Monthly Archives: July 2014

Traveling Abroad Changes You Forever

This article from the Thought Catalog puts into words what countless intrepid world travelers often feel once they return home. I’m reminded of the Thomas Wolfe novel titled “You Can’t Go Home Again”. Of course we do go home again…but we are forever changed. Our minds are broadened, our hearts more open, the way we do things impacted by cultures we’ve visited.

Enjoy this article, and maybe add Thought Catalog to your favorites list for more insightful reading.

Georgetown University offers ESL classes

Georgetown’s Continuing Studies English program is excited to share information regarding our 11 new course offerings this fall. Each class is held on our historic main campus, counts as 3.6 CEUs towards the J-1 visa requirement and is taught by a Georgetown faculty member with at least a Masters degree.

Courses are designed to:

  • Improve English speaking skills
  • Help students communicate more effectively in business settings
  • Prepare for the TOEFL test

Early enrollment (with a 10% discount) opens for new and returning students next Friday August 1. Click on the links below for more information about our Fall 2014 course schedule:

Mon./ Wed. 7-9pm
9 weeks: 18 2-hour sessions
(36 hours/ 3.6 CEUS)


Test Date


Start Date


End Date

XEFL 300 – Integrated Communication Skills I Wed. 9/3 – 8-9pm Wed. 9/10 Wed. 11/12
XEFL 301 – Integrated Communication Skills II Mon. 9/8 – 7-8pm Wed. 9/10 Wed. 11/12
XEFL 302 – Integrated Communication Skills III Mon. 9/8 – 8-9pm Wed. 9/10 Wed. 11/12
XEFL 315 – Business Writing Wed. 9/3 – 7-8pm Wed. 9/10 Wed. 11/12

Tues./ Thurs. 7-9pm

9 weeks: 18 2-hour sessions

(36 hours/ 3.6 CEUS)


Test Date


Start Date


End Date

XEFL 310 – Business Communications I Tues. 9/2 – 8-9pm Tues. 9/9 Thurs. 11/6
XEFL 311 – Business Communications II Thurs. 9/4 – 7-8pm Tues. 9/9 Thurs. 11/6
XEFL 312 – Business Communications III Thurs. 9/4 – 8-9pm Tues. 9/9 Thurs. 11/6
XEFL 305 – Communicative Grammar Tues. 9/2 – 7-8pm Tues. 9/9 Thurs. 11/6

Sat. 9am-12:30pm
9 weeks: 9 3.5-hour sessions
(32 hours/ 3.6 CEUS)


Test Date


Start Date


End Date

XEFL 320 – iBT-TOEFL Preparation I Sat. 9/6 – 9-10am Sat. 9/13 Sat. Nov. 8
XEFL 321 – iBT-TOEFL Preparation II Sat. 9/6 – 10-11am Sat. 9/13 Sat. Nov. 8
XEFL 322 – iBT-TOEFL Preparation III Sat. 9/6 – 10-11am Sat. 9/13 Sat. Nov. 8

For more information on registration, information sessions and other concerns, visit the Continuing Studies English web site at: or contact me via telephone at 202-687-4592 or via email

Congratulations Germany – FIFA Champions

Germany wins!

Congratulations to our German friends, colleagues, interviewers, community counselors, host families and au pairs!

The German team has thrilled football fans throughout the world during this world cup tournament. The 4-0 victory over Portugal was impressive and the 7-1 win over host nation Brazil was mesmerizing. But yesterdays win, secured through guts, fight and a moment of magic from one of its bright new stars showed that Germany overcame the most difficult hurdle of all. With the game deadlocked at 0-0 after 90 minutes, substitute Gotze provided the game’s defining moment with a touch of magic. The Bayern Munich star took Schurrle’s pass on his chest before displaying exquisite technique to volley the ball past Sergio Romero.

In Berlin last night a quarter of a million football fans packed into the “fan mile” while celebrating in front of the German capitals famous Brandenburg gate.

Congratulations Germany, FIFA champions!

Stop Bugging Me! A Guide to Insect Safety and Kids

shutterstock_28335556-2As the weather warms, it is likely that you will be spending more time outside. Outdoor play is important for children – to move their large muscles, enjoy the fresh air and explore nature. It is important to use sunscreen to protect from the sun’s harmful rays, and it is also important to be aware of possible disease-bearing insects.

Mosquitoes and ticks are a problem that can’t be ignored. Not only are they unpleasant, but they have been found to carry potentially fatal illnesses, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile virus, malaria, Lyme disease, dengue fever and equine encephalitis, all of which have been reported in the United States. Prevention of bites is very important both through physical barriers to contact (clothing) and through the use of chemical repellents.

There is a need for using caution when applying insect repellents containing DEET to the skin of young children. Look for products that have about 30% DEET. Products with lower concentrations (10% to 15%) can be used for children if families are concerned about the potential risks of DEET.

The EPA and others have made the following recommendations regarding the use of DEET in children:

  • Do not apply to infants under 2 months of age
  • Read and follow all directions and precautions on the product label.
  • Do not apply over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • Do not apply to young children’s hands or near eyes or mouth.
  • Do not allow young children to apply products themselves.
  • Use just enough to cover the exposed skin and/or clothing.
  • Do not use under clothing.
  • Avoid over application.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
  • Wash treated clothing before wearing again.
  • Do not use spray solutions in enclosed areas or near food.
  • For use on face, apply to adult hands and then rub on face. Do not spray face. Avoid areas around eyes and mouth.

There is no evidence that non-DEET repellents are as effective as those containing DEET. In fact, some alternatives may be more toxic. Yet using DEET repellents on the skin isn’t the only way to avoid mosquito and tick bites. Since mosquitoes can bite through very thin fabric, applying DEET-containing substances to clothing offers added protection with less potential for exposure. Finally, long sleeves with cuffs and long pants with tight cuffs or tucked into socks or shoes are excellent barriers to ticks.

This information is adapted from the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. See full information at

Here are some additional tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (visit their website at

Avoid tick habitats: Whenever possible, avoid entering areas that are likely to be infested with ticks, particularly in spring and summer when nymphal ticks feed. Ticks favor a moist, shaded environment, especially areas with leaf litter and low-lying vegetation in wooded, brushy or overgrown grassy habitat.

Perform a tick check and remove attached ticks: The transmission of B. burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease) from an infected tick is unlikely to occur before 36 hours of tick attachment. For this reason, daily checks for ticks and promptly removing any attached tick that you find will help prevent infection. Embedded ticks should be removed using fine-tipped tweezers. DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products. Grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. The tick’s mouthparts may remain in the skin, but do not be alarmed. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are contained in the tick’s midgut or salivary glands. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.

For More Safety Tips go to:

Internet Safety and Recognizing a Scam

Au Pair in America values your privacy, and the security of your personal information is always a priority.  For your safety and financial protection, please take a moment to read this section about how to stay safe online and avoid becoming the victim of a scam.

Internet scams/online fraud are becoming more common.  We have all received emails from people claiming to be a well-known bank or telling us we have won an amazing prize, but some scammers take things further.  A scammer may pose as a host family or an au pair organization and will try to gain your confidence via email.  Once they have gained your trust, they will ask you to wire/send money to them using a money transfer company such as Western Union or Money Gram.  Do not fall for this – never send personal details (eg passport info) or agree to wire or transfer money using money transfer companies, cashier’s checks or money orders – you are being scammed!  Always remember that no reputable business or organisation would ever ask for personal details or money to be wired/sent over the Internet.

Most scams involve one or more of the following

  • Poorly written emails from people you don’t know
  • Being offered deals which sound “too good to be true”
  • Inability or refusal to speak with you directly on the phone
  • Odd/suspicious email addresses
  • Demanding/urgent/threatening emails requesting an immediate response
  • Requests for personal information (passport details)
  • Requests to send/wire money via Western Union, Money Gram, cashier’s checks, money orders
  • What To Do:

    If you think you are being targeted by a scammer claiming to be an Au Pair in America representative or Au Pair in America host family, or you are concerned about the authenticity of an email, phone call or message then email, call +44 207 581 7322 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +44 207 581 7322 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting or contact us via our website: You can also run searches on the Internet to check out suspicious email addresses, so if in doubt, check it out!

    Au Pair Matching Sites:
    Please note that Au Pair in America has no direct affiliation with public au pair matching sites.  If you do post a profile either as an au pair or a host family on a public au pair matching site, please make sure you read that site’s scam prevention information carefully, and, as above, never send personal info or agree to wire/transfer money to people you meet on these matching sites.  If you think you are in contact with a scammer via one of these sites, inform that site immediately.

    Au Pair in America Payment Methods:
    Au Pairs: You will only be invoiced for your Au Pair in America Program Fee once you have placed with one of our carefully selected Host Families.  You will only be requested to pay this Program Fee via your secure, password-protected Au Pair in America Participant Site.  Neither Au Pair in America, nor any of its registered US host families, will ever ask you to send or wire money via Western Union, Money Gram, cashier’s checks or money orders.

    A little history on the 4th of July Holiday

    American Flag and EagleKnown  as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.