Aran Islands Ferry provides service between Doolin and the Aran Islands. The crossing to Inishmore takes about 2 hours, with a stop in Inisheer. There is a student discount available through their website. They said that they didn’t know such a thing existed (although the print-out of my reservation convinced them that it does exist).
Doolin ferries ply the short stretch of water across to the smallest (and most say the best of the) Aran islands. It Only takes about 20 mins, although they do also make the trip to the largest island as well.
One useful tip (although it works out a little more expensive) is to be aware of the fact that you can buy a one-way ticket to the Aran Island and then exit the main island to Connemara, thus connecting with Galway – thus avoiding ‘doubling back’ on yourself.
Another company also do the short run to the nnearest and smallest of the Aran islands. They can be found at www.aranislandsfastferries..com
For a one-horse town, Doolin is very well connected to the outside well. A series of buses stop opposite the youth Hostel, including (in the summer) at least three or four daily services to Galway.