Best Cultural Care Au Pair Tips You Will Read in 2020
Updated: May 23, 2020
Cultural care au pair is a mutually rewarding, intercultural opportunity for both au pairs and host families. Living in another country is essentially living another culture. As a cultural care au pair, you may want to make the most of it by really connect with your family, make some local friends besides other au pairs you meet. It could be the same for the host family, host family and children are closely connected with the au pair’s culture with their daily interaction together.
To be a cultural care au pair can be different from and could be better than to take up any conventional part-time job in many ways if you look at the cultural part of it. Any other chance to get you so closely connected to the local? Hardly! So why not make the most of it, by learning a new language (or polish it) and building a bond with your host family.
For your successful experience, there are 8 great tips you can’t miss. （To make it more specific, this article will take China as an example.)
1. Learn the local language
Mandarin Chinese, a total of 1.051 billion speakers (native 873 million, 2nd 178 million), is a very practical language to pick up, either out of your interest or to have your CV stand out. To make the most of the experience in China, you would attend Mandarin Chinese classes and alongside with culture classes and experiential cultural events. With the language immersion and language classes base on HSK curriculum (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi or the Chinese Proficiency Test).
The Chinese language is not that difficult to learn. You will start with Pinyin, which uses the same letters as in English. “Hello” in Chinese “nǐ hǎo”. “Thank you” in Chinese is “xiè xiè”. You won’t need Chinese characters like “你好”for “Hello” until HSK3 Intermediate level.
2. Be a pleasant family member with your host family
To understand the culture and people, you will find the best way is to be connected and involved. Being a cultural care au pair is also being a family member, you may spend as much time as you can with your host family! Esp. during your first couple of weeks together, you will warm up quickly with your new “family members” and bond well with your host siblings.
Try to participate in family’s social events and family events. Have fun together and make contributions as a member of the family.
Chinese culture can be very different from yours. Like during a festival meal or social meal, you may find seats in the central and facing the door are taken as the most prestigious ones, most likely to be offered to the senior or most important guests. The host will try to offer food and serve tea or drinks to everyone. If you are attending such a dining party, you may show your appreciation by saying “thank you” or tap two fingers against the table. And whenever you want a cup of tea, out of politeness, you may follow the custom and try to serve others, esp. ones sitting next to you.
3. Exchange your cultures
Share with your host family about your culture, festivals, your city, and even your interesting neighbors! Children would always like to hear interesting exotic songs, taste your food that can be very different but super yummy!
How do you celebrate Christmas or one of the biggest festivals’ in your country? Any coming carnivals in your home country that you could talk with your host children? And how about do some bakery with your host sibling?
4. Be aware of your responsibilities
Unlike most au pair cultures, the cultural care au pairs’ main responsibilities are teaching English or your mother tongue to your host sibling, assisting with English homework, assisting with the school run, and being a positive role model.
What you gain from this experience could also be different. You would advance your child skills with more educating skills. For your host sibling, you are a mentor, a confidant, and a friend. Would you be qualified enough to take up the role? If you are an educated young adult with genuine enthusiasm in helping children to grow, yes!!