Host Families

  • A couple, married/living together, with/without children
  • A single woman living with/without children

Complete the Host Family Application Form and return to SPIL, a local coordinator will then contact you and arrange to visit you at a time that is suitable to your family.

We will contact you and set up a time one of our coordinators can meet you. We need to meet you and ensure your accommodation is suitable, discuss with you the aspects of hosting, and answer any more questions you may have.

Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Waterford, Cork, Tipperary, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny.

We are always open to extending our host communities to other counties, please note all families are in Rural Areas.

All families must complete a Garda clearance form. This is a background check carried out by the police. This is to ensure the safety of the child which may be placed in your household. It can be obtained in a local Garda station or in SPIL.

All ages depending on which type of booking is placed with you. Many school mini-stays are 12-16 years. Junior language students are 10-18 years. Individual adults (usually 18-30) book language courses and work placements. Secondary School Programme students are usually 16 – 18 years of age.

Yes, most students are out between 8am and 6pm week days. We will discuss with you during our visit the most suitable students for you. The only programme you cannot host students for if you work full time is the Homestay Only Programme, where the students are totally immersed in the family home.

We expect host families to welcome students into their homes and treat them as one of the family throughout their stay. It may be necessary for you to collect and return your students to a central meeting point on arrival/departure days and sometimes daily. It is very important to talk to them and eat with them as much as possible as they are usually here to improve their English.

A clean bed for each guest in single/twin/double/triple/quad room as booked. Meals as requested – usually Continental breakfast, a packed lunch to take with them and a meal in the evening. (see guidelines for more details). Clean towel if requested. A friendly safe environment with plenty of conversation and hospitality. For Secondary School Students they must have adequate light and a desk in their room for study.

Mini-stay students under 18 are not allowed out without supervision of an adult unless advised otherwise. Language students often have evening activities but you will be advised of any curfew time for each student. Secondary School Students must agree a curfew time with the host family and usually no later than 10.30pm even at weekends.

Your responsibility is to ensure a safe environment in your home. You must not let students out in the evenings alone unless told otherwise. If you do, and should anything then happen to them, you could be responsible. Always make sure that you know the company they are keeping as they are new to your area and culture and could easily fall into the wrong company.

Yes, You can choose male/female. Families who are the most flexible receive the most bookings as we do not always have the sex/age you prefer but we will always bear in mind your preferences.We do not place a female student in a family home where there are teenage boys or place a boy in the family home where there are teenage girls.

Payment is made to all host families on 25th of each month directly into your bank account.

Mini Stay FAQ

A mini-stay is a group of school students visiting with their teachers, usually arriving on their own coach (sometimes by air/train). They are usually senior school children aged 11-18. They usually stay 2-6 nights and are out every day from 8.30am – 7pm. They have a central meeting point where they meet every morning and return to every evening. You must collect them on arrival and return them on departure. During the stay they can walk to and from their meeting point if they are 14 years or older and it is within 15 minutes walk, otherwise you must escort them daily. They must not use public transport on their own. This type of stay is usually Full Board.

This is a group of students aged 10-18 attending a language course with their leaders. They usually stay 1-4 weeks. You must collect them on arrival and return them on departure. During their stay they will make their own way to and from school. They usually have travel cards/bus passes. They sometimes have evening activities. This type of stay is usually Full Board.

This is a person 18 years or older (usually under 30) who is either:

– attending a language course (for 2 weeks or more) or,
– on a work placement for 1-6 months with a company.

This type of stay is usually half Board

Mini-stays come for 2-13 days.

Language stays are from 1 week to 1 month but we do have some students who stay 3, 6 and 9 months and even 1 academic year.

Mini-stay students are placed 2/3/4 per family. Junior language stays usually 2/3 per family. Long term Secondary School Programmes strictly only one student per family, Short Term Homestay only one of each mother tongue, you cannot host two students of the same mother tongue at any time .Students from different groups should be of different mother tongues so they have to speak English to each other. Bathroom facilities, number of bedrooms and number of your family members determine how many students are actually acceptable in your house.

Other questions

Student Programmes Ireland Ltd is an award winning company based in Charleville, Cork, Ireland and was set up in 2009 to cater for the increased demand for international students to come to Ireland to improve their English Language Learning Skills.