The key word here is family, and we ask you to help your au pair to become a part of your family during the time she lives with you. Here are some suggestions on how you can help to ensure you have a successful placement:
Establish a clear understanding of expectations
Cultural differences as well as personality differences often lead to misunderstandings unless discussed and clarified. The orientation with your Local Representative will help to cover some important questions to establish a solid foundation for the rest of your year!
Be prepared to help your au pair with homesickness
Symptoms of homesickness in your au pair can vary from general sadness to wishing to stay in her room alone. It is perfectly normal for au pairs to have bad days and experience homesickness- try to be sensitive to this so that you can help to reassure her that feeling homesick is normal. Help her to keep busy and invite her to be involved with your family.
Encourage your au pair to get involved
Extra-curricular activities, such as sports, church groups, family activities, etc., are a good way for your au pair to meet people with similar interests and will keep her busy! Keep your Local Representative informed so that they can help your au pair to find activities in your area.
Understand culture shock
Remember that your au pair is adjusting to a new culture. She will be communicating primarily in English, which is likely her second language, so there is a chance that she will feel overwhelmed. Even if your au pair speaks English well, there are many non-verbal social cues that she will have to learn. The more time you can spend helping her to adjust, the better!