destinations and a very special period abroad that could be the adventure of your life!
Right now you will get the Christmas edition of our inspiring brochure, complete with printable STS Christmas cards!
Friendly and fun
Ireland consists of two countries. Apart from the Republic of Ireland, there is also Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. As an STS exchange student you will be based in the Republic, where Dublin is the capital. This green island is waiting for you with a proud culture brimful of traditional music, strange sports, charming people and a beautiful landscape.
Everything within easy reach. Arts and culture in Galway, unbelievable scenery on the Wild Atlantic Way, rolling hills, old castles and long sandy beaches. Something for everyone. On top of that, Ireland have twice won the title “The world’s friendliest country”. It’s safe, beautiful and welcoming, just waiting for you!
Population: 4 million Area: 70 280 km2 Capital city: Dublin Coastline: 2 797 km Longest river: Shannon (344 km) Currency: Euro Country code: +353
Irish high schools
The Irish school system has a very good reputation and the educational level is high. High school is called Secondary School and it’s divided into two parts: Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle. Most exchange students are placed in Senior Cycle, where you will study a mix of theoretical, practical and artistic subjects. English and maths are usually mandatory, the rest will be up to you!
If you’re into languages, you might want to study some Gaeilge. Within a few weeks you will be asking your friends ”cén chaoi a bhfuil tú?” instead of “how are you doing?”
When can I go?
There are three terms in the Irish school year – just like in England. The school year starts in September with autumn term, followed by spring and summer terms. You will attend the local high school in your host family’s area. In most schools, a school uniform is recommended and in some it’s even mandatory. Put on your uniform, bring your packed lunch and get ready for a great high school exchange.
Go n-éirí an bothar leat! In other words: may your journey be successful!
You’re heartily welcome!
Your Irish host family will do their best to make you feel at home on their beautiful island. Like the British, the Irish are known for their hospitality and sense of humour. The Irish way of speaking English can be a bit difficult at first, but you will soon get the hang of it. And probably start loving it!
Social life is important
Many of our host families live in the north-eastern part of the country, often a couple of hours from Dublin. Here, you will get a genuine Irish experience, getting to know the country and its culture from the inside.
In most families, weekends are important for social life. Music often plays a big part of life with family and friends. The Irish love to sing and dance. Don’t be surprised if more than one person at your place plays an instrument. Do you? Bring it with you and share your culture, your family will love it!
Who can go: 14–17 years on arrival
Departure month: January/September
Language requirements: Good English skills
Choice of destination: Yes. County Cork, County Tipperary, County Kerry, County Clare or County Limerick. Additional cost. City Choices are Cork, Killarney, and Limerick
Prep course: STS Welcome Camp included
School year: September–June
School day: Usually 09.00 – 15.45
Subjects: Compulsory and optional subjects. Prior knowledge required
Trips: Weekend in London. Additional cost
It is all about getting involved at the end of the day – and the days go by so quickly / Will Draper
The soundtrack of your year
As an exchange student in Ireland you will have a lot to do after school. Maybe something to do with typical Irish folk music? The tin whistle, fiddle and bodhran are sounds and rhythms you soon learn to recognise when passing a pub. It will become the soundtrack of your exchange year. Want to learn a new instrument? Give it a try!
Sports you know – and don’t know
When it’s time for some sports, why not try a traditional sport like hurling, gaelic football or camogie? Of course, everything isn’t unique for Ireland. There’s all the usual sports and modern music too. With the long coastline within easy reach you will have plenty of opportunities to go swimming, sailing or windsurfing. The green and hilly inland is perfect for hiking, biking or riding.
The Irish love their traditions and will be proud to show them to you. A worldwide favorite is St Patrick’s Day. Join your Irish friends when they wear all green, often including face paint, for a whole day and celebrate together.
We want you to have a year full of experiences. It’s good to forget homework for a while and do something fun. Follow us to London for a weekend! You will meet other STS students and together you will explore the metropolis! Your local contact person can give you more information about prices and travel dates.
STS Welcome Camp in Paris
Your exchange begins with our fun Welcome Camp in Paris! The Welcome Camp gives you the best possible start to your exchange, and is packed with sightseeing, seminars, new friends and lots of fun.
Ireland’s southwestern regions are famous for their stunning landscapes, delicious food and friendly inhabitants. If you’d like to call one of these fascinating counties home, let us know in your application.
Air fares to host family and back
Accommodation in an approved host family
Accommodation in an approved host family
School spot in a public high school
Personal assistance and contact person from home country and host country
STS Welcome Camp
Pre-departure orientation in your home country
Emergency support 24/7
Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
STS bag and t-shirt
STS Ambassador Club
These prices are for EU Passport holders, there will be additional fees for non-EU passport holders.
High School Classic
High School Select
Don’t forget to check out our Video Scholarship Challenge. Send us a video explaining why you would be a great exchange student and get the chance to receive a scholarship for your high school exchange. Find all information and instructions here
Yes, no matter where you go, we have a local representative at your location. It is the local area representative who works to approve our host families, have contact with schools and will be your supporter and advisor during your exchange year.
The easiest way to apply is to visit the page of your favourite destination and click the "Apply now" button. Your application is not binding, and you make your final decision once you have been accepted.