The Concept of Homestay
The basis of all our programmes is the fact that students do not reside in a school, residential centre or hostel but enjoy the real Irish experience, staying with an Irish family. Our network of welcoming, responsible families has been personally built up over the years. Students are placed in families with children of a similar age, are carefully matched in terms of interests and hobbies, and the focus is on participating in daily family life and activities. An extension of this is the Farm Stay programme, which includes exactly the same elements as the Homestay, but the student asks to be accommodated on a farm to experience the Irish farming lifestyle.
Please Note: One to One English tuition can be added to any of our programmes.
This programme involves one day and two half days of specific excursions each week, to Irish places and sites of cultural, historical or sporting significance. This is in addition to the traditional immersion in the Irish family life. The cost of entry to activities is included. As with all programmes, one-to-one tuition can be added to this type of stay.
Our fishing programme takes place on the Blackwater River in Kells, an area with an excellent reputation for fishing. Accompanied and taught by our professional guide and coach, the programme involves fly and coarse fishing, for trout, bream, pike and other varieties of fish. The programme runs from Monday to Friday with the possibility of a night fishing option on the lake and potentially an end of week barbeque possible. Participants obtain a permit through being enrolled as members of the Angling Association and the feedback on this programme is excellent.
This programme is suitable for both accomplished golfers and those who are looking to improve their game. Students stay with an Irish family, who also share a passion and enthusiasm for golf, and the student enjoys a minimum of three rounds of golf per week, accompanied by a family member or Irish golfers. This means the student is not in a golf group with other French students but instead benefits from local expertise and spends their time golfing while also improving their English ability and learning the Irish culture.
Our Horse Riding Homestay programme has become our signature programme and after 30 years of development, we have established an excellent network of the best horse riding families and equestrian centres across Ireland. Students are matched by their interests and riding ability to a welcoming family with children of the same age, where they are guaranteed to be the only student of his/her nationality in the family. There is a minimum of 8 hours of riding guaranteed per week; however in practice the students normally ride for much longer, usually an unlimited number of hours. In addition to having the opportunity to ride horses throughout their stay, students are immersed in the Irish family life, improving their English and experiencing the culture.
Our “MAD” camp takes place in the Midlands and introduces students to the world of theatre, singing, dancing, acting and drama. This is a fun and lively camp for budding superstars; perhaps the next ‘Nicole Kidman’ or ‘Axl Rose’. The camp is attended by mostly Irish children, meaning French students will be practicing English at all times. The camp is for students aged 7 to 16 years and runs from 10am-3.00pm for two weeks in July.
A hugely popular programme, our Pony Camp takes place at a fantastic traditional ranch-style equestrian centre in Kells, Co Meath, a county famous for its equestrian pedigree. The centre is a hive of activity, and is a locally run business, which ensures each student receives personal attention. Students stay with host families, and spend Monday to Friday at the pony camp with Irish students, learning new skills and improving their technique, as well as being surrounded by the English language and Irish culture. The lessons each week culminate in a performance each Friday for family/friends to attend, giving a real sense of achievement.
Our rugby camp takes place at a prestigious rugby club in the Midlands and is run by a highly qualified and experienced team from the Irish Rugby Institute. The camp is attended by Irish teenagers and focuses on core rugby skills, conditioning (strength, speed, agility and power), performance nutrition and sports psychology. The course runs for 5 days from 9.00am-1.30pm in early July and is for students aged 11-18 years old. The other weeks can then be a straight homestay or could even be combined with another activity, such as tennis for example.
These soccer camps take place at several locations across Ireland and are run by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), with top quality accredited (UEFA A level) coaching. The camp includes mostly Irish students, so foreign students will be meeting new friends and conversing in English. The camp is open to students of all abilities, and focuses on technical skills, fitness, and overall game ability. Also included are a full FAI soccer kit, soccerball, backpack and certificate. The course runs for 5 days from 10.30am-3.00pm on various dates throughout July and early August, and is for students up to 14 years old.
Our tennis programme is based in the Midlands and incorporates half days of lessons with one of the club professionals and the opportunity to play games and matches. As always, each student stays with an Irish family and the programme is always extremely popular with students who not only want to improve their tennis skills, but also like lots of activity and interaction with Irish students.
This programme is based in Co Louth, at one of the country’s premier outdoor activity centres. Our Water Sports programme receives excellent feedback from participants, who often return year after year! As with all programmes, students stay with an Irish family, and attend the activity from Monday to Friday. Activities include Wind-surfing, Canoeing, Rock-climbing, Sailing, Abseiling, Orienteering, Archery, and much more.