For more than three decades, Au Pair in America has seen firsthand the way cultural exchange benefits individuals and communities, providing our participants with so many advantages and opportunities. As the first au pair sponsor organization designated by the U.S. Department of State, we have helped thousands of people to connect and learn from each other across cultures around the world—and witnessed the positive impact of participation on matters of education, career and lifestyle.
International exchange programs have been shown to help national security and diplomatic interests, help educate and prepare the national workforce, strengthen the U.S. economy and empower American enterprises to compete internationally. These initiatives have historically found support from government representatives and individuals from coast to coast, across political ideologies and party affiliations. It’s important to raise awareness and advocate for international exchange to make sure this doesn’t change.
Whether you are looking to become an au pair host family, currently host an au pair or hosted an au pair in the past, you have a lot of power to advocate for international exchange programs to improve cultural opportunities in the United States. Here are three simple steps you can take:
1. Advocate for international exchange programs like Au Pair in America.
A great way to do this is to pick up the phone and call your Congressional representative. Request that your local rep supports the U.S. Department of State J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and share your opinions based on your personal experiences. You may also email, write a letter or connect with your representative through social media to advocate for ongoing support.
2. After you participate, stay connected.
Reconnect with your au pair(s) if you’ve fallen out of contact—and make a promise to maintain ongoing connections. Rebuilding and sustaining your personal networks can open up a world of opportunity, especially when your connections actually reach around the globe. With the internet, social media and messaging apps, it’s never been so easy to keep in touch.
3. Share your experiences and let your voice be heard!
Let the world know how international exchange changed your life for the better. Share your stories, photos and videos on social media, reach out to your local news media and help build support for international exchange programs by sharing your own success and encourage your au pairs to do the same. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter and please tag us (and your Congressional rep) in your posts.
If you’d like to participate in international exchange, learn more about our au pair programs and how to find an au pair for your family.