National Executive Committee

Youth Exchange Secretary

Michael Walsh

Youth Exchange Secretary

Contact Address: c/o IPA Office, 13 Iona Drive, Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Youth Exchange Portfolio

One of the main rolls of the Youth Exchange Secretary is to promote and assist the exchange of young people within the IPA both nationally and internationally. Vast opportunities exist for young people interested in studying languages, culture or working as au pairs. The fact that the exchanges are confined to police families has the added attraction of increased security, as well as minimising the cultural shock young people find themselves in when subjected to unfamiliar surroundings.

Each year an IYG (International Youth Gathering) is held by the IPA, and this year it is being hosted by Hungry. In 2011 Ireland has the honour of hosting the event and the Youth Secretary is currently busy planning for this momentous event. However its worth noting that Youth exchange is not confined to exchange between foreign countries but it also applies within the Irish Section. Click here to download the youth applicant application form.

In order to continue to offer this service and promote the future of youth exchanges, host families are required. The preferred and most amenable option is for two families to arrange a swap. The IPA youth secretary kindly seeks families who would be willing to host a youth exchange to contact him. Click here to download the host family application form

For further information on youth exchanges please see the youth exchange rules or contact the youth secretary directly.

The Youth Secretary is also responsible for the Sean O' Colmain Scholarship. Each year IPA invite applications from young people at Junior Certificate level who were accepted to an Irish College during the previous year. Applications enter the competition by submitting an essay in the Irish language and successful applicants will have their fee reimbursed by IPA.

Sean O’Colmain Scholarship

Ceol, craic agus caint as Gaeilge le suimhneas. This attractive package is on offer through IPA’s newly embraced Sean O’Colmain Scholarship initiative. It will provide two scholarships for members of IPA families at any Irish College in Section Ireland .

Each year we invite applications from young people at Junior Certificate level who were accepted to an Irish College during the previous year. Successful applicants will have their fee reimbursed by IPA subject to production of a receipt for payment, in full, of the fees required by the College of their choice.

To participate in this competition, each applicant will be required to submit an essay, in the Irish language to IPA Ireland.

An independent person will adjudicate all entries.

Essays should include the name, address, and phone number of the author and be endorsed by the IPA parent or guardian and include their Garda registered number.

Applications should be submitted to Youth Exchange Secretary, IPA House,13 Iona Drive, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 or email your entry to on or before the 31st March in year of competition.

The winning essays will be published in the IPA Journal.



  1. Must have an IPA parent.

  2. Ought to be between the age of 15-19 years or in the case of a college student up to the age of 22 years. (Where the applicant is under the age of 15 years, the ‘holiday exchange” is a matter for the parents involved.)

  3. The visiting young person must be prepared to respect the wishes of the host family, especially in relation to issues affecting general well being and health i.e. alcohol, smoking, drugs and sex.

  4. Daily guidelines for the young visitor:

    • inform the host family when one proposes to leave the house

    • Keep the host appraised of ones movements.

    • Indicate the proposed return time to the house in the evening.

    • Seek permission for long distance travel from the host home in advance.

    • Do not use the telephone in host home without permission.

    • Invite guests to house, only with permission of host.

    • Alcohol should not be used unless with parents' consent and then only served in the presence of host family or similar situation.

    • The use of illegal drugs is forbidden.

    • Driving any type of motor vehicle is prohibited.

    • Smoking in “no smoking” area of house is not permissible.

    • The use of the general facilities of the house should be with the consent of the host family.

    • Pocket money ought to be used for extra sustenance requirements and entertainment.


  1. The IPA parents of the visiting youth who proposes to avail of hosting with an IPA family internationally or within his Section where the facility exists, ought to make application in good time to the National Youth Exchange Secretary, ideally one year in advance.

  2. In the event of the exchange being organised directly with the proposed host family where the parties are already friends or have been introduced through a mutual friend, it shall be the responsibility of the parent to notify his/her Youth Exchange Secretary.

  3. All travel costs for the young person from home to destination and return is the responsibility of the parents.

  4. Where connecting flights are necessary and the young person has a stop-over at an Airport en route (and where assistance at the point is desirable to ensure the safety of the young person) his/her parents ought to request such assistance from the local IPA.

  5. Take out Travel Insurance to cover Medical, personal money, loss of baggage etc.

  6. Inform the host family of any chronic medical condition or prescribed medication requirements.

  7. Inform the host of family rules governing the applicant.

  8. Supply sufficient “pocket money” to the young person to cover the duration of the exchange.

  9. Be prepared to host a child from the other family on a reciprocal basis.


  1. The young person whose parents are providing the hosting, shall use this opportunity to gain some knowledge of the visiting youth’s country thus stimulate desire to visit the home of his/her guest.

  2. He/she shall have respect for any conditions conveyed by the parents of the visiting youth.


  1. The host parent shall provide full board accommodation and general care, support and supervision to the visiting young person.

  2. House rules should be brought to the notice of the visitor at an early stage.

  3. Where conditions laid down by the parents of the visiting youth have been communicated to the host family prior to the exchange, the young person concerned ought to be appraised accordingly, at the outset.

  4. Contravention of these rules should be resolved if they occur. When the matter is sufficiently serious as to warrant a return home (i.e. use of drugs), the host family should inform his IPA section, through the YOUTH EXCHANGE SECRETARY.


  1. All enquiries for Youth Exchange should be on the prescribed Application Form, channelled through the Youth Exchange Secretary.

  2. Requests for hosting should be made well in advance of the intended exchange but not later than four months prior to the time of travel.

  3. General information i.e. interests and hobbies of the young person requesting the exchange should be supplied at the time of making the booking.


  1. While the Section(s) involved will utilise the structure of IPA and unique back-up service, the responsibility rests with the parties who participate in the exchange.

  2. Youth Exchange is a project operated by IPA parents in conjuction with the Youth Exchange Secretary to provide a non-profit making service for the sons and daughters of members. It is an ideal example of the aims of our Association - “Service through Friendship”.