Going Bowling for Fernanda’s Farewell Party

Ophelia’s Diary.

The best moment is having new Au Pairs  join us, the saddest moment is having close Au Pairs leaving us. On September 29th, Sunday afternoon, eight Au Pairs came to Fernanda’s Farewell Party. Fernanda is an Au Pair from Brazil, and she is going home next week.

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We created a special T-shirt for Fernanda, that was a sweet moment for all of us. We are Au Pairs from different countries -Spain, El Salvador, Ecuador, China and Germany.

We wrote blessing words for Fernanda in Chinese, German, Spanish, Russian and English.IMG_20130929_165135

Then we went bowling together. For me and some other Au Pairs this was our first time bowling. Au Pair program gives us a lot of chances to explore variety new interesting things. We appreciate it a lot. Even thought this was my first time bowling, I knocked down all ten pins! I was so excited about it.

Everyone had a great time at Fernanda’s farewell party. We will miss her so much. Good luck Fernanda, we love you forever!  Also, wish new Au Pair Sandra has a great time in here with us!

IMG_20130929_155119Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.

Au Pairs share their smiles.

All people smile in the same language. Proverb.

Go Au Pair agency sponsored the FRUA  Holiday Party. Several Au Pairs from Philadelphia, Bucks County and close NJ and I volunteered for  this event.

They shared their time and smiles with FRUA families and kids adopted from Russian speaking countries.

It was a great cultural experience for Au Pairs, who came from Germany, Brazil, El Salvador and Panama.  Now they live with American families, take care of the kids and learn about American culture. They also have a unique opportunity to learn more about different countries.

The FRUA party was great. It really was. Everyone learned a lot about Russian culture tradition and heritage there.

Russian speaking kids prepared a special concert and then they played together with kids adopted from Russia and former Soviet Union countries.

The families enjoyed delicious Russian food and a huge cake that Go Au Pair agency kindly presented for this special event.

It was a very special time for all of us.  Au Pairs enjoyed painting on children’s face. Several Au Pairs are experienced face painters. Kids loved the face painting that Au Pairs did for them.

Au Pairs were busy helping with preparations for the event, playing with kids, and smiling.

There is a well-known Russian song ” Smile”

http://lyricstranslate.com

A smile will make a dull day brighter,
A smile will make a rainbow appear in the sky…
Communicate your smile,
And it will come back to you more than once.

Au Pairs volunteered and smiled, smiled and smiled because smiles are contagious!   

Free Winter Holiday Festival plus $1000 off discount for FRUA adoptive families.

Au Pairs from Go Au Pair and I love volunteering for the Pennsylvania Chapter for Families of Russian and Ukrainian Adoption (FRUA).  We volunteered  for FRUA families who have adopted children from Eastern Europe and Central Asia before. Au Pairs met many nice families, played with very special children and brought smiles to  kids faces. We became friends with FRUA and  are looking forward to helping FRUA with their Winter Holiday Festival.

FRUA  supports adoptive families and helps families celebrate their child’s native heritage. This year FRUA invites Adoptive Families to the FRUA PA annual Winter Holiday Festival on February 12, 2012 from 1:00-4:00 pm. FRUA will have a FREE Russian catered luncheon and professional performances from Father Frost and Granddaughter, as well as Russian vocalists.  There will be plenty of activities for the children hosted by the sponsor of this event, Go Au Pair agency.

Au Pairs from Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery County and part of NJ cluster will provide many activities for the children, games, face paintings, story readings, and helping with crafts. Several of the Au Pairs in the cluster are from Russia and Ukraine  and they will answer questions about Russian heritage and culture.

Go Au Pair agency is gladly providing FRUA with a huge cake, prizes, sweets and free subscription of  Highlights, the educational magazine for children. Go Au Pair also will give $1000 off discount to any adoptive families who will be there.

The annual Winter Holiday Festival is free and in addition, Go Au Pair offers any family in attendance a $1000 discount off of the program fees. If you are a family with adopted children from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, please come join us. The party will be located at at JCC Klein Brunch Community Center, 10100 Jamison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116 .

Au Pairs’ Chinese New Year celebration

Au Pairs from Go Au Pair agency are going to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Chinatown in Philadelphia, which is the nation’s fourth largest Chinatown.

The Chinese New Year is the oldest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan. 23, 2012. Read more:

We will observe the Year of the Dragon with delicious foods, music and fun. We are going to learn Chinese heritage, traditions and culture. I may finally learn  how to use chopsticks :-).

The Au Pair program helps Au Pairs to learn the American culture. Au Pairs have many activities in historical and cultural places where they get together, get to know each other better, make friends and have fun.

But here is much more. This amazing program helps Au Pairs also learn about other cultures and celebrate holidays that are unique to Au Pairs countries. For example, an Asian au-pair can bring  the unique Asian culture and host family get to experience the world without leaving their house. :-).

Right now there are Au Pairs from 9 different countries: China, Brazil, Ukraine, Panama, France, Colombia, El Salvador, South Africa, Russia in Go Au Pair’s cluster in Philadelphia, Bucks County and part of NJ. We will  use the opportunity to celebrate many holidays, make up the events and learn more about different countries.

Our next meeting will be the Brazilian Festival with a costume party, Brazilian food cooking class, costume  and dance competition, Brazilian music and much more. Then we are going to volunteer for children adopted from Russia and learn all about Russian culture, tradition and heritage.

Chinese people say that a celebration of  Chinese New Year attracts prosperity, abundance, success and good fortune  into our life.  Come join us if you need good luck in the New Year!

The Au Pair of the Year Award 2012 to one outstanding Au Pair.

Every year, the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) presents the Au Pair of the Year Award to one outstanding Au Pair. The recipient of this prestigious award is determined by an essay nomination provided by Host Families from around the world. 

Go Au Pair has started to collect such essays from Host Families for IAPA’s 9th Annual Au Pair of the Year Award.

Eligibility

1. The nomination is an essay written by you, the Host Family, describing the characteristics that make your Au Pair exceptional (see tips below). The essay should be from 500 to 850 words (about 1 page single spaced) and written in English
2. Entries must be returned to Go Au Pair no later than December 31, 2011. Only emailed submissions will be accepted. Please email your submission with all related documents and any questions to marketing@goaupair.com.
3. The Au Pair being nominated for the award is or was an Au Pair during the year of 2011.
4. Photos are also required and videos are strongly recommended.
5. All entries MUST be accompanied by a signed media release by the Host Family and Au Pair.

Read the additional information.

The eighth IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award will be presented during the IAPA Annual Conference and Work Experience Travel Market which will take place in Budapest, Hungary, March, 2012. The winning Au Pair will receive an all expenses paid trip to attend the Association’s 17th Annual Conference where he/she will be presented with a token prize and commemorative award.

Last year three families from my cluster nominated their Au Pairs for the “Au Pair of the Year Award 2011″. Thanks so much to Host Families who submitted nominations last year!


Congratulations again to the South African Au Pair Karla, Colombian Au Pair Laura, and Russian Au Pair Irina who were nominated last year. It is a great achievement that you can be proud of and remember for years to come!

An Au Pair is an international ambassador.

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.)

We all know about au pair program’s components – childcare, cultural exchange, education. But one component that is not mentioned often, but has real impact on lives of countless people, is fostering international diplomacy one person at a time. Through personal experiences, and tales of personal experiences, american families, their friends and neighbors, au pairs and their families, friends and neighbors, forge personal relationships that have the power of  bringing countries together.

The impact that an au pair experience can have in this global sense has to be emphasized in preparing both families and au pairs.Au pairs conduct during her year has the power to create a lasting impression of her country and her people.

This impression can be positive – I truly believe that if the first au pair hosting experience is positive for a family, it will make them believers in the program, and will keep the family inviting au pairs despite any subsequent setbacks they may have. These collective host family experiences create, fairly or not, positive stereotypes about au pairs from different countries  – that South Americans are warm and loving, Germans are responsible and good drivers, Chinese au pairs strive academically and respect elders.

Being an international ambassador is also a heavy responsibility. It means that an au pair (and a family) has to think about their personal conduct as not only having to do best for themselves, but also of how it will reflect on their nation, their people and their religion.

Yes, for a young au pair freshly in love it is very tempting to decide that her life is what matters most, and leave the family before her commitment ends. But even if love can’t wait, the responsibility of being an international ambassador for her people dictates the necessity of giving the family enough notice to arrange her replacement. Eloping before completing the one year commitment will also add to the multitude of stories that au pairs from her part of the world are only here to snag a husband.

Yes, it can be tempting to stay in the country for a bit longer than the 30 day grace period after the end of the visa. But the au pair has to reflect that if enough of her compatriots stay illegally and break the visa regulations, it will become impossible for other girls from her country to obtain au pair visas in the future. It will also make American families reluctant to match with au pairs from her country, for fear that they are in the program for wrong reasons – to find a way to immigrate to America.

In the life of young adults away from home for a year, circumstances can change fast and can necessitate their departure from the program unexpectedly. A parent can have a health crisis half-world across, a unique educational or job opportunity can come up suddenly, or a Miss Universe crown can becon.

The most important thing to remember is that au pair’s actions, fairly or not, reflect on people of her country, and stories about her behavior, negative or positive, will outlive her tenure in US by years. Her name will be forgotten, but a story about “that German au pair” or “that Russian au pair” will be propagating.  Any circumstance or situation that life throws at you can be handled with dignity and respect, keeping in mind that your actions affect countless others.

Top ten reasons to consider working as an au pair

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy

Every year thousands of young people from all over the world consider becoming au pairs.  Au Pairs are enthusiastic unique individuals, who decide to come to the United States and care for children. They consider to start a special journey in their young  years leaving behind the familiarity of their homeland, their parents, siblings and close friends for a long time- one year or two.

 Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries. I have  Argentine,  Brazilian,  Chinese, Colombian, French, Russian, Salvadorian, South African and Ukrainian Au Pairs in my cluster.

Becoming an au pair is a great way to see the world, make new connections with friends and a special bond with the host family. An au pair has the opportunity to explore new places and learn the language, customs and the resident’s way of life, naturally.

But there are many other reasons.

I found this post top ten reasons to consider working as an au pair at Best AuPair Guide.

10. You’re ready to establish close – very close, probably – ties with another family.

9. It’s time for a change of pace – and place.

8. You need a good reason to take a break from college, or something productive to do before or during a career change.

7. You’re bored with life in your home country.

6. You need to get as far away from your family as possible (ok, this was one of my reasons – it may or may not apply to most!)

5. You love foreign accents – and food, and culture….

4. You need a challenge.

3. You’re ready to experience ‘real’ life abroad, without fanny packs and tour guides.

2. You want to actually learn a foreign language – not just your high school teacher’s version of it.

1. It’s time to put that passport to good use.

What is your reason to be an Au Pair?

An Au Pair means on par or equal to.

People are often confused about the word Au Pair. The Google search for the word “au pair” shows that people often misspell  this world  as “au par”, “au paire”, “opair”, “au per”

Many people think that au pair means a nanny.  An Au Pair doesn’t mean a nanny at all.

The word au pair is a French term, which means “on par” or “equal to, “ denoting living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship between the host family and the children. An au pair will typically be a young woman and sometimes a young man from a foreign country who chooses to help look after the children of a host family and provide light housekeeping. The au pair is given room and board and is typically paid a weekly “pocket-money” salary. Au pairs generally stay with their host family for one year.
 Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries, and very popular in the USA are Argentine,  Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian, French, South Korean, Mexican, Russian, Salvadorian, South African, Thai and Ukrainian Au Pairs.

According to Wikipedia , an au pair (plural: au pairs) is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use. Au pair schemes are subject to government restrictions which specify an age range usually from late teens to mid to late twenties.

Every year thousands of young people from all over the world consider becoming au pairs.  These enthusiastic unique individuals come to the United States  leaving behind the familiarity of their homeland, their parents, siblings and close friends. They start a special journey in their young  years and become a part of a host family as an equal member of the family helping with childcare , studying and traveling. Usually it is very far away from their real home.

A Chinese Au Pair is a great childcare choice.

Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries,  and recently  Chinese Au Pairs have become very common choice among host families from Philadelphia, Bucks County and close NJ.

A Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian, French, Mexican or Russian Au Pair?  Which country is the best au pair from?

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. Please read the post From an Au Pair mom.

Besides a cultural differences there is also a language preference. Many parents understand that having the ability to speak a second language gives their children an advantage in the global marketplace. Mandarin is now the most popular languages in the world.

As my host mom explained to me, Mandarin language was her reason to match with a Chinese Au Pair who will provide child care and at the same time can introduce a new language to her son.

If the family matched with an Au Pair from China, parents don’t have to pay for an expensive lessons. Chinese Au Pair can help children learn Mandarin through study and play.

Many  Chinese Au Pairs have strong English skills and teaching experience. Working as a teacher is a very typical career choice in China before becoming an Au Pair. They love playing with kids, making origami or crafts, having fun and giving piano lessons.

Chinese Au Pairs are family oriented and willing to help with house chores and to cook a delicious and healthy meals. Read the top ten reasons to consider an Au Pair from China

Since Mandarin is becoming the fastest growing languages being learned in schools in the United States, more and more host families now considering a Chinese Au Pair.

Welcome party for new Au Pair Phila!

A new Au Pair Phila from South Africa joined Go Au Pair Philadelphia, Bucks County and close NJ cluster last week.

Her host parents Burke and Nicole, who are with Go Au Pair seven years already, hosted a huge welcome party for Phila.

They invited a whole family, neighbors and Au Pairs from Phila’s cluster.

The welcome party was really welcoming and warm with a lot of smiles and wishes. Nicole, the host mom, cooked delicious homemade dishes and ordered a yummy cake for Phila.

The family had Au pairs from many countries, five Au Pairs were from Thailand. Now they welcome to their house a new Au Pair from South Africa. Their two kids loved Phila right away and the whole family is looking forward to a new family member and a friend for life!

Welcome to the family and to the cluster!

The Au Pair program is a wonderful cultural exchange experience for the host families and an affordable, flexible live-in childcare option.

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