Unlike any other form of child care, the Au Pair program aspires for cultural understanding. Children cared for by Au Pairs develop awareness and curiosity about worldwide differences under the love of a trusted and nurturing adult. Parents welcome the personal stories and thought provoking conversations Au Pairs promote in the home and enjoy watching their children learn foreign word, games, songs and holidays.
For an Au Pair, the family and child care focus makes a deeper and richer cultural experience than other programs offer. Families and Au Pairs celebrate in the simple moments of life as dinner, homework, afterschool events, even housework transforms from mundane to extraordinary. Au Pairs and the children explore the local area together, visiting libraries, parks, children’s activity centers, zoos, aquariums and other local places.
At the end of the experience, the Au Pair returns home with a meaningful understanding of Americans and the Host Family gains a new family member overseas and a broader understanding of the world.
Hear Families and Au Pairs Talk About the Impact of the Cultural Experience
~ Anny, Au Pair from Colombia, caring for 3 children ages 1 to 10
being able to live this experience has been one of the best things that have happened to me in my life, even though I miss my family in Colombia a lot, I know I have a second family here too and this experience and these people are not found everywhere.
I don’t know where to start it, it’s hard to explain all my feelings after great two years being an au pair in America. Please don’t mind my broken English, having third language it’s not easy! The last two years I’ve grown a lot! Two years ago I didn’t know anything about American culture or about country besides from movies. Then I came as an au pair to California and started live with my host family. Living with host family and take care of their kids was great opportunity to see how is American kids lifestyle, school, books, movies, social activities something like that a lot of things that helped learn the culture and lifestyle. I think taking care of the kids great opportunity for explore the city and communicate with people because mostly you have a car and you can drive them to different places like parks, museums, farms, swimming pool, gym, where you can understand that you live in different country and see the details of the place and culture. My first week I felt alone but my au pair lar came to visit me, she was so friendly to me and she immediately made welcome event for me, that way I could make friends from the event and I started hang out with them in my free time. I am so thankful for go au pair agency didn’t feel me alone and always keep contact with me.
~ Nuray, Au Pair from Turkey, caring for one child age 2
They have been the best of all this experience as an Au Pair, the children have loved me, taught me, and made my heart even bigger. More than a new family, they are my friends, my accomplices and surely, my companions for a lifetime, because what I learn with them daily is not something that can be translated in a dictionary or found in remote places of this beautiful country. So no matter where I go, I will always be grateful for their warmth of home, for their support, for believing in my and giving me the opportunity to enter their lives to be immensely happy.
~ Ana, Au Pair from Colombia, caring for 3 children ages 2 to 6
As busy professionals, we couldn’t imagine our lives without our Au Pair D. She has become a trusted and deeply integrated part of our family. Our kids adore her, and it’s obvious how much she truly cares for them. This is not just a “job” to her… she is more like a big sister! It brings us great comfort to know our kids are cared for by someone we absolutely trust. Unlike a daycare, she is able to meet their individual and unique needs because she knows them so well. D has left a mark on our family that we will never forget!
~ Jennifer, Host Mom in Minneapolis, MN with 4 children ages 1 to 8
I come to my current host family from July 19, 2019. Only one day, I fall in love with my host family. When I first come to Hoboken, my host dad takes two boys to welcome me. It’s so sweet when on the way home my host dad R who talks with me and introduces the Hoboken that let me forgot nervous due to insecure. And then Y (Host Mom) finished her work and came back home, we had a big hug that let me feel heartworm. They ready for me a welcome surprise with the welcome card, take me to have dinner and hang out in the Hudson River. That let me feeling so close. Suddenly, I loved the US because of my sweet host family. R (Host Dad) helps me took a picture on the first day in the Hudson River. It was a really nice idea to take a picture. I will keep it forever. That’s an impressive and wonderful day that I have to say.
~ Yihui, Au Pair from China, caring for 2 children ages 3 and 7
~ Gabriela, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children ages 1 and 6
A family does not always have blood ties, family are those who love you, support you unconditionally and who always want to see you happy. When I got here, I had many expectations to fulfill, goals and dreams to achieve and today I can say that none of this would have been possible without the support of my beautiful host family. As I write this, my tears fall, because I realized that this way of showing love is exceedingly difficult to find and I found it here with my host family. The bond that we have is special. I consider that we are a great team and that we complement each other. I will always be grateful for every teaching, care, joy, and strength that they have given me. Today I know a different culture and I am incredibly happy because I live it through them.
B [Au Pair] always talks about her family and the values and manners that her mother taught her. B tells my daughter the stories of her own mom and how she treated her growing up, and I find my daughter listening keenly to these stories and even behaving better with me because of them.
~ Nisha, Host Mom in Trenton, NJ with 3 children ages 3 to 5
My host kids are the same they are kind and funny…they are really nice they don’t even know how helpful they are to me to learn more English, if I don’t get something they explain it to me or try to spell it for me it’s funny sometimes when I don’t understand them.
~ Diana, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 4 children ages 4 to 14
I’m really thankfull with God for allowing me to have a beautiful experience and because although this has an expiration date, they will always live in my heart.
~ Estefania, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children ages 2 and 5
I am so grateful for my current host family. They are these great people that I have known in America. They have shown me a valuable lesson: There is nothing more important than family and friends. It’s essential to shower my beloved people with love. By bringing them happiness, I am also bringing my joy.
~ Thi Hanh, Au Pair from Thailand, caring for one child age 11
First of all, I wanted to be an au pair because I have always liked working with children due to their ability to learn and the energy they radiate catches my attention. On the other hand, I was very excited to experience another culture that is different from mine, and without a doubt I liked it and learned a lot. In my country I am an English teacher, I wanted to come here and improve my understanding of the language and then be able to return home and share my knowledge in a better way to my students through everything I have come to learn in this wonderful experience.
~ Monica, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 1 child age 3
D [Au Pair] is a blessing not only because she brings peace of mind, but because she embodies the spirit of the program. She is learning about life in the United States, learning English, expanding her horizons, dreaming about opportunities to better her own life back in her country… and all of it while becoming a new member, to a family she recently met. We have all become a family and I look forward to seeing her become the woman she is now dreaming to be.
~ Sonia, Host Mom in Houston, TX with 2 children ages 3 and 9
I used to work as a teacher in my country, with that experience I learned the best way to get to know a culture is through children, they have shown it to me in a fun and creative way, besides I would teach them about my culture…Back in Ecuador I have two sisters. Now I have two sisters more, whom I love very much. I am so grateful with my host mom and my host dad; I would not have had such an amazing experience without them.
~ Jessica, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children ages 11
~ Kaiqi, Au Pair from China, caring for 2 children ages 8 and 12
I love S (Host Mom) and G (Host Dad), and I’m thankful of having them in my life because they are the type of people that hug me when I need and give me support and care. I will miss each one of them so much when I leave, but I’m sure that our friendship won’t have an end. The precious moments and times we lived together will be forever in my heart.
She [Au Pair] has joined our family on some of the trips – to Six flags, Jersey shore, Museums, Zip lining and the Zoo. She run and laughed with the kids and really made those trips even more fun! Recently she accompanied us to Camelback trip and enjoyed the waterpark! It was hard for her to overcome fear of the snowtubing as back home she never encountered the snow before. She did it and screamed and laughed all the way through going down in the tube!
~ Tatiana, Host Mom in Philadelphia, PA with 4 children ages 5 to 12
Having a feeling to belong somewhere and doing something that create not only work but connections. They make me feel that my hard work and what I do count for them, I feel that I’m not only here to keep an eye on the child and feed them and at the end of the day just being a roommate. Sometimes after work they bring me treats or we have a glass of wine or watching a movie and I am so grateful for all this little moments that make my journey so much better. I am thankful to have a new family to share moments as small or as big they are with. With them I have find a perfect place to live a fantastic adventure and a family to be part of.
~ Emma, Au Pair from France, caring for 2 children ages 10 and 4
The experience I am living with the M family is indescribable, I have been welcomed as a daughter, they respect me, they have my opinion in any situation, they care about my well-being, they involve me in their family events, we have shared trips and above all we talk and they care about my future as a professional.
~ Melany, Au Pair from Colombia, caring for 1 child age 9
My host family made me feel part of the family since day one, they always include me in their plans and respect my decision in case I prefer to stay home or do something else. Also, many times, M (Host Mom) has told me that she see us as a family of eight, and that really makes me happy because I feel like they value me as the person I am and they do not see me just as the person who takes care of their children, instead, they see me as their family and I do,too.
~ Genesis, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 5 child ages 3 to 16
I Grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Growing up I saw and experienced many things that have shaped me into the Man I am today. I am an optimistic and kind hearted person with a sensitive side. I have come into the program because of my passion for children and their development, the feeling of knowing that my contribution could play the smallest part in shaping their future and help achieve their future goals.
~ Nicolas, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 3 children ages 6 to 11
~ Raven, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 3 children ages 2 to 7
I have never felt as an au pair with my family, instead I am a daughter and big sister to my minions J (Host Kid), L (Host Kid) and B (Host Kid). I have always felt comfortable in approaching B (Host Dad) and D (Host Mom) about anything I need help with. The response is always one of appreciation, love and guidance. I cannot put to words just how much the family cares about me; they respect me, my time, my working hours, but most importantly just how much they love me. There’s never a day where I do not burst out in laughter, that is how much fun there is here.
I had a very sad moment when I was living here for more than 4 months, I received a news that my mother was not in very good health, and at that very moment I wanted to leave everything and go back. I cried a lot, I didn’t know what to do. Then my Host Mom realized that I was not well. At the same time she hugged me, listened to me and spoke beautiful words to me, And gave me strength to continue. And later the same happened to my Host dad. They helped me through this phase, I talked to my mother and she thank God is better and supporting me even more. I will never forget what they did for me in this most difficult moment of my life. They are always encouraging me, no matter what situation I am in. And in my homesick moments they welcomed me beautifully, making me feel good.
I have no words to thank them for their help and affection. I know that when I return home, I will miss them a lot, in fact, even before I leave, I miss them. I thank God that they are part of my life, of my history, they will always live in my heart.
~ Franciele, Au Pair from Brazil, caring for 3 children ages 3 to 9
My time with them has been an amazing experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Their generosity, caring nature, and positive attitudes are more than I could have asked for. I don’t think that it is possible for a host family to make me more comfortable and they are not only my host parents, they are now my lifelong friends.
~ Jannella, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 3 children ages 2 to 5
They make me feel that I can achieve everything, since every day they have given me an example of a better family environment, of how their charisma, their kindness, and their words make me feel good, safe and when I had my mistakes, you with much love, respect and understanding, let me know and help me.
~ Rosa, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 3 children ages 3 to 8
I have no words to describe how grateful I am that they crossed my path, welcomed me with open arms in the midst of everything we are going through, the way they treat me like a family member, I feel my work all the time being valued where I do my best, they are the proof that there are no perfect people but there are people who strive to be the best and treat people well regardless of their nationality, religion and differences. I have a great affection for my kids, V, D and G, they make my days more fun and I learn a lot from them in different ways, and I hope when I finish my year as an au pair, they will never forget all our moments together, because surely it will be kept with me forever.
~ Keila, Au Pair from Brazil, caring for 3 children ages 2 to 11
~ Anna, Au Pair from Poland, caring for 2 children ages 3 and 6
It’s really important to have somebody next to you, who cares about your feelings. Not only in contact and cooperation with you, but in general. And this is exactly how my host family is – they care how I feel. They want to listen to me when I’m very excited and I want to share with them any funny stories from my life and also when I have a difficult time; they support me by distracting me from my sad thoughts to more pleasant and appealing moments. The only one thing which makes me sad is that my AuPair adventure will end someday, and I will have to leave my host family. I really hope we will stay in contact and they will visit me in Poland!
Today, 3 months after arriving in Alaska with my new Host family I can say that without a doubt, they are my second family, and I mean it literally… They are the family with which I always want to live this experience. I arrived with them in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to quarantine for 2 weeks alone in another house than where they were in compliance with the law, but the truth is that thanks to everything they did for me and for me, I never felt lonely at anytime because every day they were watching me even though we were separated, every day they asked me how I was, or if I needed something. They took me with everything I liked so that those Two weeks were more enjoyable, they brought me books, movies, tv shows, my favorites snacks and food, not to mention, I ate like never before, haha, we even made video calls. I can say that at no time during those two weeks I didn’t feel that I was in quarantine, even in all this time that I could not go anywhere because of the same (after my quarantine) it never affected me, actually I didn’t feel that I was experiencing a pandemic, because they were always looking and looking for a way to make everything easier for everyone.
~ Jessica, Au Pair from Mexico, caring for two children ages 4 months and 1
At first, I thought that living with strangers in a country that is different from yours could end up being a mistake because it is hard to create relationships like the ones you have with your family with people who are also culturally different. However, ever since I set foot in this country, I discovered that I was wrong. I was wrong because my host parents and their kids are incredible people with big hearts. I have never imagined receiving so much love from people who are not your family in such a short time. They are my second family without a doubt.
~ Jessica, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 3 children ages 9 to 16
K (Host Dad) and A (Host Mom) both have big hearts. K is a loving and caring dad. He shows his love to the girls every second, and he’s always making me laugh or helping me kill spiders in my room. He saves my life. A is so nice, I love that she always wants to help others and make everybody’s life easier. She cares so much for me and makes me feel loved and cared for. We can talk about our lives, our past, present and future, and she encourages me to follow my dreams. They are for sure the best host family that I could ask for and I’m more than happy to continue this journey with them by my side.
~ Miriam, Au Pair from Mexico, caring for 3 children ages 4 to 9
From the start my host family made me feel loved and as part of their family, almost as if I have been there all my life. A [Host Mom] raises her daughters to be accepting of people and their differences. To be open minded and non-judgmental to how people’s life styles, cultures and views are diverse. For me this is more than just a cultural exchange program. I gained 3 more family members and they gave me what I needed to change my life. I will forever be grateful for them and what they did for me. Their kind heartedness and love is changing the world.
~ Hendrik, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 2 children ages 6 and 9
~ Anilia, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 2 children ages 6 and 10
Being an Au Pair is not just about traveling or learning new things, it is much more then that. You bring a new culture to your family with a different type of personality and the families you live with gives you a new way of thinking about things, they teach you how to handle different types of kids and how to handle some situations that you never knew you would be in. For me to be in the Au Pair program helps me to grow as a person while I can still do what I love to do which is playing with children and making them happy.
I can say that my family at this time that I meet them living at home have always supported me, in the correct handling of the language, as they have also taught me American culture as the culture where they are from, I cannot express what Grateful to have this family by my side.
~ Estefany, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 3 children ages 6 to 12
She [Au Pair] has been welcoming to various cultural activities and takes on changes and feedback in stride. It’s a challenging balance, maintaining a routine to provide individuals in a family the structure to work towards particular goals, for example a recital or match, while keeping spontaneity to take advantage of each new day, trying new recipes and activities. Without overextending herself, G [Au Pair] has tried to make the most of every day, for herself and our family.
~ Jackie, Host Mom in Omaha, NE with 3 children ages 2 to 7
I think my biggest hope was to enjoy everything the Au Pair program had to offer. I started this journey with an open mind, hoping to return to South Africa with a second family, memories, and adventures that I can tell my grandchildren about one day, as well as more confidence to step beyond my comfort zone. Never in my wildest dreams did I think all of my hopes and dreams were going to be met and exceeded by two Army Lieutenant Colonels and their then 1-month-old baby boy!
~ Shannon, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 1 child age 1
I had a lot of expectations coming to the US and my host family had waaaaaaay exceeded my expections. This is truly one big and happy family and I am so grateful to be apart of the M family. They have all crawled oh so deeply into my heart that I don’t think I ever want to say goodbye.
I got the best and I don’t plan and letting them go any time soon.
~ Mikayla, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 2 children ages 5 to 8
Dear reader, you can see that I have not the best family in the world, if you think a little harder, nobody has the best family. I have the right family to match with my personality, age, longings and plans. You can call it the perfect match. The S Family are my family in the United States, in my dream here, in a good experience, in this new life. I cannot think about my future life without them.
~ Paola, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children age 3
“You’re on the right track Mom, but these aren’t the same beans G [Au Pair] uses”. That’s my 7-year-old calling me out for my non-authentic version of Feijoada. I laughed and smiled brightly back at him. My son is by far the trickiest to connect with out of our 3 kids (3, 5, and 7 years old, and all very different), and I love how G has found a unique way to bond with each one of them. Cultural exchange and making connections are some of the obvious benefits we were expecting when we first signed up for the au pair program, but it’s only a small piece of the amazing potential au pairs have.
~ Elizabeth, Host Mom in Detroit, MI with 3 children ages 3 to 7
~ Kristel, Au Pair from Guatemala, caring for 4 children ages 7 to 14
My name is Kristel and I´m from Guatemala City, I am an au pair in Minnesota. And Yes, Minnesota. After living in a ‘eternal spring’ weather country, I decided to come to one of the coldest States, and I survived two winters…I came to this country to feel the craziest Minnesota cold, but being with this family, my heart felt warm and that was everything I needed.
He [Host Dad] likes telling jokes and i found that he is always the one who makes the atmosphere of family very happy. He love kids so much, and i was moved by the moment when he was playing the wrestling games, because at that time his shoulder was hurt; I was moved because he always gives kids the most patience to teach them; I was moved because no matter how busy he is, he also tries to give kids the enough time. T, the host mom, who surprised me a lot. She surprised me because of what she did to others, she always did a lot of good things, sometimes I asked her why, she told me and taught me that no matter what they may do to us in the future, we just need to keep conscience clear enough. That is a really meaningful lesson for me. She surprised me because of she is always trying her best to take care of everyone in the family.
~ Xuejing, Au Pair from China, caring for 2 children ages 6 and 8