What is Families and Ireland?

“Families and Ireland” was created by two professionals, Emma-Jane Brown and Roberta Stefan, in the field of language education, specialising in the area of childhood and of bilingualism in families. Both friends and colleagues, sometimes it's difficult to understand which of the two is Irish and which Italian!


Emma-Jane, originally from Bray, Co. Wicklow, fell in love with Italy and moved near Florence in 2002 and Roberta, an Italian in love with Ireland (where she lived before moving back to Milan) gave birth to this ground-breaking project which they are passionate about in 2014, bringing Italian families (young and old) to get to know the stunning Emerald Isle for a time of full immersion in the local life, culture and language!


In 2015 the first group of Families and Ireland left Italy for Bray which welcomed them with a typical Irish “Cead Mille Failte” and lots of enthusiasm from the local families too! At this time Michelle Phillips, from Bray, came on board as our Irish representative.


Who are the Italian Families?

Italian families are usually small (2-5 people) and want to immerse their family in the Irish culture and the English language. There are a great assortment of families from many different parts of Italy united by the passion and common aim to adopt English into their families even on their return to Italy. Living an experience like this the Italians can’t help but bring the love of Ireland and the English language back home!


What do they do in Ireland?

The children (as young as 1 year old) participate in local Easter, Summer or Halloween camps with Irish teachers and assistants in the morning and the adults may go to Language schools in Bray or explore the area. The afternoons are jam packed with activities tailored to the different needs and desires of the families exploring Bray, Dublin and the surrounding area. Every evening the Italian families return home to their Irish host families, which quickly becomes their family too, for dinner and some craic!


Who are the Host Families?

The host families are warm, open people who share their home-lives with italian families for a week or two, enabling them to really experience irish hospitality and culture. In fact, when asked what the best part of their experience with Families & Ireland was the Italians replied in unison –“OUR FANTASTIC IRISH HOST FAMILY!” This is what makes our project different to a lot of those on the market and it’s brilliant to see the passion that the Irish families have for Families & Ireland! We have been touched to see how the hosts have gone out of their way to make this experience special for our Italian families! The Irish hospitality was alive and kicking in Bray and Delgany!


What we ask of the Host families:

We ask the host families to take care of Italian families in their home full board (breakfast, a packed lunch and dinner) and to provide them with a clean room (change of sheets and towels weekly) and where possible a private bathroom. We invite you to spend time with them, particularly in the evenings so that their experience is as complete as possible.


What we offer the Host families:

As well as offering a fantastic cultural experience for your family we also offer a reimbursement in order to cover the expenses. You and your family are very welcome to join us in our afternoon activities too.



After the continuing success of Families & Ireland, we’re going to be back in Bray in every year at Easter, in the summer and for Halloween!!!


Working with us:

With all this expanding we need even more hosts families, so do contact us if you would like more information on how to become a host family. You can also follow us on our Families & Ireland Facebook page and see some of the fantastic photos from this year and last years’ trips.




Michelle, our Irish representative in Bray will be glad to meet you, explain the project and the standards required and answer all your questions.


Contact us:


Michelle 086 8099912