There are so many benefits that come from being an InterStudies Local Support Coordinator (LSC). You will play a key role in the experience of an international student coming to Ireland, and also the host family who they stay with. You will also help to foster intercultural understanding and build bridges between people, cultures and countries – making a real difference to so many lives. And you will be a vital figure in the life of InterStudies students, offering care and support.
For students who have dreamed of coming to Ireland, you can help them to learn about and discover Irish culture, and experience daily life in Ireland. You will provide local families with the opportunity to share their Irish culture and traditions, and also help schools to add a global dimension to local education.
You’ll be responsible for reaching out to potential host families and schools in your area, and developing and maintaining these relationships. You will find and screen potential host families, and make sure they understand what is expected of them. You’ll keep in regular contact with your host families throughout the year, and support them as well as your students.
A key part of the LSC role is matching each student with the right host family and the best school. Once you get to know your host families, and what their hobbies and interests are, you’ll be able to match them up with the perfect student. Once the student arrives, you can watch this relationship blossom and grow.
You’ll have a lot of responsibility as a Local Support Coordinator, but you won’t be alone. You’ll work closely with our experienced Head Office support team, who will support and guide you in your role. You can also form a strong bond with your fellow LSCs and offer each other support and advice.
As an InterStudies LSC, you will be representing the organisation in your local area. An important part of your role is to educate the local community about the benefits of international exchange and to represent InterStudies in a positive light at all times. We’ll give you as much support, guidance and encouragement as we can, and in exchange you’ll act responsibly and respectfully.
This is such an important part of being a Local Support Coordinator. You will act as a mentor and guide for your students – often being their first port of call when they need help or support. You’ll need to keep in regular contact with each student, submitting reports on their progress, and helping them to make the most of their time in the UK. You’ll work with Head Office to solve any problems that might arise.
Each month, you’ll organise a meet-up or a trip for your students to attend. This is a great way for you to touch base with your students, and for them to keep in touch with each other and form friendships. These events can be as simple as going for pizza together, or as exciting as a trip to Dublin!
Working as an LSC is more of a lifestyle than a traditional job.
We’ve put together a handy set of frequently asked questions which should help to answer any questions you might have about the role.
If you are still wondering about something, when you have been through them, please get in touch.
Working as an LSC means that you will have a lot of freedom, as the hours are really flexible. There are no set working hours, meaning that you can easily fit this role around another job – in fact, most of our LSCs work the role nicely alongside another. This flexibility works both ways, as sometimes a student might call you on an evening or weekend if they have a problem, and you’ll need to be available to help them.
Yes – we’ll provide you with comprehensive training from members of our experienced Head Office team. We also run ongoing training during the year to refresh everyone’s knowledge. And if you ever have any questions, you can always come to us and ask.
You don’t need experience in a similar role, but experience working with young people is definitely an advantage. You’ll need good communication skills, to keep in regular contact with our Head Office and your students, schools and host families. Basic computer skills and access to a computer are essential, as is a full driving license and access to a car. You should be responsible, approachable and dedicated, as well as friendly and outgoing.
This can be really flexible depending on what you’re looking for, and how much time you have to give to the role. Some of our LSCs work with a lot of students, and some with smaller numbers. The most important thing is that you don’t overstretch yourself, and we’d never ask you to take on more than you can handle.
You’ll have full support from the Head Office team and from your fellow LSCs. Take a look at our Meet the Team page to learn more about our team at InterStudies. We will support you in your role from the very beginning, carrying out training and helping you to find your feet, and supporting you even once you are established and experienced. We’re always here if you have a question.
There is some admin involved in the role, but it’s not too extensive. For example, you’ll need to complete monthly progress reports on your students, and there’s paperwork involved when you’re placing students. You’d receive full training on this.
Jennifer has been an LSC in Ireland for four years and works in the County Longford area. While each LSC is responsible for their own area and students, we also work as a team, arranging activities and trips, sharing experience and helping each other.
Oh, I enjoy meeting all the different students! I love seeing them grow in confidence. When they arrive, they’re quite shy, not sure of themselves, settling in, nervous – as you would be! I have great admiration for these students – it’s the bravest thing in the world, coming to live in another country with a new family. But they are fantastic and I love watching the steps that they take.
Every time I see them, they grow more in confidence and happiness. They get to know the country and they make friends – it’s so rewarding to see, and you become very close with them while they’re here.
Well, sometimes the students can get homesick, and that can be hard. You can talk to them and try to support them, but you can only guide them through those feelings, because you aren’t their real family. But in those challenging times, we have Audrey (Country Manager) – and she’s wonderful; she’s my rock.
They gain so many things while they’re here – it’s not just the language skills. I watch them grow as a person – they gain independence and confidence. I always tell the students when they arrive that they will change so much by the time they go home. They improve their language skills and learn so many life lessons. This gives them the opportunity to really grow as a person.
When the students leave, I ask them if they’ve changed since they arrived, and they always tell me that they’ve become a completely different person and grown so much. It’s great to see!
Audrey is our Country Manager for Ireland, based in the Cork area. Audrey is a really important member of the InterStudies team, and also has experience as a Local Support Coordinator and as a host family – which puts her in a uniquely fantastic position to oversee all of our Irish LSCs, host families and students!
We asked Audrey: what’s the best part of the job?
“For me, one of the best parts of this job is seeing the changes that occur in our students. When they arrive they are often unsure of themselves. It’s a big change: they have a new family, a new school and new friends. When they leave they are confident young people. They grow, and they find a new sense of self. It’s amazing to watch, and a privilege to be a small part of the changes.”
If you are interested in becoming a Local Support Coordinator, complete our application form! After that, a member of our team will be in touch to have a chat with you, and you can ask any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!
I think that my LSC is great. She is planning good trips with all the other exchange students and I am really happy to know that there is a person that I can go to.
I think that InterStudies treats teenagers as part of a big family, it try to make us feel comfortable.
The support is very good. For example if I asked my LSC something I got really good answers in a short time.
My LSC makes me feel considered and not alone. She is funny and helpful, she really loves her job and I really think she want to make all her students happy.
My LSC made my exchange year unforgettable!.
My LSC made me feel that someone always had my back and was there to support me!
My local coordinator, was always available to help me and she always tried to make me feel comfortable and supported.
Interested in studying in the Uk or Ireland and want to learn more about your options? Send us an enquiry here. We’ll get back to you with more information about the best option for you!