IF I AGREE TO HOST VISITORS WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME?
You are asked to give your visitors a warm welcome to your home. You provide bed, breakfast, lunch/picnic and evening meal. It's the same as hosting any visitors to your home.
DO I GET PAID FOR HOSTING?
No - one of the principles of town twinning is that people give without expecting anything in return. However, it's normal practice for visitors to bring a small gift for their host family.
I DON'T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE - HOW CAN I COMMUNICATE?
Most people who have participated over the years don't speak another language but it has never been a major problem. People communicate using dictionaries, sign language and now with phone apps, it's easier than ever. If necessary there are always members of the committee available to assist.
I'M NERVOUS ABOUT HOSTING PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW - ANY ADVICE?
It's normal to be nervous. Your visitors will also be nervous. It's part of the excitement of the experience. W.B. Yeats is credited with saying that "There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't met yet." Twinning is about friendship and making new friends. All you have to do is be open to the idea of welcoming people and you'll find that your visitors will reciprocate.
WHAT ABOUT FOOD? WHAT DO THEY EAT?
You should give your visitors the same kind of food that you eat yourself unless a person has a special dietary consideration such as coeliac disease. Visitors to Ireland expect to see Irish food in the same way as visitors to France expect to see French food. It's quite common for host families to arrange with each other to have a joint meal for their visitors and share the experience.
ARE GROUP ACTIVITIES ORGANISED FOR THE VISIT?
Yes - group activities are organised where visitors and host families can meet up and enjoy the social benefits of twinning.