Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Nadine from Germany

January 11th, 2017

Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Nadine from Germany | Au Pair in America

We are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Nadine Shulte. Nadine is an au pair from Germany living with her host family in Louisiana and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her volunteer work with a local elementary school and more.   

I volunteered in several places during my time as an au pair, but in my extension year I wanted something more than just doing it once in a while. I love to work with kids, and so I decided to volunteer twice a week in the kindergarten class of my host child. It is amazing to see how happy you can make children just with being there for them, play with them or encourage them to try again reading the word or name the number right.

One of the best moments always is when I walk into the classroom and all the kids looking up, smiling and welcome me with a “Hi Mrs. Nadine,” or the moment when I got my first craft from one of the girls, and of course when I get a hug goodbye. All these moments are so heartwarming, and I love being together with these kids; it is great to see how much they learned over the past few months in reading, writing and math.

I learned a lot about the American culture and lifestyle, because who is better in explaining things than cute little kids, and of course I heard a lot of stories and memories so I get a great view in the American life—and I also love to share with them my culture. Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Mijin Kim

January 6th, 2017

Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Mijin Kim | Au Pair in AmericaWe are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Mijin Kim. Mijin is an au pair from South Korea living with her host family in North Carolina and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her volunteer work teaching English as a second language.  

The organization I am volunteering at is International House. My job here is a Teacher’s Assistant. My main role is to lead the class with the teacher. We discuss activities and some issues together. I also check the attendance and try to find what students need and help them learn English in better ways.

As soon as I was given this volunteer job, the whole world looked very different and a lot better. And I could not hide the excitement for a while. By the time I turned in the application for this volunteer work as a Teacher’s Assistant for ESL class, I was not expecting I would get the chance to have an interview. I wanted to give it a shot, because I did not want to have regrets about not even trying. Finally, I did, and I got through the interview! I was very nervous and anxious during the interview. I can’t forget the moment the interviewer was offering me this position and I couldn’t help screaming!! Read the rest of this entry »

Au Pair Q&A: Meet Jelva from Germany

January 4th, 2017
Au Pair Q&A: Meet Jelva from Germany | Au Pair in America

Last survivors after zip lining and hiking in the West Virginia Aces

Jelva, an au pair from Germany, is one of several au pairs that stayed with the Davis family in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, over the past two decades. Jelva and the Davis family were such a great match that she extended her stay for a second year of memories and adventure. She provides some great information in the following Q&A to share a bit of what the au pair experience is like.

Where are you from?

I’m from Hattstedt, Germany. It’s in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, 20 minutes from the Danish border right at the North Sea.

Where did you live in the U.S. when you were an au pair?

I lived in Huntley, Illinois, which is about 40 miles from Chicago, outside the northern suburb.

What was your host family like?

My host family was big, a perfect mix of chaotic but well organized, loving and lovely. I always felt and still feel welcome anytime.

Why did you decide to become an au pair?

I wanted to go out and see the world after my A-Levels. I chose to do this as an au pair, because I wanted to not just see the culture, but live it and to be part of it.

Describe any travels on your own or with your host family from your stay as an au pair.

I travelled all over the place. As of now I am only missing three states I have not been to – Hawaii, Alaska and New Mexico. I only traveled at the end of my stay and during a couple weekend-trips with my friends/family from home, other than that I was welcome to join any trip the Davis family did and am more than grateful I had that opportunity. We would all jump into their “big red bus” and have an adventure on the road, before the actual vacation even started. Read the rest of this entry »

Au Pairs Share Resolutions for the New Year

December 29th, 2016

Au Pairs Share Resolutions for the New Year | Au Pair in America

So many au pairs took the time to share their New Year’s resolutions with us. Common themes included plans to travel, treasure every moment with their host families, make memories to share when they return home and making new friends. Volunteer work and self-improvement was also common, with resolutions to help others, learn a new language, improve English, learn an instrument, lose weight and more.

 The following are a sampling of resolutions shared by current au pairs looking forward to the coming year:

I live in Miami, Florida, with a lovely American family. I take care of a little girl named Penny. She’s almost three years old, and she’s growing up so fast! I can’t believe I’ve been here for almost nine months now, and it breaks my heart to know that I have to go home to Sweden soon and leave my sweet Penny here. But I’m also so happy that I’ve been able to experience all of this. It has been amazing. I feel so blessed that I ended up in this family with these wonderful people, and I couldn’t be happier!

When I first came here I wanted to experience America and the American culture. I wanted to improve my English, and I wanted to grow. I wanted to learn to take more responsibility. Now, nine months later, I must say that I’m so proud of myself. I’ve got to do a lot of the stuff that I wanted to do. I’ve been to a couple of states, and I’ve got to know so many new people from all over the world. I’ve grown. I feel stronger today. It hasn’t always been easy, but it definitely made me stronger.

My resolution is to keep growing as a person. I want to be the best version of myself. And of course, that includes to be the best au pair for Penny. I hope that I can give her a lot of good memories and happiness! I still have three more months here; let’s do the best of it! Thank you Au Pair in America for helping me making this year so wonderful.

— Karin, au pair from Sweden

 My resolution is to learn at least one new word per day, explore more of the city I’m living in, meet at least four more states, make more friends, hang out with my great host family and buy a good camera to record all these moments.

Luise, au pair from Brazil

Five months ago my journey as an au pair was beginning. I had many fears, insecurities, and a mix of feelings. Now I can say, every experience here makes us stronger. New challenges are coming for the next year, I’m super excited for that. More goals to reach, my dream to visit the Disney World will come true, a new language to learn, a volunteer job to help who more need. Here everything is harder, but I’ll be strong enough to be a better person, a better au pair. I’ll keep my faith and give my best to reach my dreams.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Bruna Cardoso

December 27th, 2016

Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Bruna Cardoso | Au Pair in America

We are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Bruna Cardoso. Bruna is an au pair from Brazil living with her host family in Michigan and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her volunteer work at a local elementary school and more. 

My name is Bruna Cardoso, a 20-year-old au pair from Brazil. I live in Novi, Michigan with a wonderful host family. They have two adorable children, who are 7 and 9. Since I am with school age kids, I wanted to make good use of my “free” time during the day and get as much as possible out of my au pair year.

Soon after I arrived to Novi, I began to volunteer at my host kids’ elementary school, doing various kinds of volunteer work. I’ve helped in math classes (playing some math games during class) and Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) (I read books with the kids and help improve their reading). I also assisted at a holiday shop event, disability awareness and a few other programs.

One of my favorites was a special presentation my host mom and I did to explain about the Chinese New Year. Read the rest of this entry »

Au Pairs Gather in Long Island for Education and Celebration

December 22nd, 2016

Au Pairs Gather in Long Island for Education and Celebration | Au Pair in America

Season’s greetings from Long Island! Our Community Counselor Kristi H. recently hosted her second annual holiday party for au pairs in her area. Seventeen au pairs joined the celebration, braving light snow and low temperatures to attend.

The au pairs enjoyed dinner and dishes from around the world, making new friends and trying new things. Part of the evening included safety education including tips and techniques for driving in inclement weather conditions. The evening culminated in a grab bag gift exchange.

Community Counselors like Kristi are part of the network of support that makes Au Pair in America exceptional among options for au pair exchange. Learn more about au pair exchange and how you can find a great au pair to match for your family’s child care needs by visiting www.aupairinamerica.com.

Au Pair Holiday Memories: A First Christmas in the U.S.

December 22nd, 2016
Au Pair Holiday Memories: A First Christmas in the U.S. | Au Pair in America

Our stockings hung over the fireplace and beautiful Christmas tree

Jelva, an au pair from Germany, shares this recollection of her first Christmas season in the United States. She lived with a host family in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and was especially excited for holiday decorations. She shares some of her amusing memories of decorating with her host family in the story below.

I was really excited for Christmas in the U.S., because I learned from movies and such that Americans are crazy when it comes to Christmas lights. I love the warmth light gives, although it’s cold outside. I was expecting tons of indoor and outside decorations. My host family has a really big house, so I couldn’t imagine the amount of Christmas things we would need to make it seasonal. Even still, when Thanksgiving was over and it was time to get the Christmas stuff out, the mass of decorations and lights was overwhelming. Finally, I found out what all the closets and attics in the house were for—storage for decorations.

Au Pair Holiday Memories: A First Christmas in the U.S. | Au Pair in America

Jelva and the Davis Family at Christmas

Before we set up decorations, I remember everyone telling me the Davis family had the biggest tree ever. When I asked about this, the kids would tell me it was about 18 feet tall. Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Festivities Bring Community Together

December 21st, 2016

Winter Festivities Bring Community Together | Au Pair in America

Cindy, one of our Long Island Community Counselors, and her cluster group of au pairs recently decorated a tree for the annual Promenade of Trees in Stony Brook Village, New York. Along with their host families, these au pairs had a great time at this winter festival full of holiday spirit, caroling and camaraderie in the community.

Here are some great pictures of everyone enjoying the day! Read the rest of this entry »

Connecticut Au Pairs Share Holiday Cheer

December 21st, 2016

Connecticut Au Pairs Share Holiday Cheer | Au Pair in America

Community Counselor Beverly R. in Connecticut recently shared details about a fun holiday party held at the Weston Field Club for her au pair cluster. Beverly invited fellow Community Counselor Kate Z. and her neighboring group of au pairs to attend as well. Together, everyone celebrated the holiday season and enjoyed each other’s company. As a gift, Beverly and Kate Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Miriam Carod Royo

December 20th, 2016

Spotlight on Community Service: Au Pair Miriam Carod Royo

We are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Miriam Carod Royo. Miriam is an au pair from Spain living with her host family in Hawaii and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her volunteer work as a language assistant, teaching Spanish in a local school. 

My name is Miriam and I originally come from Barcelona, a lively Spanish city near the Mediterranean Sea. A few months ago I decided it was time to go ahead with my dream of traveling to the States while doing something I loved: taking care of children. A few weeks after entering the program of Au Pair in America, I found the perfect family for me. And not long after that, the 31st December 2015, I landed in Hawaii, a place that doesn’t stop to amaze me (and I hope is going to stay that way)!

When I entered the program of Au Pair in America I had in mind the idea of volunteering or at least participate in the community I would be living in. Something you have to know about me is that back in Spain I am a translator and a teacher, reason why I thought it would be a perfect match for me if the volunteering activity I chose was to help in the Spanish (or language) classes of any schools in the area. Read the rest of this entry »