As an au pair, you will have the opportunity to share your language, culture, and customs with your American host family and your host community. Your participation in this program fosters a greater understanding between our countries.
Your goal should be to learn as much as you can about American customs, values, and culture and to build strong relationships with your host family and new friends. You will be living with a host family that may have different rules for their children and a different way of life from what you are used to, so keeping an open mind will be important to your success.
As a host family, you are offered a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the richness and diversity of a culture different from your own. This is also an opportunity to share American values and culture with someone. Through this program, you will join thousands of American families who serve as citizen ambassadors of the United States.
The au pair program is primarily an exchange opportunity with the goal of increasing mutual understanding between foreign nationals and Americans. The way you interact with your au pair will have a significant impact on the way he or she understands this country and also Americans. Your au pair will likely have much to learn about American customs and culture, and may begin the exchange with only basic English language skills. The most successful host families expend the time, energy and initiative necessary to help their au pair adjust to American life and ensure their au pair feels safe, stays healthy, and engages in educational and cultural activities.
The term “au pair” means “on par”, and this reflects the ideals of the program. The best way to have the most valuable cultural experience is to treat your au pair as a member of your family.
The U.S. Department of State has issued welcome letters to both host families and au pairs participating in the au pair program. These letters contain important information about the program, and can help to guide and set expectations for the road ahead. To read the U.S. Department of State’s welcome letters, please click below: