Colette Murtagh’s Homestay in France




My name is Colette Murtagh, a student in Coláiste Ghlór na Mara, in Dublin and I spent a month in France with a host family in the summer after 5th year. I came to France to improve my French before my leaving certificate, visit new places, experience new cultures and meet new people. This once in a lifetime opportunity exceeded my expectations and helped me advance my french while also getting a taste of french life. I am immensely grateful for the time and effort my host family made to ensure I had an exceptional trip.






I flew from Dublin to Carcassonne and was met by my host mother and father at the airport. Prior to meeting with the family I was nervous, as I was unsure if I would have the ability to comprehend or communicate in french. Luckily the family supported me and used innovative ways to help me understand, particularly during my first week. The host family welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to attend family events such as one of my host sisters’ dance performances, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The first week was strange adapting to a different culture and the french etiquette, such as the french style kiss when meeting people, however I enjoyed this aspect of the trip.




In my second week I stayed with a second host family while the other family were on vacation. Although I only spent 5 nights with this family, they were extremely accommodating and added to my trip enormously. During this time we visited the city of Castres and even went to a ‘fete’ where a band was playing Irish music. The family had an appreciation for Irish music and culture and was interested in hearing about my life in Ireland. I also met a Spanish student who lived nearby and I had the pleasure of spending some time discovering the city with her also.



When I returned to the host family, we picked up right where we left off and continued to improve my French and create unforgettable memories. One memory that stands out to me is when we went to observe the fireworks at a castle in Carcassonne. We had a lovely picnic on the hill with the extraordinary view of the sun setting and the beautiful castle followed by an incredible display of fireworks. Some other memories I cherish are, playing card games with the family and watching ‘Fort Boyard’ on a Saturday night together.




The total immersion in French, not only improved my fluency of the language but gave me a yearning for travel and learning about different cultures in the future. I am eternally grateful to Tribe and my host families for the most incredible trip. I hope that I gave you a good insight into my personal experience and I highly recommend Tribe for anyone looking to travel abroad.

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