Living with a Host Family whos native language is the language you want to learn is widely regarded as the best way for a student to improve that language, and if you're interested in learning English there is no better place than Ireland.
With regard to English, a large portion of students across Europe and in particular in Spain, France and Germany learn English from a young age. Therefore, the real opportunity when going to an English speaking country such as Ireland or England is in programs where the student lives with a host family and is immersed in the language. This gives them a great opportunity to practice conversational English without their peers in an environment surrounded by an English speaking family which encourages them to practice and improve.
There are many if these types of programs available in Ireland to learn English in a homestay environment that caters for students of all ages and needs. Students can attend schools in Ireland for either a few weeks, a term or a whole year. Depending on their age they can attend a primary school which is up to age 13 or secondary school which is from the age of 13 to 18 years. There is also a choice of public, private day schools and private boarding schools. You can find out more about education in Ireland. So, in summary, there are numerous academic options for a foreign student looking to attend school in Ireland to learn or improve their English. In addition, the education system in Ireland is excellent and considered one of the best in Europe.
In public schools, the student would live with an Irish host family for the duration of the trip. If the student attends a boarding school they will stay with an Irish host family for holidays and exeat weekends.
For summer stays, the students generally stay for a period of 2 to 4 weeks and during that time they would attend summer camps and live with a host family. These stays are short in duration which allow the student to get a flavour for living abroad in a homestay environment with an Irish host family. There are a huge variety of camps available such as horse-riding, water sports, football, performing arts, creative arts, rugby, technology etc. This is a total language immersion experience where the student lives with the host family and participates in all the host families activities on a day to day basis. This is a rich and rewarding experience where the student gets into the culture of Ireland by living life as part of the family.
The academic and summer stays are designed to give the student maximum opportunity to practice and learn English each day of their trip. Where required 1 to 1 tuition can be provided to further support the learning. The 1 to 1 tuition can be utilised immediately in the host family immersion experience.
Whether it's an academic or summer stay the key element is total language immersion with a host family in a homestay environment.
One of the most popular locations that students want to stay in Ireland with a host family is Dublin. Dublin is the capital of Ireland has a huge amount to offer visiting students. It is a city steeped in culture and history and also full of modern amenities.
Things to do in Dublin
- Do Dublin from the DART Its a great way to see the coastline along Dublin. It’s 54km long and 31 stops. Some of the areas that it passes are Killiney Bay, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, River Liffey, Malahide Castle and Howth.
- Trinity College is an amazing campus and amongst other things contains the old Library and the book of kells. Also worth a visit is the Science Gallery. When you're finished you can chill out around the cricket pitch.
- Kilmainham Gaol closely associated with the 1916 executions but steeped in 100’s of years of history.
- Croke Park is an 83,000 seater national stadium for the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). As well as sporting events it also hosts concerts. The Stadium tour and the GAA Museum are well worth a visit.
- Stephens Green is a beautiful park in the centre of Dublin. Ideal for a stroll or picnic to relax after shopping or walking around the city.
- The Little Museum of Dublin Tells the story of the city over the last 100 years, the museum makes a big impact with small stuff.
- Visit the Guinness Storehouse It’s one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in Dublin. You can view all the famous Guinness adverts from years gone by.
- Go down to the woods today Enjoy walking or mountain biking in the foothills of the Dublin mountains.
- Grafton Street Grafton Street is a short stroll from Trinity College and boosts the famous statue of Molly Malone. It is a very popular place to see buskers and from time to time famous bands such as U2 have played on Grafton street.