About EIL Explore


EIL Explore presents participants with the significant challenge of living and learning  in a new or foreign environment, and then sharing that challenge with their own community.

Formerly known as the EIL Travel Awards, the programme was rebranded in 2015 as EIL Explore to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Established by EIL Intercultural Learning in Cork, Ireland, the awards programme has grown over the past two decades from a single cultural immersion programme in Japan, to over 30 awards worldwide in 2015.  Past participants include Web Summit co-founder Daire Hickey, model Roz Purcell, and Storyful journalist Donie O'Sullivan, as well as a number of other community leaders; a number of past participants have also gone on to become EIL Board and committee members.

EIL Explore is for people who have demonstrated or who believe they can demonstrate leadership potential and people who would not ordinarily be able to avail of such travel opportunities for social or economic reasons. Most participants will volunteer, some will share Irish culture while learning the culture of their hosts and others will experience and learn about youth activism.


The EIL Explore programme is funded by EIL Intercultural Learning.

Based on principles of experiential learning (learning by doing), EIL programmes are designed to provide tools to survive and thrive in another culture or in a different language, to foster personal development, to build communication and leadership skills, and to be active citizens in an interdependent world.

In short: The aim of EIL Intercultural Learning is to enrich lives and to inspire global citizenship.

In 2014 EIL Intercultural Learning celebrated 50 years in Ireland.



A strategic aim of EIL Explore is to partner with other like-minded organisation in different sectors to strengthen the opportunities for participants and to link the awards closer to the community.




Foróige is the leading youth organisation in Ireland and has been working with young people since 1952. Their vision is an Ireland that believes in every young person. Their purpose is to enable young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their development and in the development of society. EIL Explore is proud partner for many years. Youth members take part in a two-week cultural group exchange with participants in Hong Kong every summer. Foroige work closely with EIL Explore to recruit participants, prepare them for their adventure and facilitate the reciprocal exchange. In 2016, 10 Irish participants and 3 leaders travelled to Hong Kong and hosted the Chinese participants on their return.


The Global Citizen Award, which is a partnership between EIL, Irish Aid and 15 other Volunteer Sending Agencies in Ireland, has developed a unique training, volunteering, and awareness raising project focusing on the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Irish Aid is supportive of the EIL belief that the most significant part of a short-term volunteer programme actually begins when participants return home. On a long-term basis, the most effective way which you a returned volunteer can truly make a difference is to educate others in Ireland about global justice and to engage with the Global Citizen Award.


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