When au pairs from around the world spend a year in the U.S. through the Au Pair in America program, they eagerly share their home culture with not only their host family, but also the community at large, often through volunteer work in local schools and community centers. Two au pairs recently visited classrooms of young children to teach them about their home countries in fun, hands-on programs that covered language lessons, traditional foods, and other interesting aspects of their culture.
Au Pair Ashley from Canada Shares Her Culture with Children in Texas
Ashley, a Canadian au pair who lives with a host family in Texas, recently visited her host child’s elementary school classroom to teach the children about our country’s neighbor to the north. She presented to a group of about twenty 9- and 10-year-olds, a few of whom were lucky enough to have visited Canada in the past. Ashley was impressed by how much the students already knew about her home country due to its close proximity to the U.S. Said Ashley, “I taught them how to say some sentences in French and counted in French as well. It was nice that the kids enjoyed my presentation as well as stayed quiet and listened to what I had to say.”
After the quick language lesson, Ashley passed around some Canadian money that she had brought to share with the group. Next, the children sampled some traditional maple cookies, which they particularly enjoyed—so much so that they asked Ashley for the recipe, which she passed along to their teacher to share with the students’ families.
Overall, Ashley’s presentation on Canada was a great success, and she was pleased that she had the opportunity to share her culture with the students. As she explained, “My very own host child was proud of me that I gave my presentation to his class and enjoyed having me there to teach his friends about my country. It was a great time.”
Au Pair Ermina from Bosnia and Herzegovina Shares Her Culture Through Music
Ermina, an au pair from Bosnia and Herzegovina living with a host family in Maryland, spent a morning with children ages 2 to 4 in a Discovering Music class for toddlers. She gave the young children a glimpse of her culture by showing them pictures of traditional meals, dance, clothes, and places. Introducing them to her native tongue, she taught the children the Bosnian words for numbers, colors, parts of the body, and more. At the end of the presentation, they all sang Sijaj Sijaj Zvezdice/Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in Bosnian and English, and each child received a flute to take home as a memento.
Ermina writes about her experience: “From conducting this presentation I learned how much we have to share, and how fun it is to learn and experience something new. This class presentation connected us [caregivers] more because we had the opportunity to meet each other. We exchanged phone numbers and scheduled playdates where we bring traditional food that we make at home (my host kid and I made hurmašice, traditional Bosnian cookies).
I would like to share this citation with you, to remind us to every day learn and work on ourselves, and most importantly not to forget to have fun: ‘The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.’ ―T. D. Jakes”
Thanks to Ashley and Ermina for sharing their cultures with the children in their communities! With any luck, they’ve sparked an interest for international cultures and languages in their young students, who will one day have desire to explore the world for themselves.
Is your family interested in an international child care experience with an engaging au pair like Ashley or Ermina? Learn more about the cultural benefits of hosting an au pair!