Over recent years, family hosting in Ireland has grown significantly in popularity. Language students from all over the world visit Ireland to stay with a local family, where they improve on their English speaking skills, learn about the culture and have an unforgettable experience as they immerse themselves into a different way of living. Welcoming a language exchange student to your home comes with a host of benefits and very few costs so you’ll be left thinking, why have I not tried this sooner?
Hosting offers a great side income! With Ireland's rent-a-home relief scheme, host families can be paid anywhere between €140 and €200 each week in return for hosting a language student. This is tax free earnings so it can have quite the financial impact and families can host up to three students at a time, which could triple these earnings. The costs involved are minimal. Having an extra person to stay with you when you already have children can result in a slight increase to laundry load, grocery costs and potentially petrol expenses. However, since families are already doing laundry, cooking meals and driving to places anyway, the addition of one extra person usually adds only a minimal amount to bills meaning host families can end up earning a substantial amount by hosting.
Some people are able to cut their hours back to part time along these sorts of schemes without putting many extra hours into the hosting! Most jobs that will be required of you are things you would already be doing for yourself or your family so it’s a great way to earn some extra cash. Think about it, 200 euros a week adds up to 800 a month!
Having a student stay with you from a different country, will not only give them a new cultural experience but they are offering you one in return. You’ll eat dinner together each night and often organise some other activities and excursions for the family. This quality time together will allow you to learn about their culture and some of their language. Each guest you have will often be from a new country with new insights to offer. The experience will open your mind to new perspectives for a truly priceless insight.
Hosting is a sociable and fun experience. You get to meet new people and it often gives families an excuse to enjoy fun days out together and introduce the student to what Ireland has to offer. It makes quiet houses a bit more lively and sociable.
New friends for your children! Many hosts have children of their own, and we make our best efforts to match families with students of similar age so that they have the best chance of becoming friends. Bringing a language exchange student into your home will offer an invaluable experience to your kids. They will learn social skills as they meet new people from different backgrounds, becoming more open minded and aware about different cultures. They can also start to pick up knowledge of other languages as they communicate more with guests from around the world. Another reason for inviting a foreign language student to your home is that it can be beneficial if you are considering sending your child on a similar trip. It will give them a chance to see what it will be like, allowing them to answer any questions they’d have and see what a great experience it could be! The thought of staying with another family across the world could seem daunting to children at first, however seeing first hand how amazing the experience has been for another child coming into your home is likely to put any hesitation to rest and make your child excited to embark on their own trip!
By becoming a host, you can earn some extra income and meet new friends from across the world whilst learning about their culture and language. Your kids will make friends with them, sharing the value of this exchange and also get themselves excited to go on a similar trip. All these benefits with so little cost involved makes you wonder why you wouldn't want to try hosting. The memories are truly unforgettable and you can commit to as long or as little as you like!