With the exception of the extended field trips in the Burren and on Clare Island, the students will be housed in Home Stay accommodation in the town of Birr, Co. Offaly (see schedule). Home Stay students live with local families, and experience true home life in provincial Ireland. Students are to keep the accommodation clean and tidy at all times and to be respectful towards their Home Stay family and roommates. Students will walk (or be dropped to and collected from) a designated meeting point (normally Birr Square or Birr Community School). Breakfast and dinner will be provided along with a packed lunch. At weekends students are encouraged to avail of their free time and explore Ireland. Food will be provided during extended field trips.
In the Burren and on Clare Island accommodation will be in (single sex) shared dormitory style rooms in local hostels, with meals provided in a communal setting.
Homestay accommodation is an integral and critical part of our Covid-19 planning as typically, our students stay with local families.
It is possible but unlikely that the programs will go ahead but that we will use alternate accommodation (e.g. hostels / holiday cottages). It is hoped, however, that the students will continue to avail of homestay accommodation, as it is an important component of the cultural immersion our programs provide.
Students and staff will be able to isolate within their homestay accommodation, in line with our government health advice. For example, a suspected (or confirmed) case must isolate in their own room and have access to their own bathroom.
All participants in a field school, students and staff, will wear masks while indoors (i.e. during lectures, during labs, in shared residential spaces, etc.).
Regular hand washing will be a part of the project’s daily schedule.