What’s the Au Pair?
The word “Au pair” derives from French and means assistant and helping each other. Au pair has a history of decades inAmericaand hundreds of years in European countries. In recent years, it is very common that Chinese students go toAmericaand European countries. More and more young people go to foreign au pair family to work, live, study and travel.
People who join in au pair program are called au pairs. It is an international youth cultural exchange program that is supported by UNESCO and admitted by various counties in the world, which provides young people from countries around the world with an opportunity to study and experience foreign culture in foreign family. The term of au pair ranges from one year to two years. During this period, au pair can get pocket money from au pair family every month. The tuition paid for the 6~12 credits in college and the cost of round-trip tickets are supported by foreign family. In return, au pair need to help accompany kids, teach Chinese and play games with children in family.
The History and Origin of Au Pair
Au pair originally was a special custom in western countries with history of hundreds of years in European countries. It was a spontaneous activity among young people, which had its origin inBritain,France,Germany, and America etc. Youth in west basically become independent and hardly rely on parents after 18 years old. To live and study abroad, they choose to help host family do housework and take care of children to get free food and room in return. As time goes by, this way was gradually accepted by young people in Europe andAmerica. Many governments various countries approved and attached great importance to it. In 1969, related law was made at the Europe meeting in Strasbourg,France. Supported by law and government, both au pair students and au pair family can get fully guaranteed in duty and rights. The original au pair program was limited to Europe, theUSA,Canada,Australia, and other signatories. In recent years, with the development of China-EU relations and great economic achievements inChina, European countries began welcome students from non-EU countries to learn language and history of Europe andAmericathrough au pair program.
Germany became the first country to open visa to Chinese student of au pair program in 2004. At present,America,Germany,France, theNetherlands, Belgium,New Zealand, and other Nordic countries has opened visa to Chinese student in au pair program.Britain,Australia,Canadaand other counties have yet to open. Chinese student have all-directional support to go toAmericathrough au pair program, including special visa access. Au pair institutions strongly recommend Chinese student toAmericaand European countries, which provide a good opportunity of learning Euro-American culture and studying foreign language for Chinese students.