Students are housed on a full-board basis by local, carefully selected Host Families. Living with a host family gives students full insight into how American families really live and provide complete immersion in the culture. Host families are carefully screened and selected by AFS staff all over the USA and are visited and regularly contacted throughout the student’s stay. As a member of the family, your child will share in the family’s daily life and take part in their normal day-to-day activities.
Host families will provide:
- A genuinely caring environment
- Clean and comfortable surroundings
- Convenient access to schools
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
- Shared or single bedroom
American families’ motivation for hosting comes from a genuine interest in learning about other cultures and the belief that hosting a student from Ireland is the next best thing to visiting Ireland itself. Unlike an exchange programme, there is no guarantee that there will be other children in the family. Placements are always in safe residential areas and are mostly made in rural areas and medium-sized towns, very rarely in the centre of big towns. Students can be placed in any state in the USA so they must have an open mind to this when applying, as there is no guarantee of geographical preference in the placement process.
Host families come in all shapes and sizes; single parents with children living in the house, nuclear families, older couples whose children are no longer at home, as well as young couples who may not have children are all considered potential host families. Our main criteria is a warm, caring, and comfortable home environment for students to be nurtured and thrive in.
N.B. Students and parents cannot reject a host family placement in favour of a new one. Once host family details are sent to the student, they are final; students and parents must agree to accept them without prejudice and to go into the programme with an open mind. Cancellations will incur loss of deposit.