At first glance, the Ancestral Ireland is covered with lush landscapes and idyllic villages. But this land also keeps innumerable secrets. Just ask the locals and the stories will come alive…

Joyce, Beckett, Binchy, Wilde … for such a small island, Ireland’s contribution to world literature is amazing. Its novelists, poets and playwrights have been recognized as pioneers who created genres and that account for at least four Nobel prizes

In Ireland, sport is passion. This may explain how such a small island can have such an impact on the world of sports. Its athletic champions have given the island many gold medals. Its golfers have captained the European team of the Ryder Cup. In 2015, they won the Six Nations Rugby Tournament. The Gaelic games are the amateur sports of Ireland, but there is nothing ‘amateur’ in the way they are played! Every September tens of thousands of fans, dressed in their national colours, make the pilgrimage to Croke Park in Dublin to see the finals of the Irish Gaelic and hurling football championship.

The Irish educational system

The Irish educational system has great international acceptance for being a leading model of investment in new technologies and education.

At the time of qualification, behaviour and attitude are also rewarded. Therefore, those who complete a school year in Ireland return with a marked sense of responsibility.

It stands out for a deep and ingrained system of values, as well as for the calm, safe and familiar atmosphere in which students coexist. Schools in Ireland can be co-ed, or boy or girls only.

Primary Education consists of 8 levels and usually ends at the age of 12 years-old.

Secondary education consists of 6 levels divided into two cycles:

Junior Cycle (lower secondary): Formed by 3 years, 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of Secondary Education. It starts at the age of 12 and is equivalent to the first 3 years of ESO of the Spanish system. It finalises with a State exam known as Junior Certificate. Official validation of any of these 3 grades is automatic in Spain.

1st Year of Junior Cycle (1º ESO).

2nd Year of Junior Cycle (2º ESO).

3rd Year of Junior Cycle y Junior Certificate (3º ESO).

Senior Cycle (upper secondary): Formed by 3 years (Transition Year, 5th and 6th year) and equivalent to the Spanish 4º ESO and 1º and 2º Bachillerato. The age group ranges from 15 to 18 years-old. The cycle finalises with a compulsory State Exam that allows access to University or to Vocational Training. Official validation requires authorisation of the Spanish Ministry of Education.

4th Year of Secondary School or Transition Year (4º ESO).

5th Year of Secondary School (1º Bachillerato).

6th Year of Secondary School and Leaving Certificate (2º Bachillerato and Selectividad).

The 4th year, known as Transition Year (TY) – equivalent to the Spanish 4º ESO – is one of the excellences of the Irish educational system. In the majority of Irish schools, this year is compulsory, although in some schools it is optional and, only in this case, Spanish students who do not wish to take the TY would attend the 5th Year. The TY is a link between the Junior and the Senior cycle and it is a more practical course than the rest. The objective is to guide students; offer them information on careers and professional opportunities and provide them with tools with which to mature, think and experience a personal development and a social conscience. During the school year, student will work for 4 weeks in the sector they choose, which will give them professional experience. It is an excellent year for international students to begin their studies abroad, since it allows great personal growth without the inconvenience that State Exams entail.

Once the first three years of the Junior Cycle of secondary education have been completed or, as the case may be, after completion of the TY, the last years of the Senior Cycle must be completed. Students must decide which of the three programs offered by the Irish educational system they will take. At the end of any of these three programs, a State exam must be taken: the Leaving Certificate, the Leaving Certificate Vocational Program (LCVP) or the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA).

The exam that most students usually take is the Leaving Certificate, a test similar to Selectividad that allows access to University. It is a highly recognized and valued exam by academic institutions in England, Europe and the United States.

 What programmes do we offer?

– School year or term in private day schools, and stay with host families.

– School year or term in private boarding schools: we offer full board (Monday to Sunday) or weekly board (Monday to Friday) with a host family stay during weekends.

– School year or term in public day schools, and stay with host families.

– School year or term in voluntary day schools, and stay with host families.

– International Baccalaureate in a boarding school or with family stay: Diploma Programme (2 years) or Middle Years Programme (possibility of a term, semester o full academic year).


– School year or term in private day schools: Tuition from 10.000€/year and 5.000€/term plus stay with local family from 10.000€/year and 5.000€/term[1]

– School year or term in private boarding schools: From 20.000€/year and 7.000€/term

– School year or term in public day schools, and stay with host families: From 10.500€/year and 5.500€/term[2]

– School year or term in voluntary day schools, and stay with host families: From 13.000€/year and 6.200€/term

– International Baccalaureate: In a day school, Tuition from 9.000€/year or 5.000/term plus homestay from 9.000€/year or 5.000€/term. In a boarding school,  from 11.500€/year or 6.000€/term

– Supplement for Transition Year: From 700 €

If you are thinking of one of our programs in Ireland, please contact us so that we can guide you on the schools and local families that best suit what you are looking for and the final price of each option.

TU HIJO AL EXTRANJERO Tel.: +34 686189020 /email:

[1] The monthly allowances paid to families vary depending on whether there is more than one international student, whether the room is shared, etc.

[2] Public schools do not charge tuition fees but there are other concepts that need to be paid for: uniforms, text books, etc.