Tag Archives: aupair

Hints for Success – Homesickness/Culture Shock

heart hand byAlmost everyone experiences culture shock when they come to a completely new environment. Everything is different: the language, the food, and the people. 

Here are my Top 5 Tips for
Dealing with Homesickness

1. Make Friends - Don’t wait for other au pairs to reach out to you, reach out to them. There are other lots of new au pairs who are feeling the same way you are right now. Set a goal to reach out to a few of them each day. Some will respond and some will not. Don’t let that discourage you. No one will ever be mad at you for sending them a message to say hello or ask if they want to do something together. Make friends from various countries and you will also get a chance to practice your English skills together.

2. Stay in touch with your home country, but not too much. Skyping or talking on the phone every day with your family and/or friends back home normally makes homesickness worse. Try emailing instead and reduce the Skype and phone calls to once a week, until you feel stronger. It’s much harder seeing the faces and hearing the voices of those you miss.

3. Get out of the house (or your room specifically) – Go to cluster meetings, have coffee or movies with other au pairs, join a gym, go to the library, go for a walk, visit the mall, get a manicure, visit a museum. If someone invites you out, say “yes.” Also, don’t be afraid to do the inviting. If your host family invites you to do things with them, say “yes.” This will help you get to know each other and contribute to your overall happiness.

4. Realize that it definitely gets better – All au pairs experience homesickness and nearly all of them stay and have a successful year (some stay for two years.) So, it must get better, right? Once you get past the initial homesickness, most au pairs report how quickly the year goes by.

5. Make Plans – Create your own Au Pair Bucket List (places you want to go, new foods to try, new things to experience during your year in the U.S.) and start doing them now. Post on our cluster Facebook group to find others who may want to join you on your adventures.

Contest: Au pairs in my cluster, make your Au Pair Bucket List and send me a file, link or picture of it for a chance to win a $20 Starbucks gift card. Entries must be received by Friday, September 27. Winner will be announced at the September Coffee Meeting on September 29.

Photo by:  Shimelle Laine (Flickr)

Laser Tag Cluster Meeting

On Sunday, 11/6 we had a great cluster meeting at The Castle Laser Tag in Bowie, MD. It was the first time most of the au pairs had played laser tag. Before the laser tag, there were a few very competitive games of air hockey too. My au pairs surprised me with some cupcakes and a card to celebrate my birthday, which was two days earlier.

Soccer on the National Mall

On Saturday,  September 17 we had an au pair soccer match on the National Mall in DC.  Our team represented Maryland and we played against a team of au pairs from Virginia.  We cheered for our team and they played hard.  I think we represented Maryland au pairs very well, even though we did not win.  Lots of people stopped, watched and took pictures.  After the soccer match, we toured the U.S. Capitol.

Click on the images to view them larger.  Click here to see even more pictures from this event in our Cluster Photobucket Album.

Travel Outside of the U.S.

Passport_stamps_18-19

If you are planning to travel outside the U.S. during your first year, your DS 2019 will need a travel validation signature.  See “Travel Links for Au Pairs” on the side of this page for link to the Travel Validation Request Form. At least 3 weeks before you travel, you should print this form and send it along with your original DS-2019 form and a self-addressed stamped envelope (so your signed DS 2019 may be returned to you) to the following address.

Au Pair in America
River Plaza
9 West Broad Street
Stamford, CT 06902
Attn.: Evelyn Blum

You will also need to check whether you need a visa to enter the country you intend to visit. I have a link for Visiting Canada. Other countries requirements can be found by doing a Google search such as “visitor requirement Mexico.”  Obtaining a tourist visa is solely the responsibility of the au pair.

Extension Au Pairs: In your extension year, travel outside the U.S. is restricted. Please contact me before making any plans to travel outside the U.S. in your extension year.

Have a great trip!

Photo/Video Contest Winner is…

#5 – Sandra from Spain

The Winning Photo

The Winning Photo

Over 6,000 votes were cast in this Photo/Video Contest!  I want to thank everyone who submitted photos and all of those who voted.

Sandra has won a free ticket for our ski trip coming up on March 7.

I am putting together a video from all the photos and videos taken at the cultural fair. Look for that to be posted later in the week.

Cultural Fair Photo/Video Contest

Below you will see some of the photos and videos taken by au pairs who participated in our Cultural Fair on 1/23/10.  Please view all the photos and video and vote for the one that you think best represents our motto, “We Bring the World Together.” You vote by clicking THIS LINK and selecting your choice.  Voting ends on February 8 at 9 am EST.

You may vote as many times as you would like and share it with friends via email, Facebook, etc. to get lots of votes.  Good luck!

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#1

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#5

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Still Time for an Educare Arrival

An Additional Educare Arrival Date has been added, August 24!

Ines from Germany

Ines from Germany

If you are interested in a EduCare Companion for a summer arrival, there is still time to apply.

EduCare in America – 30 hours of child care for approximately $271 per family, per week. This cost-effective program is the choice for families with full-time school-age children who require care primarily during the early morning and after school hours, with some weekend and evening hours.

To consider EduCare:

  • You must live in one of the designated EduCare Communities*
  • You must have children in full-time school
  • You must be able to work with 30 hours a week (year round)
  • You must understand that their education allowance is $1000/yr
  • You must be able to work with the EduCare arrival schedule

*If you do not see your community listed, I still encourage you to inquire.  We are looking to expand EduCare and your community might be a possibility if it is already served by the standard Au Pair in America program.

2009 EduCareArrival Dates

  • Tuesday, July 7
  • Monday, July 27
  • Monday, August 3
  • Monday, August 17
  • Monday, August 24 (just added)
  • Monday, December 7

Here are some profiles of EduCare Companions looking for summer arrivals.

Apply Now and Save $450!

If you have questions about EduCare, post them here in the comments section.