Frequently asked questions

What is required of a host family?

Host families provide the student with room and board, and are expected to treat their student as a member of the family, not as a guest. Students cover their own travel costs, health insurance, school expenses, phone bills and spending money. EF has established certain requirements for all host families. For example, host parents should be at least 25 years of age or older, pass Garda Vetting, and have a stable and suitable household.

Does EF place students with single people, same-sex couples, retirees, empty nesters or families without school aged children?

Yes! There is no 'typical' host family. Our families represent the diversity of Irish culture and we encourage families of all shapes and sizes to host.  Some families have young or teenage children while others may be empty-nesters or newlyweds. We've had single people, same-sex couples,  and grandparents all be wonderful hosts.

Are host families paid?

Financial support is offered to all of our host families in Ireland. Such remuneration is intended to cover some of the day-to-day costs of hosting an international teenager - which includes three meals a day and household expenses. This way we ensure that our host families participate in the programme for the right reasons.

Where do EF exchange students come from?

EF exchange students come from 13 countries across Europe and Asia. They represent a diverse set of communities and backgrounds which offer an interesting breadth of students to choose from.

Can I select the exchange student I want to bring into my home?

Yes, our Regional Managers and full-time office staff will work with you to find a great student match. We have spent more than 20 years matching students to their Irish host families and high schools. If you have an idea of what type of student would fit best in your family, let's talk about it!

How long will the exchange student be with my family?

EF exchange students come to Ireland for either one semester (beginning in late August/early September or January) or one school year (usually late August/early September to June, though it depends on your local school's term dates).

What if it doesn't work out?

We are committed to making sure that our exchange students and host families have a great experience. If problems ever arise, you can rely on your Regional Manager and full-time EF staff to be there for you. In the rare case that we can't resolve the issue together, we will find the student a new home.

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