Go Au Pair
Au Pairs who hail from all over the globe to care for children for a year or two find the cultural exchange goes more than two ways. And often, the au pair exchange will move more than just the au pair herself and her host family - other people in the U.S. host community benefit as well.
Xi Zhou came from China to the U.S. hoping to understand more about American culture and receive more education along with a greater understanding of the English language. What she got after she arrived was a new family and other close friendships.
One Au Pair from China and two from South Africa had something in common when they recently spoke about their experience in the United States. They all said their host families made them feel like they have a home away from home.
Au Pair Fulan Li from China stays with a family from Aspen, Colorado and says her host parents love her like she were their own:
“My host parents are very wonderful persons. They are kind, generous, and warmhearted. They always love me, respect me and care for me.”
During their stay in the United States au pairs taste new foods like Cheetos, participate in activities like bowling and may see snow for the first time.
Au pair Douglas Gonçalves do Nascimento from Brazil shares his first experience with snow in Utah this past winter:
On a cold and windy November day, eight au pairs from five different countries joined forces to raise more than $700 for an Autism Speaks walk in Pennsylvania.
The au pairs, who are part of two different clusters in the Philadelphia area, held three fundraisers before the day of the event and surpassed their goal of $500 by $200. And even though the actual day of the walk was cold, the hearts of the au pairs were warm.
The following are some of the thoughts they shared after the event:
Crowds lined up at the end of the Philadelphia finish line cheering the racers home November 17th. At the finish line, more than 30,000 marathon and half marathon participants were greeted by Au pairs volunteering for the American Cancer Society, handing out race bags full of snacks and gifts.
Close to a dozen Au pairs participated in the event. The countries represented were Brazil, China, Columbia, Salvador, Ecuador, Germany, Panama, South Africa, and Mexico. Au pair Ophelia Mengting He from China said about her experience:
That bitter sweet moment when you have to return home after being somewhat of a surrogate mom in the U.S. for two years. The day when leaving the two-year-old who has been a constant companion since your arrival, has come and you’re headed back to see your own family.
Doreen Mueller returned home to Germany this past year and her heart practically broke having to leave the family and friends she made during her two-year stay as an Au Pair.
In Doreen's words:
From the beaches of New Zealand to the frozen Alaskan Glaciers, Gabriella Finlayson’s Au Pair cultural exchange has been nothing less than breathtaking.
Gabrielle’s primary motivation for becoming an Au Pair was for more childcare experience as she hopes to return home and work in the childcare field in New Zealand. Along with her hopes of expanding her resume, Gabrielle has fulfilled her dreams of ‘living with no regrets’ in the United States.
During her time here Gabrielle said she has built lifelong relationships with her host family.
An Au Pair can become mom’s built-in best friend and a big sister to the kids, which of course also makes dad happy. This unique friendship and daily childcare also keeps busy families all on the same page.
“Our Au Pairs feel like an older sister rather than another parent,” said Host Dad Joe Budelli from California.
Growing up, Macion Chagas from Sao Paul Brazil dreamt of the day he could travel the world; now as a young adult, Macion is living his dreams. Macion spent this past year living with a host family caring for two young children in New Jersey and he describes his experience here in the United States as one-of-a-kind.
Macion’s Brazilian culture and the American culture he has come to know here in the United States are so different that a big part of the cultural immersion process has included learning a new language, social skills and everyday routines.
We are raising children, who will compete in a global economy. Studying key foreign languages not only gives them a competitive edge but has also been shown to expand their creative thinking. Parents in the community have found a good way to prepare their children for these expanding cultural frontiers by participating in the Au Pair Program, which brings in young adults from other countries to assist in the caring of their children, for up to two years.