Au Pair’s awesome class

Ophelia’s Diary.

Education is an important part of the Au Pair program. As an Au Pair in America, I received $500 educational allowance from my host family. This gives me a great chance to experience American’s education.

Aupair classes

My host family and a Local Area Representative (LAR) helped me find a nice school — International House of Philadelphia.Au pairs school

Now I take English class there. My classmates are from different counties such as Brazil, Japan, Turkey, Peru, France and so on. I can learn not just English but different countries’ culture in my class.

Au Pairs class

I have studied there almost two months. And my English does improve a lot during this time.

Au Pairs must complete 6 credit hours or 72 classroom hours during the program year and may complete any course -it does not have to be an English language class.Au Pair study

Next semester, I will take some accounting classes. Learning the tax system of America should be very helpful and interesting.

My first American birthday.

Ophelia’s Diary.

Please enjoy this post about a very special birthday that the Au Pair from Go Au Pair agency Ophelia had in America. Thank you very much for sharing with us, Ophelia. And Happy Birthday again!  We love you!

Hi, I am Ophelia, an au pair from China and now I live in Philadelphia. I just been 21 last Wednesday, I have a fantastic birthday experience in the US with my host family and au pair friends!

 Au Pairs meeting at Bryn Athym 022

I have been here for almost two months, I live a happy life in here with my host family. My host mom Sophie likes cooking, I learnt a lot from her, can you image that she even baked a birthday cake for me! It’s the best cake I once got on my birthday! Also, I got an Amazon gift card and an eCard from grandma Sandy, she is in Alaska now, but she still remember my birthday, how sweet she is!

 Au Pair's cake

As my birthday was on Wednesday, most of my friends need to work, so we couldn’t celebrate it that day. But all my Au pair friends remembered my birthday, they posted lots of blessing words on my Facebook, this made me moved a lot! Finally on Saturday night, we got a chance to have a small au pair party for my birthday. We celebrated it at Monica’s home, Monica’s host parents are so nice, they even gave us some fund to suppose our party!

 Au Pair's birthday

It’s really a mini party, just Monica, Annie, Fernanda and I we four joined it, but we still have fun together. We planned to celebrate for another two au pairs together, as their birthdays are close, but unfortunately, they have to work at Saturday night. Now let me show you how fun was this mini party!

Au Pairs Philadelphia

This was our first time to meet Fernanda, she is a very nice and kind girl, and I got a lovely gift from her. And Monica cooked a flan for our party. That flan looks just like a perfect birthday cake, I love it a lot.  Also, I baked some classic bran muffins for our party, there are more recipes on Au Pair Sis Pinterest

Classic Bran Muffins

We got a lot of delicious food in here. When we were together, we talked a lot about our life in the US and in our hometown. My friends were interested in Chinese culture, so I tried to explain to my friends about how we write in Chinese.

As an au pair, I did feel a lot about the cultural difference, and I learned a lot, I enjoy it!

My host parents are so sweet, they knew I like cooking a lot, so they give me a wonderful cooking class as a birthday gift!  Guess what kind of birthday gift I got from my host parents?  It’s “classic Italian desserts cooking class”!

How wonderful the cooking class will be? Let me share it with you next time!
Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary

Learn Brazilian culture with a Brazilian Au Pair!

Hosting a Brazilian Au Pair in Host Family home will bring an opportunity to learn the rich Brazilian culture and Portuguese language!
Read Au Pair Diary, that  Juliana Gasbarra, a former Au Pair from Brazil wrote about Brazil and a wonderful experience being an Au Pair in America . Juliana is from Sao Paulo, Brazil and was an Au Pair from Go Au Pair in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA.

Juliana  graduated in Journalism from Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, she loves to read, listen to music and write.
Juliana shared about many special events , like The Au Pair’s Holiday partyA Brazilian Festival in Philly!, exploring new places  Trip to Philly and experiencing a Thanksgiving celebration for the first time My First Thanksgiving.
Juliana's body
Juliana had a busy life working, studying, meeting new friends and traveling My busy but fun life as an Au Pair and she was busy Teaching Portuguese to Host kids!

Juliana's kids

She also wrote about her native country My beautiful Brazil, Lindo maravilhosa! and unforgettable time with her host family An amazing Christmas and New Year with my Host Family!
Her host family was very happy with childcare and the Au Pair program experience that they got. The family and the kids really love Juliana. They  keep in touch and plan to visit each other.

Rio_Carnaval_(2)

If you think about spending unforgettable year learning about Brazil, Go Au Pair has many experienced Brazilian Au Pairs.
Source. Wikipedia Cidade de Sao Paulo (2)

In honor of Go Au Pair featured country, families who match with an Au Pair from Brazil in May Go Au Pair agency offered a $100 off the program fees.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in 82 countries and territories around the world, including Australia, the United States, China, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Vietnam and South Africa. Mother’s Day is celebrated in different ways around the world.flowers

People of South Africa celebrate Mother’s Day in its true spirit by acknowledging the importance of mothers in their lives and thanking them profusely for all their love and care. Young children present their mothers with homemade gifts while the elder ones buy gifts for their mothers.

In South Africa, Mother’s Day is taken as an opportunity to thank not just mothers but also grandmothers and women who are like mothers.

Holding Daisies

There are hundreds of  the host mothers, who became like mothers to their Au Pairs.

Host mothers, who opened their homes and hearts for Au Pairs!
Host moms, who are very busy with their work and family, but still have time to spend with their Au Pairs.
Host moms, who are considerate, warm and friendly and always willing to help.
Host moms, who are caring, respectful and teaches their Au Pairs in a positive way.

One Au Pair recently shared with me, saying that her experience being an Au Pair in america is very valuable.  She said, “I have grown as a person,  have learned many things first of all, I learned from my host mom how to be a good mother. My host mom is such a busy person and successful in her career, but with the kids she is very loving, patient and respectful to “the little people.” I believe my host mother is a  good example how to raise children.”mothers day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms! 

My au pair life in the USA

This is the last part, read the first part A great match with a Chinese Au Pair , the second part Waiting for a Chinese Au Pair arrival and the third A Chinese Au Pair story.

The Au Pair from China Hui continue her story.

by the Chinese Au Pair Hui

My sister visited us and spend Chinese new year with us. She is always welcome, kids like her!

Au Pair Hui  China 6

Amazing!We are watching the NBA game live Rockets vs Brooklyn! This is my host dad’s present for us for our birthday!Au Pair Hui China 4

At the beginning, Au pair has a lot of things to figure out, but don’t worry too much, you are not alone!Au Pair Hui China 5

For the new life, I need to figure out a lot of stuff, like open a bank account,  get a social security number, find my classes, get a driving license…my host family help me a lot. Right now I got my driver license. And I’m taking a fine arts classes and  English class. I really enjoy my classes and enjoy everything here. Thanks!

My last words:  The kids love Hui, Gregory gave Hui the offer to continue with the family for another year. Hui is always busy taking care of the kids, teaching them and having fun together. The kids love Hui, she became the big sister and the family member.

Also, Gregory and kids have become a great family for Hui, they help her to adjust to the life here, to improve her English, they include her in all activities. Gregory helped Hui to start driving in the USA.  An iPad 5, Gregory’s present Hui when she arrived in the US,  became one of her favorite things. Gregory and kids are always ready the help Hui and her twin sister.

A Chinese Au Pair story.

This is the third part, read the first part A great match with a Chinese Au Pair and the second part Waiting for a Chinese Au Pair arrival.

The Au Pair from China Hui is sharing her story after being an Au Pair 7 months in the USA with a single father Gregory and his two kids.

By the Au Pair Hui.

Time goes by so fast, it is already half of the year since I came here. I still remember after Au Pair training, in New York,  my host dad drove me from New York home. We got home and waited kids from a school bus. That was my first time really see them.

They really look more cute and beautiful than on Skype : ) !Look, Nina almost as same tall as me.

Au Pair Hui

Awesome! This is my first time for Halloween!

Au Pair Hui China.

They were writing Chinese calligraphy. Every Sunday we go Chinese school together, and I also help the kids learn Chinese at home.Au Pair Hui China3

Do something funny. Ha, Ha, Ha!Au Pair Hui China7

They like dumping so much! We tried to make dumping by ourselves. We were successful! They look great and delicious,  right?Au Pair Hui China 8

My host dad always drives me to the station while I go to visit my sister. Every time he and kids wait for the train with me and until I get on the train.Au Pair Hui China2

A great match with a Chinese Au Pair.

This month China is Go Au Pair’s featured country (a special discount  available for the families who match with an Au Pair from China), therefore I would like to post another story about a great Au Pair program experience of a family who matched with a Chinese Au Pair.

Last summer Gregory L, a single father with two kids who lives in Bucks County, PA, shared his story on my blog. Many people left comments on my blog and asked me to follow up on what happened.

Gregory started his story with explanation why he consider an Au Pair for childcare,” My wife was from China and stayed home with the children.  Then, in early April 2012, she was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer. Sadly, she passed away three weeks later after surgery to try to remove the cancer.”

Gregory said, ” While no one is going to replace their mother, having someone like a big sister, someone who could bridge both cultures, seemed like a viable alternative”.

Henry Greg Nina fly-fishing June-2011

Gregory learned that many single parents considered the Au Pair program and contacted Go Au Pair agency in spring 2012. During the next few months Gregory was continuously looking,  reviewing and speaking with many Au Pair’ candidates to find a mature and responsible Au Pair from China.

Go Au Pair agency is a leading agency for Au Pairs from China.  Go Au Pair’s Placement Coordinator Amanda and I kept in touch with Gregory almost daily.  Finally, Gregory found the one  he was looking for – a lovely, kind Chinese Au Pair named Hui who has a lot of experience with kids and had worked in orphanages.Chinese Au Pair Hui

After speaking many times with Hui on Skype, Gregory gave her an offer and Go Au Pair agency made arrangements that Hui would arrive to the US as soon as possible.

While waiting for Hui’s arrival, Gregory was very busy with many projects: remodeling the house, buying new furniture and amenities for Hui’s room.  The kids were helping to decorate the Au Pair room for Hui, drawing and preparing welcoming pictures.

Henry card to Au Pair pg 2

Gregory and the kids were waiting for Hui’s arrival with anticipation.

Stay tuned for a new entry Waiting for a Chinese Au Pair arrival.

The Au Pair program and cultural diversity.

Every time the Au Pairs from my cluster and I get together, I enjoy cultural diversity and learn a lot from my Au Pairs.  Cultural diversity enriches our lives in many ways. Hearing the stories, exploring different kinds of foods, music and cultures are educational and fun. Thank to the Au Pair program,  Host Families and Au Pairs benefit from cultural exchange and long friendship.

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Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries, which is why I get to experience a huge cultural diversity around me, which I really enjoy.  Right now there are Brazilian Au PairsChinese Au PairsColombian Au PairsSalvadorian Au PairsEcuadorian Au PairsPanamanian Au PairsSouth African Au PairsMexican Au Pairs, Cameroonian Au Pair  in my cluster.

Au Pairs speak different languages, have differently colored skin and heritage, and practice different cultures and religions. Even though, there are  many differences,  Au Pairs have a lot in common: they participate in the  Au Pair program and have the Form DS-2019 and the J-1 Visa, have childcare experience and love kids,  have the same desire to work as an Au Pair in America, common interests and needs.

Au Pair.Lala

The Au Pairs program teaches to accept the differences.  Acceptance is important to friendship because friendship requires it along with honesty and commitment.  Friendship comes when you care about who the other person really is. If you can learn to truly accept the differences that other Au Pairs bring into your life,  you will make many special friends, because friendship is an acceptance of another, not an altering.

Friendship has wings

Au Pairs and winter colds.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that Americans catch one billion colds per year and as many as 20% of Americans get the flu. Moreover, 7 in 10 Americans use over-the-counter medicines to treat cold, cough and flu symptoms.

Many Au Pairs become sick when they are taking care of sick kids. I advise my Au-Pairs to get a flu shot at a local pharmacy before the flu season,  preferably in the fall. Aupair flushot

All Au Pairs have travel insurance that is designed for emergency situations. Using the Au Pair insurance for non-emergency situation,  may cost an Au Pair more than paying with cash.  Au Pair’s insurance covers just a part of the care which often depends on many factors.

aupair with flu

If you have cold symptoms, you can always ask a pharmacist for an advice. Pharmacists are trained experts in the use of medicines. The pharmacist can also recommend when you should see a physician or seek other medical care based on your symptoms.  Many Walgreens take care clinics and CVS minute clinics in Philadelphia open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and on weekends from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, where everyone can get treatment without appointment and get the medication right away.

Aupair having flu

Always ask about the cost of the treatment  before scheduling an appointment. Some doctors offer discounts for patients without comprehensive insurance.  If you find that you need medical help constantly, you can upgrade your insurance policy anytime and I can help you with it. Read more about what Au Pair can do if illness strikes.Au-Pair Flu-Season

If you have a cold, you can care for yourself by using some traditional methods, drinking warm beverages like tea and hot apple cider, wrapped in a quilt or wearing a warm pajamas and socks after a steaming hot bath or shower, and getting rest.

Prevention off illness is always the best remedy.

Read about 7 tips to avoid a flu.

7 ways to avoid the flu for the Au Pairs

Many Au Pairs become sick every year. Here are some of my favorite tips for  flu prevention.

Get a flu shot. Go to Target, CVS, Walgreens, or your local health clinic to get a flu shot. One of the best first-lines of defense from flu is to have a flu shot, preferably in the fall.Au Pair flu shot

Wear warm clothes. I noticed that many Au Pairs who came from “warm” countries, don’t wear appropriate cold weather clothes and boots. Wearing warm coats and boots keep our immune system stay strong.

Shady brook

Eat fruits and vegetables – A Berlin 2011 study reports that a dietary supplement from fruits and vegetables provided a “20% reduction of moderate or severe common cold symptom days.” Eat garlic and onions. Garlic is also known as Russian Penicillin. Eat orange, red and yellow bell peppers, slice them up and eat them as snacks all the time. They are loaded with vitamin C and other vitamins.

healthy food

Take Vitamins and supplements – Colds and flu strike harder in winter because limited sunlight deprives us of Vitamin D and other vitamins and supplements. Kids usually take vitamins, buy some vitamins and take them too. Vitamin D also can be found in fortified milk and orange juice, fatty fish, and other food products.Au pair fighting Flu

Drink a lot of water – drink, drink, drink. Keep your body hydrated with 8-10 glasses of H2O daily.  Water strengthens the immune system by transporting oxygen to cells, moving nutrients to our tissues and organs, and flushing out toxic impurities.Au-pair drinking-water

Wash your and kids hand and  don’t infect your face.  Wash your hands frequently, make sure the children you care for wash theirs, carry a bag of clean tissues and use a hand sanitizer.  Do this especially before and after cooking, school pickups, and visits to crowded places. Our eyes are the most susceptible at absorbing viral particles, shut your eyes and move quickly away if someone sneezes or coughs near you.  Don’t touch your face.

Au Pair Wash-Your-Hands

Walk and play in the sun. Walk , run or play with kids outside especially when bright sunshine glance through the winter. Solar radiation in sunshine delivers flu-and-cold-combating Vitamin A to our bodies and make as strong and feel happy.

Au Pair new year

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