Password was successfully changed.

Tipperary Co-owned Company Leads Way In Foreign Exchange Student Hosting

Published on Monday, April 10, 2017

An Irish owned and managed company has emerged as an aggressive market leader hosting foreign exchange students following years of decline in the sector. LingooSchool & LingooNinja incorporated in 2016 following lengthy negotiations and planning by a number of host families formerly affiliated with companies based on mainland Europe, has emerged as the largest network of host families for exchange student visiting Ireland for 2017-2018 season.


Ahead of Trade Fairs in Germany this spring, co-Director based in Thurles Sharon Cornally said “Our company is focussed on raising not only the standards in student hosting but also the remuneration paid to host families. Some companies pay less than 25% to the host families of what they charge students for the experience, our company pays hosts 75%+ with dedicated Irish management and directors”.


The sector, which was previously dominated by EF, STS and Interstudies has found itself in flux as many host families left the former market leaders following further cuts in payments and management structures. Marketing Director of LingooNinja Jon Rainey states “The market is finding a new level in which to operate, and that level is clearly indicating hosts need better remunerated, students demand higher standards and more effort should be put into transparency and simplicity for booking – which is web based. LingooNinja & LingooSchool is working in 41 markets across the world, with physical agents and representatives feeding students into our network. Our focus is on students, their needs and their expectations”.


20% of LingooSchool shares are held by host families which make up the LingooNinja family network. The company presently has 133 hosts approved with another 40-50 due to come on stream before September.


In relation to the Host Family Network, LingooSchool Managing Director Catriona Harpin based in Monaghan highlights “Every host family in our network is known to us personally – via home visit, interview or longevity in working with us in former companies. We strive for highest standards and best service, and because 20% of the company is owned by hosts, everyone has a stake in the success and standards set by the company”.


Following the UK’s decision to back Brexit, this has moved the focus on English Immersion to Ireland, the sole EU member state where English is the dominant language.


“This year we’ve visited events in Spain, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium and France so far, with more to come” states Catriona Harpin. “It is clear Ireland is now the preferred destination for students wishing to do a Summer Homestay or a High School Exchange Year”.


LingooNinja & LingooSchool has been backed by Local Enterprise Office and the company is striving to strengthen it’s Irish credentials as it expands globally.


More information can be obtained at and


Stay with a host family in Tipperary!

Promote Your School
Chat with US