Ice Skating at Blue Cross River Rink

Ophelia’s Diary.

After a whole week’s work, the best thing is getting together with several Au Pair friends, enjoying a wonderful weekend.Au Pairs at the rink

I have a lot very nice Au Pair friends. Most of them are from Go Au Pair. We always attending Au Pair meetings and volunteering together.Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRink

Now all of us are very good friends.Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRinkDuring a weekend, Au Pairs Stephy and Claudia invited Adriana and I hanged out together. We went to ice skating!Au pairs Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRinkIt was the first time for Adriana and I ice skating. I fell a lot.

 Au pairs Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRinkMore than ten times I guess. But I was super happy! I felt so free on the ice. I love it a lot!

Au pairs Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRink

I had so much great experience as an aupair. First time ice skating, first time skiing in Alaska. Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRink We got a lot snow in Philly this winter. Even though it’s super cold, I still like it a lot. Because I have never seen so much snow in China.

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary

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

Waiting for a Chinese Au Pair arrival.

This is the second part, read the first part A great match with a Chinese Au Pair.
In July 2012,  a single father with two kids, Gregory invited an Au Pair from China to join his family. The children stayed with his grandparents during the summer. Gregory was very busy preparing for a new life.  Several weeks later, by the time school started,  the new Au Pair Hui arrived to the US.

 

Chinese Au Pair with kids

I would say that Gregory’s family and Hui are a great match.  Hui has a very caring personality and she bonded with her host children quickly. As a Local Area Representative, I noticed right away that Hui is a great addition to Gregory’s family.

Chinese Au Pair life

The Au Pair  Hui has a lovely personality and a beautiful smile.  She has many talents, and is always ready to help without asking. She likes traveling and taking many great photos.  Hui has made a lot of friends.

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Hui is very intelligent, attentive and caring person.  She is also a modest person, very nice to others and puts others before her.  Hui became a big sister, a caring family member and the kids will remember her forever.

Chinese Au Pair, children.

During our meeting, the eight year old Henry came close to me and shared that Hui is a very good Au Pair. I believe him.

Stay tuned for a new entry A Chinese Au Pair Hui story.

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.

Save money with Featured Country Au Pairs!

Go Au Pair features a country each month.  This month Go Au Pair’s feature country is South Africa. Families who match with an Au Pair from South Africa will receive $100 off the program fees in addition to other discounts available.Au Pair s.africa flag

An Au Pair from South Africa is a great and common choice among Host Families.  Au Pairs from South Africa are taught to be independent from a young age, they grow up quickly and learn to be self-motivated and driven to achieve their goals. They drive from a young age, because of the rural areas here in South Africa, known as Farms. They are social people, love the outdoors, and adore animals, wild life and the ocean.aupairs south africa

American families benefits from South African Au Pairs because they grew up in a country very exposed to western cultures that makes them fit in exceptionally well with American Families, their English skills are very well developed, and South African Au Pairs are able to make the best of every situation and bring positive energy to any household. Read more about South African Au Pairs

I have three Au Pairs from South Africa, all of them are outstanding Au Pairs. This year an Au Pair Phila  from Durbin, S. Africa was nominated by her Host Family from Philadelphia as the Au Pair of the Year for the year of 2012.Phila

In the Au Pair of the Year nomination, Nicole – Host Mom, writes, “Looking back, I know that the day that we matched with Phila was probably one of the luckiest things ever to happen to our family because of the light and love she has brought into our home and for the positive influence she has been on the life and character of my daughters.  As a mother who works very long hours, there is nothing more important in the world to me than to know that, if I can’t be the one to take care of my children during the work week, the person who is taking care of them for me loves them almost as much as I do and is a shining example of grace, courage and character.”Au Pair Phila with her host child

Read more about the amazing experience this family is having with an Au Pair Phila.


How to find the best Au Pair.

The Host Mom from Go Au Pair agency, who recently considered hosting an Au Pair, said to me: “I found the best Au Pair, she is an excellent match for us. We really love our Au Pair, she couldn’t be better.  She is loving , enthusiastic, motivated and provides excellent childcare for my children and I am very happy with my choice”

But how to find the best Au Pair for the family?
I asked the host mom, who is lucky to have many great Au Pairs year after year said, “The key is a good match”.

First, my host mom suggested that Host Families should make a list of important qualities, values, and personality traits that would fit in with their family.

Second, my host mom suggested that during the interviewing process, to ask specific questions and give her scenarios to see how the Au Pair responds. A good idea is sending her Family Handbook and asking questions prior to matching.

In addition, she said that  good communication skills, openness to learning new things, and having a positive attitude are a must qualities of good Au Pairs.

Also she said that once the Au Pair arrives, it is important to be patient with her while she learns the family.

And last but not least is building a good relationship with your Au Pair. Host family should make the Au Pair feel that she is a part of their family, feel comfortable and happy in the house.

Please watch the movie and find more information about the program.

Which country is the best au pair from?

From an Au Pair mom.

(Anna T., a host mother and an author of articles about hosting an au pair: How to hire an au pairHow to save money on an au pair programHow to welcome your new au pair.)

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.

Au pair agencies keep statistics of the percentage of au pairs from each country who drive, who are under two qualified, who are college graduates, who obtain visas. If a family wants to narrow down the choice of countries, it can be helpful to speak to the agency representative when trying to figure out candidates from which countries might be the best fit for the family childcare needs.

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