Washington, DC – April 18th & 19th

As apart of the Go Au Pair program, an au pair must complete 72 hours of 6 credit unites over the course of their 12 month placement. With this in mind I signed up for the CULTURAL HIGHWAYS education program which includes 3 classroom sessions at Pierce College, (1x Saturday and 2x Sundays) as well as a tour of Washington, DC. The Washington, DC tour was this weekend (April 18th & 19th) and I absolutely had the time of my life and 100% recommend it to everyone!

Ron Dingman was our tour manager and I hope you are lucky enough to have this wonderful man on your tour! He is so funny and nice and will help you with any question no matter how dumb it may be! (I certainly gave him a run for his money on how many dumb questions he could handle in one weekend).

Our tour bus was departing Philadelphia (30th street station) at 10.10am sharp and I wanted to be on time so I caught the 7:45am train from Colmar statio which was expected to arrive at 30th street station at 8:49am. I only needed a 1 way train ticket which was $7.00.

Upon arrival at 30th street station I met some of the other girls on this trip. They brought snacks and drinks for the long bus ride however as I am extremely poor at the moment I chose the cheaper option which was to go IMG_6010[1]without. In the end I did by 1x 500ml bottle of coke zero which cost me $2.69 at ‘Au Bon Pain’.

We got on the bus and the journey began. There were already other au pairs on the bus who were picked up from places such as New York and New Jersey. We were on the bus for an hour before making our first rest stop At this rest stop I brought my lunch which was ‘Pop Eye Chicken’, I ordered a 3x piece chicken combo which included fries, this cost me, $7.89. After this 30 minute rest break we were back on the road and didn’t stop until 2.00pm for our 2nd and final rest stop at Union Station- I did not purchase anything here as I was not hungry from such a huge lunch!

We left here at 2:35pm to set off to our first landmark which was THE WHITE HOUSE! This was definitely my favourite site of the DC trip! After that we left and went to the LINCOLN MEMORIAL & THE REFLECTION POOL. Both of these were absolutely outstanding! From there we went to the NATIONAL MALL and there we saw the World war 1 and 2 memorial as well as the JFK memorial.

So once we’d seen this we headed to the hotel to check in (We stayed at the Hilton Arlington). The Hotel was absolutely magnificent! Stunning design, gorgeous, furniture, friendly staff and comfortable beds, it was abslolutley perfect!

Essentially I walked in and walked out because a friend I made on the tour wanted to go see a band that was playing called ‘Oh Honey’. The band was playing at the Rock and Roll Hotel and public transport was going to take an hour to get there and so we used ‘Uber’ instead of a taxi/ cab as it was cheaper. The Uber ride was roughly 25 minutes and cost us $20 which is certainly cheaper than any taxi! (Especially as it only ended up being $10 each).IMG_6011[1]

Tickets for the show cost $15 so we purchased those and then went inside, only to find out ‘Oh Honey’ wasn’t playing until 10pm. As we weren’t interested in the opening act we decided to get dinner. We ended up at Impala (just across the road from the Rock and Roll hotel) which was a nice little Mexican restaurant. I ordered a steak with fries and vegetables, with a coke. The meal was fantastic and only cost me $17.90. (Something I will definitely miss when I leave the U.S is free refills!)

We headed to the concert at 9.00pm and listened to the opening act ‘Public’ and then obviously the main act ‘Oh Honey’. I had never seen this band before however I had a really good night and I could not recommend them enough !!

We left at midnight after a meet and greet with the band and caught an ‘Uber’ ride back to the hotel. As it was later in the night and rides were in highIMG_5680[1]er demand the total price ended up being $30, and so the two of us split it, spending $15.00 each. The rest of the night I spent with my room mates.

The next morning we got u

p at 8am as the bus was leaving at 9:15am. I got ready as quickly as possible however did not have time for breakfast which was totally disapointing as I was really looking forward to having something from Ihop for the first time.

We departed with our luggage loaded on the bus at 9:15pm and our first stop was the AIR FORCE MEMORIAL. We spent 20 minutes there before being dropped at the National Mall and being given 3 hours of free time. I chose to see the WASHINGTON MONUMENT as well as the HOLOCAUST MUSEUM- both attractions were free.

Before leaving the girls and I got lunch and sat on the grass to eat it. I got McDonalds from a pop up stand as there was nothing else around and this cost me $5.70.

We departed Washington, DC at 2.55pm exactly only making one stop on the way home where I did not purchase anything as I was well and truely broke and wasn’t hungry anyway.

We arrived at 30th street station at 6:40pm and I waited until 7:11pm for my train home to Colmar station where I drove home from.

This trip is well recommended to all au pairs! The cost of the classes and trip in total is $369 which is coverIMG_6004[1]ed by your host family. You make so many friends, irreplaceable memories and have so much fun! Could not recommend it enough!

Celebration a legacy of international friendship.

Please join us on Saturday, April 18th, 2015,  at 11:30 AM for the Au Pair’s cultural event and The International Spring Festival If you want to learn about the Au Pair program and meet the Au Pairs from around the world and their host families, see the unique Parade of Nations and a Fashion Show, worldwide musical and dance performances, and taste amazing food, you should be there.Au Pairs celebration at penn museum

We are looking forward to celebrating the return of Spring, a legacy of international friendship and cultural exchange through music, food and the performing arts. The International Spring Festival brings together people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds and promotes friendship.

Au Pair internatioanl

The International Spring Festival is the largest diversity event in Pennsylvania. The Festival combines international foods, music, entertainment, a Health Fair, a Fashion Show and tons of children’s activities. There will be a lot of international performances: Classical Indian Dances, Ballet Folklorico Yaretzi, Mexican Dance, African Dance and Drum Ensemble, Chinese Dance and Music, Philippino Dance, and Korean Classical Dance.

It is a Festival of Life, Spring and Friendship. Come join Go Au Pair Team!

 

St Patrick’s Day Parade

As we all know it was just St Patrick’s day and in the past I’ve never been a celebrator for St Patrick’s day its more just bIMG_0829een an excuse to get drunk which is pretty much an Australian tradition no matter the holiday, but this year being in America and everything I thought I’d get into the spirit and attend my first ever St Patrick’s Day parade.

Never the less on Sunday the 15th of March I headed to Philadelphia to watch the parade! Now to paint a little picture for you all, lately the weather has been warming up, and I was staying at a friends on the Saturday night so I didn’t pack my coat because I wanted to pack light. And so on this faithful Sunday morning with a temperature of below 5 degrees Celsius, all I was wearing was leggings, a t-shirt and a denim jacket. I feel safe in my heart in saying, I have never been so cold in my entire life! It was by far the moIMG_0784st painfully, freezing cold I have every experienced!

So anyways, the day was completely amazing! I love meeting new au pairs, there all as crazy as me which is amazing and have the same nerves and fears as me which calms me down and helps me a lot to know that I’m not the only one!   IMG_0729

The Au Pair Mission

The Au Pair Mission is to provide quality childcare for American families while participating in cultural exchange. The program is regulated by the U.S. Department of State and promotes international understanding and cultural exchange.

According to Go Au Pair agency,”The Au Pair Program is an amazing opportunity to introduce a cultural childcare experience. ” The Au Pair Mission is to

Provide quality childcare

Au Pair childcare

Enrich the lives of American childrenfaicepainting with au pair AndreaActively participate as a member of the familyIMG_2569Be an ambassador of their home country at Penn MuseumShare their Au Pair experience after leaving the USAu pair and kids

Enhance their own lives through the Au Pair experienceGo Au Pair Team

Au Pairs represent their home countries and are eager to share their culture, traditions and create lasting friendship throughout the program year. The Au Pair Mission is to enhance understanding and improve the way to communicate with people of different countries through cultural exchange.

Merry Christmas!

Ho-Ho-Ho!

Merry Christmas to all of the Au Pairs and our LAR’S.

merry-christmas-2014-wishes

Ok, the beginning was a little cheesy, but come on, what would Christmas be without any Ho-Ho-Ho’s?!

I hope each and everyone of you had a lovely day with your host families. I know this holiday is difficult without your friends and families around you. I for one was on Skype with my parents for 3 hours this morning. I’m was never away from home, and now being with a different family was different, but just as fun!

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The one thing I really enjoyed about this Christmas was the children’s faces when they were opening their gifts. I’ve never seen so much love and excitement in one room. It makes me wish that I could be a child again. Am I right that most Au Pairs feel that way?

kidsChristmas

Oh, and guess what my gift was from my awesome host family… Suitcases!! Yeah, exactly what I needed! (In case you don’t know why I’m so excited about my gift, read it here.)

I’ll leave you with my favorite Christmas quote:  “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”  ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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Welcome, Stacy!

Anastasia Molchanova or Stacy (22) is a new Au Pair from Ukraine that joined our cluster a month ago. Thanks to Au Pair Monica from Colombia that volunteered to be her buddy.

Au Pair from Ukraine

Stacy graduated from the Medical University in Ukraine and her brother is currently a high school student in the US. She loves being a big sister and she enjoyed helping her mom raise her little brother.

 ”I always liked to be with children, any other work does not bring me so much satisfaction. So I decided to be a doctor/pediatrician in the future. I volunteered in a baby house, where I looked after the children, helped nurses with babies’ examination, and played developing games with children.”

Au Pair from Ukraine  with her brother

Stacy also wants to be an Au Pair so that she could improve her English and meet new people. A better knowledge of English will allow her to improve and develop faster as a pediatrician.

Stacy’s hobbies include traveling, doing sports like skating, swimming, running, dancing and she enjoys cooking.

Au Pair from Ukraine 2

Stacy describes herself as patient, goal-oriented and reliable. She would like to visit China, Argentina and India.

Au Pair from Ukraine 1

I hope that you will have a great time here as an Au Pair Stacy and also that you will be a great pediatrician in the future :)

Autism speaks- the puzzle pieces

The puzzle piece represents Autism and was designed to raise awareness about autism. autism1I think the puzzle also symbolizes our community, and the pieces symbolize the people who get together and piece by piece create the unity and support.autism and au pair
Many Au Pairs from Philadelphia, Bucks County and NJ joined Go Au Pair Team and helped fundraise for Autism Speaks.  Together we can do a lot of good things.Au Pair volunteering at Bucks CountyAu Pairs from our Go Au Pair Philadelphia, Bucks County and NJ cluster came from many countries and they are much more than just nannies. They are young, active, love children and want to change the future of the kids, this time the future of the kids who struggle with Autism.Au pair team in Bucks CountyThe team hosted three fundraising events for Autism Speaks in Philadelphia, Langhorne and New Hope and raised more than$700.Au Pairs team.Volunteering for Autism Speaks is a special opportunity to make a difference in kids life. That is also a life changing experience for the Au Pairs. Go Au Pair agency helps their Au Pairs have the best cultural exchange experience during the Au Pair program.autism-puzzleMany Au Pairs may become ambassadors when return back home. They spread their experience of volunteering and all together we may solve the Puzzle of Autism.

Oksana, a new Au Pair from Ukraine

Oksana arrived in her hostamily in the Philadelphia area about 4 weeks ago. She’s 23 years old and our au pair Yoselin is her buddy, who already helped her a bit during her first weeks as an au pair.
Oksana, who grew up in the most beautiful part of Ukraine surronded by the Carpathian mountains,  graduated from University with a master degree in management. But besides her interests in managerical problems she’s interested in other cultures and languages and loves to work with people from different countries.

The main reason why I decided to become an au pair is that I truly love children. I love to see how differently children see the world, and I am happy to be presented with an opportunity to see their development and contribute to it.

Oksana

To develop my personality I always tried to do a lot of interesting things. Some of them are traveling, reasing, handcrafting, cookind & baking and learning foreign languages.

oksana (6)

Before my arrival in the States it was an eventful time for me. I graduated from University and the second child in my host family was born. The third thing – my godson started walking!

Oksana (3)

Responsible, creative, open-mineded – three words to describe herself.

The only thing I can wish for, in this very tense situation in Ukraine, is peace for my country and its citizens.

Oksana

I like to spend my free time with my family and friends. Usually, we go hiking, have BBQ or simply watch our favorite movie together. But one of the most important ways to spend our free time is a volunteer job at the care center for kids with special needs.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. That is why we have to believe in ourselves, vreate our own lives and then live it!

Oksana (4)

I am very good at making life brighter and more colorful by doing things that make other people happier.

I’m persuaded of being able to be a good au pair, because I’ve always loved children and I had a chance to gain experience with children in lots of different areas.

oksana (2)

The Au pair program is a unique opportunity to experience first-hand the culture and diversity the United States have to offer. It is an incredible chance to make a difference. To learn and to be able to teach, to experience and share the values.

During her previous trip to the Unites States, she had a great experience visiting New York City, Conneticut and Montana. And this time she believes  Pennsylvania will be the place where she can meet new friends and make some unforgettable memories.

 

Oksana, I welcome you again to our cluster! I’m looking forward to meet you soon! I hope you’ll have a great year in the US and that you can do and see as much as possible.

 

 

Cherry, one of our awesome South-African Au Pairs.

Cherry is in our cluster since January and she takes care of a little baby-boy in center city, Philadelphia. She’s a happy and funny person, always there for others and it makes so much fun to do something  with her.

I was born in Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. I’m very friendly and very optimistic. I’m a huge water and animal lover. I worked in Sunnybank pre-school last year as an assistant Teacher and toured Australia with my family in June/July 2013. I love learning about new languages and cultures. I’d like to study drama, music and Psychology/Criminology.

photo 2

I want to be an au pair, because I’m young, I love children and the program is great for work and travel in another country and discover more about yourself.

photo 4

I love all the arts (music, dance and drama), reading, swimming, drawing, sports, and trying new things and I’m interested in Psychology.

Smiley, thoughtful…. fish-in-water – that’s how she describes herself.

Cherry would like to see Boston, NYC (again), Miami,Washington D.C., Montreal and Canada in general, Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, New Orleans, LA and California in general – basically she’d like to visit as much places as possible.

In my free time I like to travel, do sports (especially swimming), spend time with my friends, watch series or to read a book. 

As an aupair, I expect to have a wonderful experience, full of traveling and new adventures and to have a great relationship with my host family and their beautiful son.

photo 1

I think you had a great time here so far and everyone can see that you love Taeghan and enjoy every minute with him! All the best for your remaining time in the US!

photo 3It has been a wonderful experience so far and everyone I’ve met and spent time with, has been awesome.  Thank you!

How to Speed Up Morning Routines for Kids.

I was reading a blog  post of my colleague, Joan Lowell, a Local Area Representative from Providence, Prepare Now for School Next Week! Yes, school is just around the corner and now is the time to prepare the kids for school.

Getting back in the school groove after a long summer break is challenging for the kids and Au Pairs.  There are many responsibilities for Au Pairs who work with school age kids. It is important that kids will be at school on time, but sometimes can be very challenging.

AuPair And Kids
A good idea is starting to play with kids, pretend the morning scenario and help kids to prepare for school morning routine. Au Pairs can start to play at night or weekend using a mom and baby stuffed animal and act out the morning routine. You can give your host kid the “mom” role and play out the scenario.  Make it funny and include scenarios in which a kid animal goes to school in his pjs.

Start to prepare to school at night.

Check out the weather forecast the night before.
Pack up beforehand.
Make lunches ahead of time.

Here are some great ideas to speed up your host kids morning routine.Morning-High-Five

Stick to regular morning routines
Keep the routine as simple as possible.
Get a timer.
Make it a team effort.
Build in extra time.
Give Choices.

The Au Pair may create a morning routine chart for the host kids.

morning routine chart

 For more tips, please follow Au Pair Sis on Pinterest

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