Service Learning

‘Engage in meaningful service with your host community, all the while immersing yourself in the unique heritage of Ireland’

The IHS provide custom designed and delivered Service Learning Programs that combine the traditional attributes of Service Learning with the added benefits of a unique holistic heritage experience. Our distinctive programs aim to bring you, your host community and their heritage together in innovative, imaginative ways, to engender positive changes within your host community.

Working with and as part of a community is the best way to immerse yourself in local culture, custom and traditions. The IHS only work within local communities with whom we have long-standing and committed relationships. Currently we provide programs in one of Ireland’s most beautiful Heritage Towns – Birr in County Offaly. Birr is steeped with history and Irish heritage. The Service Learning Programs of the IHS are unique in helping to maintain the heritage integrity and improve the quality of these historic towns for both their residents and visitors alike.

Participants are housed in home-stay accommodation; home-stay is the preferred accommodation type of IHS as it supports opportunities for cultural exchange and immersion, as well as bringing tangible benefits to the communities that host us. Through the exchange of time, skills and knowledge with their host community, participants will not only help promote a number of social projects but (through critical thinking and reflection) will foster the growth of their own social and civic responsibilities.

Currently the IHS only offer Service Learning Programs for groups of participants lead by a faculty member and do not cater for individual participants. Programs are specifically designed to match each individual institute to their most suitable local partners, but can include projects such as:

  • Engaging with programs designed for local children;
  • Engaging with programs designed for elderly locals;
  • Maintenance and creation of community green space;
  • Horticultural and bio-diversity projects;
  • Upkeep of community facilities for voluntary groups in host towns;
  • Contributing to amenity and conservation projects in host towns;
  • Helping to maintain the outstanding natural and cultural of host towns;
  • Education and outreach projects; and
  • Projects with minority groups (such as the Travelling Community).

Our Service Learning Programs typically include:

  • Two to four weeks Service Learning placement with a dedicated supervisor/leading heritage expert;
  • Homestay accommodation and most meals;
  • Airport transfer;
  • Field trips, experiential workshops and lectures;
  • Welcome/project pack;
  • Pre-departure advising and application assistance;
  • In-country orientation and welcome event; and
  • 24/7 in-country support team.

(Not Included: Airfare and spending money)

Faculty Led Service Learning Flier Download PDF

Service Learning Program Fees

All our programs are bespoke and cater individually for institutions based on their budget and desired length of stay. If you wish to discuss an individual program/fee, please contact us.


Our Service Learning placements can be arranged at anytime throughout the year (although certain local partners do not work year round).  We individually match each institution to their most suitable local partners, so typically we ask for a minimum of two months notice to confirm details of any Service Learning program.

We do our best to cater to each participant or group, so when you are filling out your application, please remember to include your interests, so we can best match you to your Service Learning placement and/or project.

For further information please contact us.


‘This experience has revived my passion for community engagement. Through this program I have gained skills to make me a better leader, communicator, and a better server to my community.’

– Alexis, Indiana State University, USA

‘It was a one of a kind experience and I am very grateful I received this opportunity. It is something I will remember forever’.

– Olivia, Indiana State University, USA

‘Indiana State University’s service-learning partnership with the IHS was a model of how service-learning should work.  Our projects were planned in collaboration with a diverse group of community partners, the work was meaningful and well-designed, and the students were deeply immersed in the community.  The balance of cultural and heritage programming with the service work was just right… it is one of the finest community partners we have worked with over the past decade. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them for years to come.’

– Dr Nancy Rogers, Vice President for University Engagement and Dr Linda Maule, Dean of the University College, Indiana State University.