Our Host Families
Our host families are either personally known to Mary or have been hand-picked by the schools. All of our families are vetted by the relevant authorities. We look for families with a genuine interest in European culture and customs who are also happy to share Irish customs and habits with a visiting student. Family homes are warm and inviting and always have an extra bedroom to accommodate a host student. Tara Placements staff initially interviews the family by phone and then schedule an appointment at home to meet the family and answer any questions. We pride ourselves on the excellent relations we have built up over the years with our host families with some families repeating the hosting experience several years in a row. Tara Placements has compiled an extensive handbook for our Host Families to facilitate the Hosting experience. Please see below some comments made by a selection of our Host Families.
Would you like to host a foreign student?
Hosting a foreign student can be an immensely rewarding experience. Lots of Irish families adapt quickly to sharing our lives with our visiting students who mostly fit in seamlessly. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.
Host Family Application
How to Register:
- Download & complete the application form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to: Mary Morgan, Tara Placements, Loughville, Ennis, Co. Clare.
- Mary will contact you directly to arrange an interview with you and your family. During the meeting Mary will answer all of your questions as well as explain clearly the programme requirements.
My name is Geraldine Hansbury. Along with my husband Stephen and daughter, not forgetting our pet Yorkshire terrier Mya, we have been taking students for 7 years and this is how Mary and I first met.
We, as a family, like to share our home with children from different countries. We are proud of our heritage and also enjoy learning about new cultures.
Our family has learned a lot from having students in our home and my daughter, who now studies Education in University, has made lifelong friendships with some of them, which for us, as a family, is very comforting as this is what urged us to take students in the first place.
We love doing it and look forward to for a very long time to come. Thanks to Mary and her team at Tara Placements.
My kids Karlie 14, Ben 13 and I, are delighted to be part of the Tara Placements host family programme. We have been lucky to have had lovely friendly students in our home.We decided to start taking students as we wanted to meet kids from other countries roughly the same age as Karlie and Ben.
So far we have had a Spanish boy followed by a Spanish girl and are currently hosting a German girl. We enjoy taking the students sightseeing, showing them our country, tasting our food and showing them the Irish way of life. We are looking forward to meeting more students and welcoming them into our home.
We took a Spanish student for the first time in late August 2016 for one year. We were unsure how it would all work out but after meeting with Mary and understanding the whole process fully we felt that it would work out well for all of us. As Mary had hosted students previously herself she was able to give us great information and advice which was vital in helping us to make our final decision.
When Clotilde arrived she was very nervous but she soon settled into life on our farm. It was her first time ever on a plane and also her first time leaving Spain so it was all new to her.
We brought her to events/activities in our community, for example, the local youth club, scouts, a fundraising cake sale and zumba in the first couple of weeks. This meant that she made friends almost immediately and we know that this was very important in helping Clotilde to settle in so quickly.
It has worked out great for all of us and is certainly an experience that has been very worthwhile. Clotilde helps out on the farm and loves playing with Spencer our pet dog also and she is already talking about returning again to do Transition Year!
Over the years our family has hosted many foreign students with the host time ranging from a long weekend to a couple of weeks to a couple of months to more recently hosting a student for the academic school year.
Overall our experiences have been very positive and have enhanced our lives in many ways. Hosting has enabled us to have a better understanding and respect for different cultures as well as being more aware and proud of our own culture. It’s quite an educational experience and broadens our mind and thinking. We have had many conversations around the kitchen table on topics like food, education, history, politics, sports etc. Our family have made lifelong friends and we continue to be in touch with many of our past students and have been privileged to have had the opportunity to visit students and their families in their own country.
I think communication is a vital component to a successful hosting experience. I think it is important to be open and honest in all communication.
A positive aspect of Tara Placements is the time and effort that was taken prior to allocating a student to us and matching a student with similar interests to our family.
Overall I would recommend the experience to any family with children who are willing to open their doors and share their life with another young person.
This is the first time we have taken a foreign student and it definitely will not be the last as it has been a very positive experience for us all. We have 3 children , two boys aged 19 and 16 and a girl of 13. Our Spanish student Lucia is 14, from Madrid and slotted in seamlessly with the family. She immediately formed a bond with our daughter Aoife and they are almost like sisters. From the start we involved Lucia in everything and this is the key to having a student as part of the family, including housework!!!
We would have no hesitation in recommending student exchange as a way of helping someone to improve their English but also to give them an appreciation of Irish culture. It has also given us an insight into Spanish culture, and it was a bonus to have her parents here to visit. We will be very sad to see her go and will cherish the memories of the past months for many years. We have every intention of keeping up contact and hope to visit Madrid sometime and catch up. Aoife and Lucia are already hatching plans for the summer!!!
We recently took our first student through Tara Placements. Our oldest son had moved out and our youngest son suddenly found the house quiet. Marina, a lovely Spanish girl soon arrived, and immediately brightened our home. She was a delight to have around and quickly become a member of our family, proving to be a great new sister for our son. We all miss her now she has returned home, but hope to see her again soon. Throughout the experience we found Tara Placements to be fully supportive and professional and we look forward to hosting another student in the very near future.
The opportunity to host an exchange from Spain has been simply fantastic. Initially our son, wife and I were apprehensive but Marina, a bright, intelligent 15 year old, embraced the whole experience so well it made it easy for us. She brought joy to all of our hearts. We learned lots about Spain and the Spanish culture and she learned lots about Ireland. Our son Harry was delighted to have a “sister” to look after and show around. Marina has gone now but we hope to see her very soon again. This has been an amazing experience and we encourage everyone who can to open their heart to an exchange student. It really will change your life forever!