From an Au Pair mom.
Does it matter which country is an au pair from?
Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries, and very popular are Argentine, Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian, French, South Korean, Mexican, Russian, Salvadorian, South African, Thai and Ukrainian Au Pairs.
Faced with so many choices of au pair candidates, it is only natural for a host family to look for a way to narrow the search down. A question many au pair agency staff and local counselors hear from host families is, tell us
which countries the best au pairs come from.
The real answer is – it depends. The best au pair for one family can be a bad fit for another family. A lot depends on the personality and experience of the individual au pair. But there are also some common traits and cultural values that shape candidates from different countries
Cultural differences, not to be confused with stereotypes, are the result of an upbringing in a different country, with its own culture, religion and values. For example, au pairs from many Latin American countries typically have close family relationships, and are very affectionate and loving with children, and believe in God. Au pairs from Asia take their job extremely seriously, and value education.
There are also differences shaped by the living conditions in a country, that are not cultural. For example, in some Asian countries it might not be common for young women to drive or own a car, so au pairs from those countries might be not very experienced drivers.
In some countries the economic divide between rich and poor is so great, that every middle class family has a maid, so an au pair from such a country might not have a clue about simple domestic tasks (but might be perfectly willing and excited to learn!).
In more prosperous countries it might be easier for a high school graduate to pay for applying to the au pair program, and less lucrative to do so for a college graduate – so the candidate pool from such countries might be considerably younger.
Another factor in family country preference is personal experience, or experience of others.
For experienced host families, their preference for a certain country might be shaped by their personal experience with the au pair program. After an unsuccessful match, it is natural to avoid candidates from the same area of the world, for the next few years, or forever.
Or conversely, after good luck with candidates from a certain country, it is natural to look to repeat the same experience. Ease, difficulty or speed of obtaining au pair visas also varies from country to country. This factor can also dictate country choice for au pair host families.