Do’s and Don’ts

Get in touch with the host family prior to your arrival to “break the ice”. Come into the family home expecting to be part of the family immediately, you will all need some time to adapt and get to know each other.
Ask questions in order to meet the host’s expectations and find out what they need. Be afraid to ask the same question again if you didn’t understand the first time.  Also, if you don’t understand the work method or reasoning, ask your host to explain how and why.
Exchange ideas and cultural differences with the family – that is part of the exchange process. Force your opinions on household and childcare issues, you are here to help them and fit in with the family.
Ask the family how they deal with “naughty” behaviour from their children.  What techniques do they use and can they show you. Don’t ever discipline the children in a physical way such as spanking, shaking, hitting etc.
If you smoke, ask the host where and when it is acceptable for you to smoke.  Respect this! Smoke in the family home or around children.
Find out what the family’s hobbies are and what interest the children have, it will be a lot easier to fit in. Be nervous about joining in with family activities.  If you are interested in taking part in some of the extra-curricular activities, ask your host if this is possible but bear in mind you may have to pay for this out of your own pocket money.  (E.g. Sports training such as soccer, hurling, football, horse riding lessons, swimming etc.)
Go and visit Ireland and meet up with friends on your days off. Sit in your room every night on your own and hang around the house on your days off.  You will not be part of the family and will not make the most of your time in Ireland
Ring Equipeople if you are unsure about something. Be afraid to ask our opinion if you are uncertain about something.