Our local, professional counselors are one of the many things that set us apart from other au pair agencies. Community Counselor Kim Van Cleave Michaels is passionate about cultural exchange, ever since her own family hosted an exchange student when she was in high school. She works year round in the Seattle area to ensure host families and au pairs have a happy and successful experience. Read more from Kim about why cross cultural education is so important and how her own exchange experience came full circle:
Cross cultural education has been my life’s passion, the foundation of my education and the focus of my professional path. It all stems from my experience in high school when my family hosted Fabiola, an exchange student from Mexico.
After that experience, I went on to pursue a BA in International Affairs and Spanish from Lafayette College. I then studied and worked in Spain, England and Japan, and received my MA in Intercultural Relations from the Intercultural Communications Institute/Antioch University. I have spent my career working within many aspects of intercultural education, first working as the Western District Director for an exchange student program, overseeing offices in Washington and California. I was then introduced to the AIFS family as Program Development Director for Academic Year in America, one of the largest and most respected high school exchange programs in the United States.
I bring all of this experience to my current role as Senior Community Counselor and Western Field Representative for Au Pair In America. Cross cultural education is so important, now more than ever, and that’s why cultural exchange programs like Au Pair in America are such a unique and rewarding experience for families.
I live in West Seattle with my husband and two sons where, few years ago, we bid a tearful farewell to our Mexican “daughter” who lived with us for a year on her own cultural exchange program: Fabiola’s daughter, Andrea.
Kim is part of a great team at Au Pair in America helping busy Seattle families solve their child care needs! For questions about the au pair program, schedule a consult with us at a time that’s convenient for you.