Student & Parent Guidelines

Welcome! Greetings from ISI Dublin!

This Information guide is designed to answer any questions you might have about your upcoming High School Programme in Ireland. We ask that both the parents/guardians and the student read the guide and make sure they are familiar with all the details. Parents must sign the agreement at the end of the guide and return it to us by email.

Students & Parents should read this thoroughly and sign at the end of this webpage.

ISI Dublin – company information and location

ISI Dublin is a highly renowned and award-winning company, offering English language and High School programmes to over 5,000 students each year. Since launching our High School Programme in 2001, our aim has always been to provide the highest level of guardianship and care to our students. In 2016, we became a founding member of AGPI (Association of Guardianship Providers in Ireland), because we believe very strongly that study abroad programmes should only be operated by professional and regulated organisations.

We have two beautiful buildings located in the heart of the city centre, only a short walk from O’Connell Street. Our high school programme is run from our building at 39 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1, located here: ISI High School Office, 39 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1

Arrival to Ireland

Orientation

This usually takes place the day after you arrive. You will meet your ISI Dublin point of contact and have the opportunity to meet some of your peers on the programme, who, we can say from experience, will become your friends.

Thursday 24/08/2023 Students   arrive in Ireland
Friday 25/08/2023 Orientation in Dublin City centre – meet at ISI Dublin, 39 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1
Monday 28/08/2023 Schools start re-opening*.
You host family will be aware of your exact stat date.
Friday 27/10/2023 Schools   close for October midterm (1 week)
Monday 06/11/2023 Schools Return following October midterm
 Wednesday 22/12/2023 High School Programme finishes for Christmas – End of term 1
Thursday 08/01/2024 (All students must return home for 2-week holiday)
Schools re-open following Christmas holidays
Friday 09/02/2024 Schools close for February midterm (1 week)
Friday 22/03/2024 Schools close for Easter holidays (2 weeks)   – End of term 2
Monday 08/04/2023 Schools re-open following Easter holidays (Term 3 begins)
Friday 31/05/2023 Schools close for summer holidays** 4th year students generally finish a little earlier than other year groups.

*School start dates will differ slightly depending on school and year group.
**Dates subject to change depending on school and year group.

Key points of our Guardianship Services

On arrival The High School Programme team will be at the airport on arrivals day. Normally your host family will collect you at the airport and bring you to their home. An ISI driver will collect you if your host family is unavailable.
Welcome pack Students receive a SIM card (if they wish) and travel Leap card. This ensures the student is always contactable, and that the student has access to our support service for emergencies 24 hours a day.
Uniform The main items of your school uniform are purchased in the days before your first day of school. Your host family will bring you to purchase these items. If you wish, you may bring formal black shoes with you from home.
Books Your host family will assist in the purchase of your schoolbooks. These will normally be purchased in the 2nd week of school once all subject choices and levels have been confirmed. Teachers will help advise the students what they need.
Subjects Unless contacted before arrival, you will choose your subjects in the first week of school. Your choices depend on availability at your level. No subject choices can be guaranteed, but every effort is made to ensure you can study your ideal choices.
Counselling We are very familiar with the types of problems you may have, both personal and academic. You can talk to your ISI coordinator about anything including home sickness, health issues, and questions about your host family or school. We are here to help. You will be introduced to your ISI coordinator at the orientation day.
Student Care Plan Your coordinator will arrange to meet you for a one-on-one visit within the first two weeks of your stay to formulate your Student Care Plan. This is normally done at a meeting point such as the ISI building, your school, your host family home or at a destination decided between you and your coordinator.
Monthly reports You will also have the opportunity to contact your coordinator anytime via WhatsApp or phone from Monday to Friday during office hours. If we don’t hear from you, you will hear from us (face-to-face) at least once a month, where you will be asked to provide feedback on your experiences in school and in your host family. This will be included in a monthly report that will be sent to your parents.
Weekly newsletter We create a weekly email newsletter with general information about what’s happening that week. We will ask you to contribute to the newsletter by telling us what you have been doing and sending us some of your pictures to be included.  This is a fun way for you to feel part of our ISI high school community. This is sent via email to you and your agency every Friday throughout the programme.
Host family All families used by ISI have been inspected by the ISI accommodation manager and meet the requirements of host families as advised by ACELS (Advisory Council for English Language Schools) and are also Garda (police) vetted. Students can speak to us at any time if there are any issues with host families. Unless in the unlikely event of an emergency, students are not permitted to change host families for at least the first 2 weeks of the programme. It can take time to settle into a family and we find that 2 weeks is a good time frame to settle in.
Boarding All boarding students will be visited at the boarding school within their first 2 weeks and once per month thereafter.
24-hour care for emergencies Both you and your parents are provided with a 24-hour, 7-day week emergency telephone number monitored by an ISI staff member. In emergency situations, an ISI staff member can always be reached – (00353) 87 7864937 – please save this in your phone. It should be used only outside office hours/ weekends and in the event of an emergency.
Problems Where problems occur during your stay (i.e., homesickness, bad behaviour, rulebreaking) this is usually noted by the host family, a high school teacher or the high school principal. ISI staff will be contacted in this event and will intervene as necessary.
At all times your parents will be kept informed of any issues which arise.
English Club We offer English language support classes at ISI language school every Wednesday evening from 5pm – 6.30pm. These are optional but we encourage everyone to come.
Social Programme We provide social activities for students during each midterm break. These are usually tours or seasonal parties. They are a great way for you to meet other students on the programme and see some exciting places.
Medical Problems When deemed necessary by the host family or school, an ISI staff member will accompany you to the doctor or the dentist and will assist with any documentation necessary for insurance (all EEA students should obtain their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling to Ireland).
Parent-Teacher Schools hold parent-teacher meetings once a year. An ISI coordinator will attend the parent-teacher meeting on your parents’ behalf. A feedback report will be sent to your parents.
Meetings
School reports School reports will be sent from the high school to the ISI office. Our staff will keep a record of the results and send a copy to your parent/agent at the end of the year.
Boarding school holiday arrangements Boarding students usually have to move out of the residence during mid-term breaks and on occasional weekends. In this event, ISI places the student with a host family either close to the boarding school or in Dublin. The cost is included in the programme fee.
Managed Expense A managed expense account to cover additional expense. See Managed Expense Account below.
Account

Medical Issues

If your student needs any medical assistance during his/her stay, we kindly ask you to make an appointment with your local GP. If you need advice or assistance, please call ISI. EU students are covered by EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and therefore shouldn’t need to pay for their appointment. Non-EU students are obliged to have private medical cover. They will need to pay for their appointment in advance but should keep their medical receipts to give to their parents.

Fees and Expenses

The programme fees include:

  • The ISI Dublin Guardianship Service
  • Airport greeting and transfer to accommodation on arrival and departure, plus return transfers if students return home for a period of 7 days or more. All other transfers will be charged for at a rate of €120 return. Child protection law requires an adult to meet all students under 18 on arrival in Ireland. Therefore, return transfers are compulsory for all students aged under the age of 18.
  • Programme orientation on arrival.
    High school tuition fees in case of private schools or school contribution in case of state schools.
  • Single or twin, full board room in selected host families or bed and full board in a school dormitory.
  • A mobile SIM linked to an Irish mobile network on the pre-pay system.
  • A travel Leap card with €10 credit.
  • 2 hours per week English classes at our English Club
  • ISI organised extra-curricular activities: Most of a student’s after-school social life revolves around their own high school. However, each term we organise several social events, usually coinciding with a public holiday or celebration in which all students can join. For students outside of Dublin it may not be suitable to join these events which normally last only a few hours.

The programme fees do not include:

  • Occasional school expenses: We have done our best to anticipate every school expense you will incur but occasionally schools will organise an event, excursion or project which is not included in our programme fees. The costs for these (between €20 and €50) will be requested by and should be paid directly to your high school. Failure to pay these expenses may result in the school withholding final reports and/or services.
  • Midterm break social programme activities, i.e., day trip to the north of Ireland. (Optional).
    Host family accommodation during 2-week Christmas break. Students must return home for the holidays.
  • School books and uniform.
  • Pocket money: Your parents should decide how much pocket money you require, taking all of your expenses into account. To help guide you:
    o A weekly child travel card for bus or rail will cost €10 to €15 – for all personal and school travel.
    o A cinema ticket for a student, costs about €9 o A meal in a fast-food restaurant like McDonalds costs about €8.50 o A coffee or tea in a café, costs about €3 o A sandwich in a shop, costs about €5
  • Additional airport transfers outside of official school holidays/for a period of less than 7 days.
    You will be charged a supplementary fee of €20 for transfers for any flights that are booked to depart between the hours of 3am and 8.30am or booked to arrive between the hours of 10pm and 3am.
  • Private Schools regularly charge for services not included in their tuition fees or the programme fees we advertise. These include but are not limited to laundry and photocopying services, doctor’s appointments, medication, books, and uniform items. They may also charge for extra English lessons where necessary. Any individual amounts over €100 will be notified in advance otherwise these will be deducted from ISI managed expense account.

Payment of expenses not included in fees

We operate a managed expense account service for all items not included in the programme fees. This is an obligatory service for all students attending private schools and state schools. For all students in private schools, we request a €2,000 lodgement at the time of confirmation to be paid at least two weeks prior to arrival. For those attending state schools, a lodgement of €350 must be in the account at the start of year. This is to allow for any incidental school expenses. It is to simplify the payment of expenses which can occur throughout the year. Please see the final pages of this document for more details.

All our host families have been Garda (police) vetted and inspected by an ISI staff member.

What we expect from your host family

  • To collect you at the airport and show you how to get to school on the first day (if this isn’t possible, ISI will be notified, and alternative arrangements will be made).
  • To take you to the uniform shop and to the local book shop to purchase necessary items.
  • To encourage you to speak English as much as possible in their home.
  • To encourage you to feel at home and to treat you as a member of the household rather than a paying guest and include you in family occasions where appropriate.
  • To give you a key to their house.
  • To always consider your welfare, safety, and security both in the home and outside the home.
  • To include your normal laundry in the family washing. You are responsible for any dry-cleaning.
  • To keep in contact with ISI and to help resolve any problems you may have during your stay.
  • To respect you and to be sensitive to your privacy, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation & political beliefs.
  • Host families should not host another student of the same native language at the same time unless by special arrangement with the student and ISI.
  • Host families must not go away for weekends/or on holidays, leaving you alone in the house and unsupervised.
  • Host family will outline their ‘house rules’ regarding mealtimes, showering, rubbish collection etc. on arrival, and these are expected to be reasonable and fair.

 The host family should provide you with the following:

  • A clean and well-maintained home.
  • An appropriate home environment for you to study properly.
  • An appropriately sized bedroom and a quiet place to study in your room or a quiet space in the home.
  • Adequate storage space for clothes.
  • Access to daily bath or shower.
  • A balanced and appropriate diet. (We will inform your host family if you are unable to eat certain foods, but it is always a good idea to highlight any special requirements when you arrive).
  • Breakfast at home, a packed lunch for school and a hot dinner at home in the evening.

Your obligations to your host family

You are expected to live as members of the host family and to adapt to Irish family life. We ask you to remember that you have chosen to come to Ireland to learn about our language and culture and therefore you may have to adapt a little to life here as it will be different to what you’re used to. We expect you to make an effort from the beginning and to adapt to your new surroundings. You are at all times subject to the normal discipline of family life, and we ask you to behave with respect and courtesy toward the host family at all times.

  • House rules: You are expected to follow the ‘house rules’ given to you by your host parent on arrival.
  • Entertaining Friends. Please consult with your host family with regards to their rules on to this.
  • Students are not entitled to use the host family telephone freely. You should use your mobile phone and/ or Irish SIM card which you will receive on arrival. Please follow any host family rules regarding this, for example, no phone calls after 10pm.
  • Students are asked to keep their bedrooms tidy and make their beds every morning. Your host parent will vacuum your bedroom and change your bed linen once a week, but you can also offer to do this every Saturday, if you want to help your busy host parent. They’ll surely appreciate it!
  • Toiletries: You should bring your own toiletries – toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and towels.

Medical Issues

If you need any medical assistance during high school hours, please inform your teacher and then contact your ISI coordinator. Outside of high school hours, please contact your host family and/or an ISI coordinator who will make an appointment with the doctor if necessary. EU students should have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or a medical card and therefore should not have to pay for a doctor’s consultation or emergency hospital care.

Emergencies

In cases of an emergency, the ISI 24-hour emergency telephone number is (00353) 87 7864937 from abroad or simply 087 7864937 from within Ireland. This is monitored by a member of ISI Dublin staff outside office hours, at nighttime and throughout the weekend. Please memorise this number or keep it on a piece of paper with you at all times, in case you lose your mobile phone!

Please remember that this number should only be used in a real emergency, for example, if you have an accident, you get lost in the city or if you lose your wallet. Before you call this number, ask yourself, ‘Is this an emergency?” and “Can this wait until office hours?’. If so, please wait until office hours; Monday to Friday office hours 9:00 – 5:00pm (00353)1 8727888.

High School Attendance

  • Attendance (roll call) is monitored each day at school. If you cannot go to school due to illness, you must tell your host family first, and then contact your ISI coordinator by text or call to explain.
  • Your high school will contact us if you do not attend. We will then inform your parents (via your agency).
  • After school each day you are expected to go home. You should be home no later than your agreed dinner time. Dinner time is usually around 6 – 7pm. If you are late, you should call your host family and explain why you are late and when you will be home.
  • We have a warning system in ISI. If you misbehave or break any of the rules, you will receive a verbal warning. If the behaviour continues, you will receive a written warning. Up to two more written warnings will be issued if necessary. However, if you consistently break rules or continue with bad behaviour then you will be asked to leave the programme and return home.

Curfew: The latest time you must return to your host family each day

  • Sunday – Friday school nights – By 9PM in the host family (8PM in the immediate area). Except when attending supervised school events.
  • Fridays & Saturdays – By 10PM in the host family (9PM in the immediate area). Except when attending supervised school events.

You must leave your local town or city centre no later than 7PM.

Staying out after these times or overnight stays with a friend

You must contact ISI at least 3 days in advance in you wish to stay out later or stay overnight with a friend. Students will have to ask their parents to give written consent to ISI 3 days in advance by email to their allocated programme coordinator. If staying in a friend’s house, we must have your friend’s parent’s name, address & contact number.

Communication Protocol

Who to contact and when?

If you experience problems in Ireland, your instinct will probably be to contact your parents at home. We are here to help, and the below information will be useful to you if you encounter any difficulties while here and need immediate support from someone in Ireland.

Who should I contact…?

If there is a problem at school  If there is a problem with your host family  If there is a problem with your schoolmates  
1 Speak to your subject teacher, form tutor or year head. Speak to your host family – it’s usually a simple misunderstanding that can be solved without escalation. Speak to your tutor or year head if it’s related to school or classmates.
2 Speak to your ISI coordinator about the problem. Speak to your ISI coordinator and be honest about what the problem is. Speak with your friends and family. Don’t keep it bottled up.
3 Your ISI coordinator will contact the school to help solve the problem. Your ISI coordinator will contact the host family to help solve the problem. Speak to your ISI coordinator and ask for advice. We have lots of experience!

The High School Programme Team

Sarah McGovern

Sarah McGovern
Programme Manager
Phone: (+353) 860477213
Email: sarah@isi-ireland.ie

Maebh Cotter

Maebh Cotter
Programme Coordinator
Phone: (+353) 860477184
Email: maebh@isi-ireland.ie

Bruina Swaizer

Bruna Swaizerr
Phone: (+353) 860477184
Email: bruna@isi-ireland.ie

Michelle Barry Cashman

Michelle Barry Cashmann
Social Coordinator
Phone: (+353) 862709290
Email: michelle@isi-ireland.ie

General Tips, Safety, and life in Ireland

  • If you are travelling by bus or Dart & are unsure which stop is the correct stop, please inform the bus driver & he/she will help you & tell you when you have reached the correct stop.
  • Ensure you keep your mobile phone switched on & the battery charged in-case of emergency.
  • If you are dialling an Irish number from your own international phone, use the prefix (00353) e.g., for the emergency phone dial 00353 87 786 4937.
  • If you want to dial a landline number from your Irish mobile use the local area code, e.g., Dublin is (01) so ISI is 01 8727888.
  • Make sure you carry your host family details, home address & ISI phone numbers with you always.
  • Please add all contact numbers to your personal mobile phone, including ISI’s main office, the ISI emergency phone number, your host family home & mobile phone numbers & your local Garda station number (ask your host family for this).
  • Dublin is a large capital city, so you must be careful with your belongings. If you carry a bag, make sure you always hold it tightly and never leave it unattended. Thieves also target cameras, mobile phones, etc. Do not carry too much cash, and if you must, put it into different, discreet pockets.
  • Never walk around in the city centre alone at nighttime (after 8pm). If you must come to the city in the evening (for music lessons etc.), make sure you travel with a friend and stay together.
  • Your host family must know where you are always after 6pm. If you are running late, call your host family or they will be worried about you.
  • When travelling on a double-decker bus, it is better to stay on the ground floor, especially after dark or if you are alone. In general, anti-social behaviour that takes place on buses generally happens upstairs at the back of the bus.
  • On the bus timetable you will see the time the buses leave their first departure place (not the time they will arrive at the bus stop). Take this into account when calculating what time your bus will arrive. The bus will not stop unless you raise your hand. You can also download Dublin Bus app for live arrival times.
  • If you get lost, take a taxi. You must always have your host family address with you for such events.
  • Emergency mobile (00353) 87 7864937 is for real emergencies only. One member of staff will answer the phone, 24 hours a day. However, from Monday to Friday and for general issues, you need to ring office number from 9am ~ 17:00 (01 – 8727888).
  • Please inform your ISI coordinator if you are taking any medication. If you are feeling unwell, please contact us at ISI or ask your host family to contact us. You can go to your local pharmacy/chemist for general colds or upset stomachs. The chemist will assist you in getting medication. If you need to go to the doctor, the visit usually costs €50 – €65. Please contact ISI or your host family if you are feeling unwell so we can determine the next best step.
  • You must ask permission if you wish to make a call on your host family’s landline. However, you will have the use of Wi-Fi in the home so you should be able to use your own phone in most cases.
  • You can shower every day either in the morning or evening time (you need to ask your host family about the rules). We recommend in the mornings that you spend no longer than 10-15 minutes in the bathroom because other family member may need to go to work or to school and may also need to use this facility.

Please discuss this with your host family.

  • Please talk to your host family about the routine for washing clothes and changing bed linen etc. Each house has different rules, which you must follow.

The ISI Managed Expense Account Agreement

We operate a managed expense account service for all items not included in the programme fees. Examples of these expenses are out lined on page 4. Other examples include emergency expenses that require immediate payment such as an urgent flight or medication. This is an obligatory service for all students attending private and state schools. For all students in private schools, we request a €2,000 lodgement at the time of confirmation, to be paid at least two weeks prior to arrival. For parents of students attending state schools, we request a lodgement of €350 at the start of the year. Each term we will send your parents a statement and balance of the account. For private school students, if the account drops below €500, we will request an immediate top up.

ISI HSP Discipline & Behaviour Agreement

All students are subject to Irish law for the duration of the programme. Students are also subject to the discipline policies and rules of their high school and their host family. In addition to this ISI, as guardians, will insist on the following:

The following actions are in all circumstances prohibited:

  1. Consuming any alcoholic beverage under the age of 18. (If you are here on the programme and are aged 18, you must adhere to these rules).
  2. Taking any type of illegal drug or unprescribed medicine; associating or having contact with any person involved in or associated with unprescribed or illegal drugs. (You must inform ISI Ireland if you are taking any prescription medication).
  3. Smoking and vaping.
  4. Driving a car or motorbike.
  5. Staying away from the host family/residential school overnight without permission from – –       ISI, your host family/ school, and your parents/guardian.
  6. Being absent from school without permission.

–           All absences must be justified (for example certified sickness). If you are absent for 20 days or more, the Irish Department of Education and Science will investigate and you could be expelled from both your school and the programme.

  1. Leaving the school premises without permission.
  2. Travelling outside your residential area without the permission of ISI and your parent/guardian.
  3. Borrowing money from classmates or lending money to classmates.
  4. Inviting friends to host family/residential accommodation without permission from the host family and ISI.
  5. Bullying of any kind, in person or via phone, social media etc.
  6. Using mobile phones during class time.
  7. Having a part-time job – students are not permitted to engage in any paid part time employment.
  8. Getting tattoos or body piercing while in Ireland.
  9. Cooking in your host family’s home without permission to do so.
  10. Engaging in a sexual relationship.
  11. Any acts which might cause injury to someone or damage to someone’s property.
  12. Breaking curfew.
  13. Disturbing class or behaving inappropriately or unacceptably during class.

Other ISI rules and guidelines

  1. Respect must be always shown to your teachers, your host family, and all staff members of ISI.
  2. You are expected to do all homework set by your teachers.
    In addition to homework, you are expected to devote some time each evening to private study.

The minimum should be one hour per day.

  1. Unless previously agreed, you must be home by dinner time each day (you can confirm this time with your host family).
    • You are allowed to socialise in the LOCAL area only until 9PM from Sunday – Thursday.
    • You are allowed to socialise in the LOCAL area only until 10PM on Fridays and Saturdays.
    • In all cases the host family must be informed of:
    • Where you are going.
    • The time you expect to return.
    • Who will be with you?

Disciplinary Action

Breaches of the rules and norms of ISI Ireland, the host family, and/or the school, can result in:

  • Stage 1: Formal verbal warning (witnessed)
  • Stage 2: First written warning (signed and witness)
  • Stage 3: Final written warning
  • Stage 4: Expulsion

In serious cases of disciplinary action, the verbal or first or final written warning may be foregone. In the final case, the student will be expelled from the programme and sent home immediately. Alternatively, a punishment more appropriate to the breach of discipline may be imposed (e.g., writing a letter of apology, Friday detention, or an earlier curfew).

Breaking the law in Ireland (such as stealing from shops, damaging property, and use of illegal drugs) will result in immediate expulsion from the programme without warning. There will be no refund of fees if you are expelled from the programme.