Live with an American Host Family
Students are placed with volunteer American host families. Host families are selected based on a variety of criteria by local coordinators that live in the region. 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. Applicants cannot reject host family placements and must agree to accept them without prejudice and to go into the programme with an open mind. Neither EIL nor our US partner organisation discriminate against any particular race, religion, class, or gender. Any student or parent of a student who expresses discriminatory attitudes can be refused participation on the programme.
Host families in the USA are volunteers and receive no allowance for hosting international students. The concept of host family payment is unique to Ireland and Britain. Therefore, the motivation to host international students is not money-driven; host families have a genuine interest in learning about the countries of their students and exposing themselves and their children to another culture by hosting. Some families hold the belief that hosting a student from Ireland is the next best thing to visiting Ireland itself. Students are truly considered a member of the family, equal in rights and duties, and they share day-to-day life, including leisure activities and outings. In return, they are asked to comply with family rules, which might include some minor tasks like washing the dishes or cleaning their bedrooms.
The host family is seen as being responsible for the students' welfare and we insist on their role as 'parents.' Our main criteria is a warm, caring, and comfortable home environment for students to be nurtured and thrive in.
Students may be placed in any region of America. Regional requests are not considered. Students should have an open mind about where they will live in America, whether it is in a rural area, small town, suburban or urban area. Rarely are students placed in big cities. Whether the population is 1,000 or 100,000, the diversity of America is part of what makes it such a unique country and Study Abroad experience.