Host Family Guide


Welcome to ISI Dublin. Formed in 2000, ISI has been host to thousands of overseas students over the years. Our students study at one of our city centre language schools or in one of many secondary schools around Dublin and Ireland. We place great emphasis and importance on the role you play in the success of the student’s stay in Ireland. We believe that if a student is happy in their Irish ‘home’ they will return to their home countries with a much more positive impression of ISI and of Ireland. ISI is a modern and forward thinking school. We recognise that students come in all shapes and sizes and therefore households of all shapes and sizes are welcome to apply to become a Home Stay Providers! The most important thing is that the student gets to live in a welcoming and friendly home where they are treated as part of the household and get to participate in the everyday life of your home. We also expect our students to behave with respect and courtesy towards members of your household and to follow your household rules. If we all work together towards this, the results will be rewarding for everyone. We have prepared the following guidelines, which apply to all ISI Home Stay Providers.

Requirements of home stay providers

  • The student should be well looked after and treated as a member of the household during his/her stay.
  • ou should always consider the student’s welfare, safety and security both in the home and outside the home.
  • ou should encourage the student to speak English as much as possible not just through daily interaction but also through engaging them in conversation when you have the time.
  • ou should keep in contact with the school to help resolve any problems the student may have during his/her stay.
  • The house should be clean and well-maintained throughout. The house should not be undergoing any major renovations or redecoration.
  • Four is the maximum number of students which may be accommodated in any household unless agreed with ISI.
  • Not more than one student of any particular mother tongue should be hosted unless agreed with ISI. A well balanced and varied diet should be provided.
  • You should be open and sensitive to your student’s cultural background. Adult students must be provided with a key to the home.
  • You should have adequate and up-to-date insurance.

The following facilities should be available

  • comfortable bed with good supply of quality bedclothes and weekly change of bed linen.
  • adequate space for clothes storage.
  • laundry or reasonable access to a washing machine.
  • table and chair in bedroom for private study or access at all times to another room with facilities conducive to study.
  • free access to bathroom and bath or shower daily.
  • adequate heating, lighting and ventilation.

The following meals should be provided

  • Half Board: Breakfast and Evening meal Monday to Friday with lunch also provided on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Full Board: Breakfast, lunch and evening meals from Monday to Sunday; a packed school lunch from Monday to Friday.

Viewing arrangements

We pride ourselves on our personal approach and from door to door your students are our priority. From the initial application stage to the end of the course, we are here to ensure our mutual client’s needs are met in a friendly, caring and supportive environment. Furthermore, we place a huge emphasis on involving our students in the community of the school, by offering them a range of activities outside of class which will enable them to meet other students and speak English all the time.

We will arrange a meeting with the Home Stay Providers which can either take place at your residence or be conducted via an online Zoom chat. The session will involve a 15–20-minute discussion with the Home Stay Provider, during which we kindly request a brief virtual tour of your premises. This tour will allow us to familiarize ourselves with the areas that the students will be utilizing throughout their duration of stay. We will set a date at least a week before the meeting.

Your data

In agreeing to host students for ISI you have knowingly and willingly consented to ISI recording your personal data on our school software.

Your name, address, telephone number, email and a description of your home and family will appear on the Host Family Confirmation Letter sent to students and their booking agents prior to arrival. In the case of minors this information will be shared with their families / guardians, who may contact you prior to arrival. In the case of groups, this information will be shared with the group leaders.

Being able to share your data with our agents, our students, their group leaders and their families is an integral part of hosting an international student. If you no longer wish to share your personal data, please let us know. In this case, we will not be able to place any students with you in the future and will remove your data from our database.

Our full GDPR policy is below.

Your first student

  • A confirmation letter with all the student’s arrival/departure times and dates. Your student’s personal details.
  • ‘Meet and Greet’ ISI sign and flight details (if you are asked to collect your student at the airport).


In the majority of cases students will arrive on the Saturday or Sunday before their classes start. The time will be confirmed in the week preceding arrival. Adult students will normally be able to make their own way to your house via public transport or taxi. Adolescent students arriving in groups will be transferred with bus to your house and collected from your house when they depart.

First Impressions

Please remember that you are often the first contact the student has in an unfamiliar country, so it is very important to greet the student warmly. A big smile, a friendly handshake or even a welcoming hug can make a real difference after a long journey and arrival in unfamiliar surroundings especially for those students who have arrived on long-haul flights who will be suffering from jet lag. We recommend that you allow the student some time to settle into their new room and perhaps have something to eat before talking to them about the family routine such as:

  • Meal times.
  • Laundry/washing machine. Bathroom/hot water system.
  • House keys – show the student how to secure your property. General house rules.

Do not be afraid to be direct and clear about what is acceptable and unacceptable in your home. It is best to make these things clear from the beginning. If your student has difficulty understanding you please call the school the next day and explain the problem, which we will try to communicate to the student.

First day at School

Students often have great difficulty in finding their way to school on their first day. Many home stay providers kindly bring the student to school on the first day or show them the school the night before. This is greatly appreciated. If you are not in a position to do this, then please do the following either the night before or on the morning of the first day at school:

  • Bring the student to the nearest bus stop, DART station or Luas stop.
  • Explain how to buy a ticket – ensure they have the correct currency and change.
  • On a city map show them where they will get off the bus/train/tram and how they should walk to the school from there.
  • Ensure they leave the house early enough to get to school by 9 am.


  • Half Board: Breakfast and Evening meal Monday to Friday with lunch also provided on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner will be provided on the first night and breakfast on the last day.
  • Full Board: Breakfast, lunch and evening meals from Monday to Sunday; a packed school lunch from Monday to Friday. Dinner will be provided on the first night and breakfast on the last day.


You will be informed in the confirmation letter if your student is half-board or full-board.

  • Half Board: A substantial breakfast and evening meal Monday to Friday with lunch also provided on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner will be provided on the first night and breakfast on the last day.
  • Full Board: Breakfast, lunch and evening meals from Monday to Sunday; a packed school lunch from Monday to Friday. Dinner will be provided on the first night and breakfast on the last day.


The minimum requirements for the bedroom are:

  • A comfortable full-size bed
  • A desk and chair
  • Adequate storage space for clothes A bedside lamp
  • Adequate heating
  • Bed linen (to be changed weekly.)

Please note that in a twin room, these requirements must be met for each student.


A clean bath or shower room is essential and there should be sufficient hot water to provide the student with one bath or shower each day. Sufficient time should be given to the student to use the facilities. It may be wise to explain ‘how things work’ in the bathroom. Do not take it for granted that all students are familiar with Irish bathrooms!

Student’s obligation to homestay provider

Students are expected to live as members of the family and to adapt to family life. We ask them to remember that they have chosen to come to Ireland to learn about our culture and to learn English – therefore it is they who should adapt. We expect them to make an effort from the beginning to adapt to their new surroundings.

They are at all times subject to the normal discipline of family life and we ask our students to behave with respect and courtesy toward the Home Stay Provider at all times.

Child Safety – Students under 18 years old

In the interest of the safety of all students and in accordance with The Children’s Act 1989, we ask our host families with students aged below 18 to take extra care and to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Always know where your student is going and what time they will return. * Find out whom they are going with.
  • They ARE NOT under any circumstances permitted to stay out overnight anywhere other than with their host family without the prior consent of the school and their parents. The child’s parent/guardian must give their consent in writing to the school in advance. ISI will inform you if such permission has been granted.
  • Make sure your student has your Telephone No. and the School Emergency No.

Returning home times (Students under 18)

Students are required to come home for dinner as agreed with you. They may go out again in the evening, but they MUST NOT go into the city centre, unless permission has been given by ISI. They may socialize in the local area with the following curfews:

  • June to August: 10 pm
  • September to May: 9 pm

The exception to this is when there is a pre-arranged activity organized by the school. Our Social Organiser(s) accompany all students under 16 years of age on such social events. In general, one should use common sense when allowing an under 16 to go out in the evening. Apart from the rules above we suggest that for under-16s, you should treat requests to go out at night as you would with your own children. Students above the age of 16 should inform you of the time they intend to return home if they go out in the evenings and telephone you to let you know if they are running late.

Entertaining Friends

A student’s friends (one or two) should be allowed to visit as long as the time is appropriate and they have asked you in advance. Their friends may not stay overnight.


Students are of course not entitled to use your phone. They are all asked to buy prepaid cards, which can be bought in any convenience shop. Please allow them to receive calls from their parents occasionally and inform them that calls must be at a reasonable hour and for a reasonable length of time.


Students are asked to keep their bedrooms’ tidy and make their own beds every morning. Their rooms should be vacuumed and the bed linen changed once a week. Remember that every student is from a different background, so these things may have to be explained to them. We try hard to send you students who will fit into your household. However occasionally things don’t go as well as planned. If you are at all concerned about the behaviour of your student, please contact us immediately. It is our policy to consult with both parties on the issue and try to resolve the problem amicably before removing the student. 

Not happy with your student?

We try hard to send you students who will fit into your household. However occasionally things don’t go as well as planned. If you are at all concerned about the behaviour of your student, please contact us immediately. It is our policy to consult with both parties on the issue and try to resolve the problem amicably before removing the student.

Student not happy with home stay provider?

Student occasionally request to change accommodation. Common reasons for this are:

  • Members of the household are unfriendly.
  • Students are not treated as part of the family or are asked to stay in their room. Too many students (more than 4) staying in the house.
  • Food is processed/frozen, not home cooked. Cleanliness of the house

You may wish to bear the above in mind and ensure that students do not have this complaint about your home.


Medical Issues

If your student needs any medical assistance during his/her stay, please make an appointment with your local GP. EU students are covered by E111 insurance. Non-EU students are obliged to have private medical cover. They will need to pay in advance and they should keep their medical receipts. Please call the office or the emergency phone number


Payments begin being processed on the 15th of each month for the nights you have hosted students between the 15th to the 15th of each month. You should receive a breakdown of your payment by email. If there are any discrepancies in your payment please let us know. The payment will leave our account no later than the 20th of the month. Payment is made at a nightly rate. This is calculated by taking the weekly rate, dividing it by 7 nights and multiplying that by the number of nights the student stayed with you. The rates are listed below and are per student per week. If you have received an incorrect payment, please contact the school immediately. See rates here.

Cancellations fees

  • Student requests a move for specific reasons*: No fee
  • Student cancels by giving 2 days’ notice: No fee
  • Same cancels less than 1 day or less notice: 2-night pay
  • Host family requests student leaves: No fee

*ISI reserves the right to remove the student from the Home Stay Provider in the event of a complaint by the student or a breach of regulations as outlined in this manual. In this case, the Home Stay Provider will be given as much notice as is feasible, depending on the seriousness of the complaint or breach of regulations. In some serious cases, no notice will be given.

Where ISI has to remove a student from a Home Stay Provider no cancellation fee applies. Home Stay Provider will only be paid for each night the student stayed in the house.


In cases of emergency please assist the student as best you can and contact this office. Office hours are 8.30 – 5.30 Monday to Friday. Call 01- 8727888. In the event of an extreme emergency outside office hours please call 087– 7864937. An ISI member of staff carries this phone 24/7 and will be able to deal with issues but remember this is an extreme emergency only.

General Data Protection Regulation – Contract for Processor

Please read this information regarding how ISI Dublin will record and process your data.

  • ISI Dublin is a Data Processor and shall process personal data only on the written instructions of the Client who shall be the ‘Data Controller’ unless required to do so by law. In such cases, ISI Dublin shall inform the client of that legal requirement before processing, unless that law prohibits such information on important grounds of public interest. We may utilize shared photos for marketing purposes.
  • ISI Dublin shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures in such a manner that processing will meet the requirements of this Regulation and ensure the protection of the rights of the data subject
  • ISI Dublin shall have a procedure in place to ensure that the client is notified prior to ISI Dublin’s engagement with another supplier which is acting as a sub-processing of the client’s personal data.
  • In the case of general written authorisation, ISI Dublin shall inform the client of any intended changes concerning the addition or replacement of other processors, thereby giving the client the opportunity to object to such changes.
  • ISI Dublin commits to confidentiality or is under an appropriate obligation of confidentiality (Non- Disclosure / Confidentiality Agreement)

ISI Dublin shall:

  • take all measures required pursuant security of processing.
  • taking into account the nature of the processing, assist the client by appropriate technical and organisational measures, insofar as this is possible, for the fulfilment of the client’s obligation to respond to requests for exercising the data subject’s rights
  • Assist client in ensuring compliance with the obligations pursuant to the security of Personal Data, notification of Personal Data breaches, Data Protection Impact Assessment and prior consultation, taking into account the nature of processing and the information available to it
  • at the choice of client, delete or return all Personal Data to the client after the end of the provision of services relating to processing, and delete existing copies unless the law requires the storage of the Personal Data.
  • make available to the client all information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the obligations laid down in this section and allow for and contribute to audits, including inspections, conducted by the client or another auditor mandated by the client