Category Archives: Blog

Comprehensive List of Online Resources for Education

Online Education Options for Au Pairs:

Education:
Your course will be approved if these things are met:
1. Comes from an accredited school.
2. The college, university, or technical school must be an American school.
3. Starts before the end of August 30,2021
4. Have a screenshot of the number of hours you will earn.
5. Provide a certificate or a screenshot at the end of the course proving that you finished the course.
6. All screenshots, certificates and other proof should be EMAILED to the counselor at the time you finish. 
7. All classes must be finished by the end of your 11th month….30 days before the end of your year.
8. 72 hours or 7.2 CEUs must be achieved in order to extend a term.
9. Au pairs in their extension term must also earn 72 hours for a one-year extension or a 9-month extension. 36 hours or 3.6 CEUs for a 6-month extension.
10. Special 6-month extension requires 36 hours or 3.6 CEUs.
11. The education allowance is available to assist with earning certificates or paying tuition for a class. It is not paid directly to the Au pair. Maximum of 500.00 per year for the first term or a 12 month or 9-month extension.  Maximum of 250.00 for a 6-month extension. This allowance is only for education and is paid directly to a college.

ALL CLasses must be from an accredited, USA college or university! 

Most Popular Search Mechanisms: NOT all classes found will be approved by the State Department. Check with your counselor BEFORE you sign up!

Some classes are grouped together and are called a ” Specialization”. This means that each course within the specialization group must be taken and will give a specific amount of hours. Please count each course’s hours to total up how many you will achieve.

 

www.coursera.org

www.edx.org

www.ed2go.com/

https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog

Most Popular Courses:

The Science of Well Being – www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being

Dog Emotion and Cognition – www.coursera.org/learn/dog-emotion-and-cognition

Interior Design – www.ed2go.com/courses/arts-and-design/graphic-arts/ilc/introduction-to-interior-design

Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism Industry – https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-to-hospitality-and-tourism-industry

Computer Science for Business Professionals – https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/cs50s-computer-science-business-professionals?delta=0

How to Write an Essay – https://www.edx.org/course/how-to-write-an-essay

Tricky American English Pronunciation – https://www.classcentral.com/course/tricky-american-english-pronunciation-8274

Fundamentals of Supervision and Management – www.ed2go.com/courses/business/soft-skills/ilc/fundamentals-of-supervision-and-management

This course is from the University of Pennsylvania and yields 40 hours.  It is self-paced. You can do the work whenever you have time. There is no specific class time.

English for Career Development – https://www.coursera.org/learn/careerdevelopment

Improve your English Communication Skills – https://www.coursera.org/specializations/improve-english?

Photography – www.ed2go.com/schoolcraft/online-courses/secrets-of-better-photography/

Culinary Arts – https://classroomaupair.org/intro-to-culinary-arts/

Best Course for 5 Hours:

Fairfax University of America – Online Museum Courses https://www.fxua.edu/sls/programs/non-intensive-esl/#museum-classes

Best ESL/TOEFL Courses:

The University of California at Irvine offers a series of classes: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/intermediate-grammar

International Language Institute – DC – www.ilidc.com

LADO – DC Metro Area – www.lado.com

UCEDA – https://uceda.edu/toefl-preparation/ or https://uceda.edu/aupair/ for ESL classes, too.

EFI Online – https://www.eng4intl.com/daytime-evening-classes-overview/toefl-ibt-prep/

Kenton County Adult ESL – https://www.kentonesl.org/

Community College of Allegheny County – Grammar Refresher – https://www.ed2go.com/ccac/online-courses/grammar-refresher

Zoni Language Center – Intermediate Conversations – www.zoni.edu/intensive-english-program/

Hudson County Community College – English Skills for Real Life Situations – https://classroomaupair.org/english

Prince Georges Community College – ESL – https://www.pgcc.edu/go/adulteducationesl/

Fairfax Universtiy of America – https://www.fxua.edu/sls/programs/non-intensive-esl/

Georgia Tech Language Institute – https://esl.gatech.edu/additional-programs/short-courses

 

International Language Institute – www.ilidc.com

https://www.ed2go.com/courses/language/languages/ilc/speed-spanish

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/learn-spanish

More Popular Choices:

Learning Across America and Learning Express – https://www.learningacrossamerica.net/find-your-class

Classroom Au Pair – www.classroomaupair.org

Psychology Classes:

Yale University:   One course gives  15 hours           https://www.coursera.org/learn/introduction-psychology?recoOrder=5&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=Kl0YwECzEeuTnfsZ4aha4w

Penn State University:  five courses in the specialization giving 80 hours.           https://www.coursera.org/specializations/positivepsychology?recoOrder=8&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=Kl0YwECzEeuTnfsZ4aha4w

Wesleyan Unversity 38 hours     https://www.coursera.org/learn/social-psychology?

 

 

Au pair Favorite FREE Online Courses!

 

 

All online classes must be finished within 2020. All colleges must be a USA college and accredited by the University system. Check with your counselor before beginning any online course. 

1.Yale University: The Science of well-Being.

This course challenges you to be happy and let go of ideas that keep us from being our best!

https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being?recoOrder=10&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

2. Georgia Institute of Technology: Improve your English Communication Skills.                           This is a four-part course that will give about 15 hours for each course, If you finish all of them, it is 60 hours.

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/improve-english?recoOrder=3&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

3.The University of Pennsylvania: English For Career Development. This is a 40 hour FREE course! 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/careerdevelopment?recoOrder=11&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

4.The University of Californa at Irvine: The pronunciation of American English Specialization.

This is a four-part course that gives about 20 hours per course. 80 hours for the total specialization.

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/american-english-pronunciation?

5. Yale University: Introduction to Psychology. This course provides 15 hours.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/introduction-psychology?recoOrder=10&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=pe_VgN6AEeqBo8m8_7foAg

 

Social Distancing Discussion

 

 

Social Distancing with your Host Family
Social distancing is for the benefit of everyone who lives in your community starting with yourself, your
host parents, friends and anyone you may normally have contact with. We all must do our part, even
if you are young, or otherwise healthy, your activities can increase the risk for others. As guidelines
may vary in different areas of the country it is important to discuss any changes to the social distancing
recommendations in your state, city or town with your host family. As au pairs it is important to
remember the following:
• Keep a distance of at least 6 feet (nearly 2 meters) from others when in public.
• Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others when in public.
• Practice good hygiene –avoid touching your face, wash your hands, especially after touching any
frequently used item or surface, sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
• All Au Pair in America regulations still apply for your childcare schedule.
• Discuss the schedule with your host parents and clearly define what is child care for you and what is
personal/family time.
• Talk with your family about social distancing. Everyone in the household must agree to practice social
distancing in the same way.
• It is important that you follow the rules in place for your household, not doing so may put your match
in jeopardy.
• Social distancing does not mean social isolation. With online and social media tools we can all stay
connected.
• Contact your counselor if you need advice about how to stay connected with friends and other au
pairs.
• There will most likely be a continuation of certain aspects of social distancing for the coming months,
even after the more strict guidelines are lifted. If we all practice social distancing as directed, it will
benefit all of us and allow more of the normal day to day activities to come back and continue.
We are all in this together!
(800) 928-7247 | www.aupairinamerica.com

What you need to know about the new coronavirus.

What you need to know about the new coronavirus.
We are very safe here in the USA, but as you travel in planes or visit large crowds, be sure to follow the safety tips. This information was shared by your medical insurance provider Aetna
 
What is this new Coronavirus?
The CDC and WHO are actively monitoring the outbreak of a new coronavirus strain called the “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”
Although the new coronavirus is being compared to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV), the symptoms of this new virus appear to be milder.
Human coronaviruses may cause mild to moderate illness in people. Some human coronaviruses have been known to cause more severe illness. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact (such as shaking hands), and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
How to protect yourself and others
Although there are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection, you may be able to reduce your risk of infection by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
For information about handwashing, see the CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives website.
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home while you are sick; avoiding close contact with other people; covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (then throwing the tissue in the trash and washing your hands); and cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.
If you suspect that a loved one or you have contracted the coronavirus
Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. Although there are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses, consult your CVS minute clinic for care.
You can find more information on the new coronavirus at these links:

Rainy Day Activities!

Rainy days and cold winter temperatures can be hard for Au Pairs who are home with little kids all day. Here are a few tips from the APIA website that can be helpful to fill the time and fun for everyone. For more ideas try these great links below.

Fishing at home (for children over 3)

Look around the house and spend some time with the child finding things that will stick to a magnet. Tie a piece of string to a stick. At the other end of the string tie a magnet. Put paper clips and other things that are magnetic in the “pond.” Or cut out paper fish and put a paper clip on each one.


Make a life-size paper doll (for children over 3)

Have the child lie down on a large piece of brown wrapping paper and draw an outline around the child. Let the child use crayons, markers or paint to put clothes and a face on the “doll.” It can also be a collage by cutting out fabric pieces for the clothes and yarn, string or even styrofoam pieces for the hair. In warm weather go outside and trace the child on the sidewalk with chalk and then color in clothes and hair.


Paper Butterflies: Fold a piece of paper in half. Open the paper and drop small amounts of paint on half of the paper. Fold the paper in half again and rub your hand across the paper to spread the paint colors that are inside the folded paper together. With the paper still folded, cut out the shape of one side of a butterfly. Unfold the paper to see both sides of the butterfly. Allow the paint to dry, then draw the body and add antennae if you wish.


Children as young as three would love a Secret Hideout. This can be created out of a corner of the playroom, under the dining room table or in a large appliance box, or by constructing a hiding place with blankets. Eat lunch in the hideout for a special treat. Imagine you are being discovered by pirates, or that your hideout is on a desert island. The same structure can be used in many different ways. School-age children might enjoy building a hideout themselves (with your help). Cut a swinging door and windows into a large box from a refrigerator or a stove. Decorate with paint or markers. Furnish with small furniture or pillows. If there’s some extra fabric around you could even add curtains.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-symantec-ext_onb&hsimp=yhs-ext_onb&hspart=symantec&p=indoor+tents+for+kids+to+make+with+blankets#id=1&vid=671c345f4246880e8fc1e41df7449244&action=click

https://www.aupairinamerica.com/resources/activities/

https://www.pinterest.com/aupairinamerica/

Do I need to renew my visa for my second term as an Au pair?

Deciding to extend is an awesome idea! Renewing your visa may not be the right decision for you. The office can be helpful in providing how-to instructions. If you are going home, please request the instructions from your community counselor.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Renewing the visa is risky and not necessary to extend your term as an Au pair.
  • The Au pair will be granted an updated DS2019, which gives a legal purpose for being within the USA. Au Pairs do not need a new visa to have a second extension term.
  • It does mean that you can only travel to certain places in the second term. Canada, Mexico, and some adjacent islands are allowed.
  • The decision to give the new visa is entirely left to the embassy official. They do sometimes deny the renewal. When this happens, the Au Pair cannot return to the USA to finish out her first term. There is nothing that APIA can do to change this. 
  • The age of the Au pair matters. if you are almost or over the age of 26, this is a high risk.
  • The timing of renewing the visa is also difficult. Au Pairs should plan to spend at least two weeks to obtain the new visa.
  • The visit home has to be taken as vacation days or The host family has to agree to allow days off from work that are paid.
  • The weekly stipend should be paid regardless of using vacation time or being granted additional time off.
  • Your request to extend must be already processed.
  • You will need the new DS-2019 in order to renew your visa.
  • The extension request is made in your 8th month, after your 72 hours of education are submitted to the Community Counselor.
  • Travel flights home should be made after the new DS-2019 is obtained. The home office is not able to work around your travel plans.

***Several times last year, Brazilian Au pairs were caught waiting for the visa to be returned to them after it was granted. They missed their flights home and had to go into rematch because the host family could not wait for them not knowing how much longer it could take. And, in other countries, the visa was denied due to the risk that the Au pair would not return back to her country. These families had to go into rematch because the Au pair could not return to finish her first term. 

IMPORTANT NOTE – You cannot apply to renew your J-1 visa while in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean if your current J-1 visa is expired. If you apply for the J-1 visa during your visit to one of these destinations, you must wait for it to be issued before you return. If your visa application is denied by the American consulate, you are not allowed to use automatic revalidation to return to the U.S. You will be required to travel to your country of citizenship to apply for a new visa in order to reenter the US

Do You Need Sports Insurance?

Do You Need Sports Insurance?

Trying out or participating in various sports can be very exciting, especially if this is your first time experiencing certain activities. However, you should also know the risks and be prepared.

Is it risky to do sports without the sports insurance?                                               

Yes. If you have to pay your own hospital bills for a broken bone, you might be shocked at how much that would cost. This website has some cost estimates.

Here are a couple examples:

  • Without medical coverage, to treat a broken arm or leg (that does not require surgery) it could cost up to $2,500.
  • Without medical coverage, to treat a broken arm or leg (requiring surgery) it could cost $16,000 or more.
  • Everyone needs to understand how the medical coverage works for sports related injuries. There is a list of “high-risk sports/activities” that are not covered with the basic or upgrade medical insurance plans. Those activities are ONLY covered with the Sports Insurance Package.

The Sports Insurance was available pre-departure and may also be purchased at any time during your year. It takes effect within 48 hours of your enrollment and it is good for 12 months. The cost will be the same ($90) whether you have a month left or your whole year ahead of you. I recommend you pay for it early on, if you didn’t already purchase it. You never know when an opportunity might present itself and you don’t want to miss out on an adventure. You also don’t want to take a risk on getting injured and being responsible for the bill on your own.

Below is a partial list of sports that are only covered with the sports insurance package:
Football, Rugby, Scuba diving, Ski-doo,  Wakeboarding, Skydiving, Parachuting, Rock climbing, Zip line, Skate boarding, Rollerblading, Roller skating,  Ice Skating, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiles & Snowshoeing.  View the full list on your insurance brochure.

Note: Injuries sustained while partaking in these sports are covered with purchase of the Sports Insurance ONLY.

How to register for the Sports Insurance
Contact your CC, if you are unsure which insurance package you have. To sign up, submit a completed copy of the Sports Insurance Enrollment Form along with payment to Au Pair in America. It takes three days for your coverage to begin. If you think you will be doing any of these sports, you should get it now.

First appeared in Cynthia Chan’s Maryland Blog. Written by Cynthia Chan

It is officially cold and flu season. What can an Au pair do to be prepared?

Help, I feel sick! It is officially cold and flu season. What can you do to be prepared, if you wake up sick? What can you do to prevent getting sick?
    • Take care of your body. When your body is stressed, it cannot fight common germs. Be sure to dress warmly, eat well and get enough sleep ( If you stay out too much on the weekend and then show up sick on Monday, the host family may not be very compassionate).
    • Don’t touch your face, especially your eyes, mouth, and nose. This is how germs enter our bodies.
    • Wash your hands very often during the day and when out in public places. Use soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. Rub your hands together for as long as it takes to say the alphabet and then you know you are good to go! When you cannot wash with water and soap, use a hand sanitizer.
    • Get a Flu shot.
    • Print your medical insurance info. Or, download the insurance app to your smart phone. You can search your email for the word ” CISI” and download the attachments to this emall. Print and carry this with you.
    • KNOW where to go. Today, google where is the closest CVS minute clinic near me. You don’t need an appointment, but one can be made on line.
    • Save some money. Even with insurance, being sick cost a lot of money. Save up at least two weeks pay to be sure you can take care of yourself, if you need to see a doctor. You can file a claim with your insurance to get a portion of your money back or to have it applied to your deductible. The instructions are on our blog in the resource section.
    • READ the information on our blog about your medical care to understand more about taking care of yourself.

Tips for understanding how holiday time can affect an Au pair.

Holiday Season in the USA will be a very special time for your family and Au pair.  It can also be a time when the Au Pair may need a little extra support. Consider these tips: 

 

  • Missing Home
Certain people and places are missed and our traditions and activities seem “different” right at a time when an Au Pair would welcome something familiar. My observation has been that an Au
Pair’s emotions are close to the surface during the holidays. The enormity of this year away from
home hits her and sometimes throws her into a self-protective mode. You can help her through
this unfamiliar territory by talking to her about what your specific family activities will be (when
the candles will be lit, the stockings hung, the gifts exchanged, the meals prepared and eaten, the
relatives arriving, etc.) An especially thoughtful touch is to ask her if she has any favorite holiday foods or
traditions that could be incorporated into your celebration.
  • What are your expectations?       
Talk to your Au Pair specifically about what has to be accomplished. This will help to get her involved and interested. Remember her mother has probably taken this responsibility in previous years so don’t expect her to just “know” what needs to be done. Give her some clear, agreed-upon assignments, make her feel a part of things and let her know her contribution is needed and appreciated.
  • Discuss the change in routine and roles 
The parents are home and this is unsettling to the children as well as to the Au Pair. Some different work expectations may be needed since the kids may prefer to hover around the parents. This can make an Au Pair feel unwanted and unsure of what is expected of her. If she is thrown off balance she may not see other things she can do instead of the usual. The high emotions and energy of the kids at this time of year seem like craziness to her. Assure her that things are temporary and will be back to normal soon! Suggest things she can
do to help and encourage her to roll with the punches and just enjoy the general fuss. And host parents need to remember that no matter how stressful those long holiday days are, the rules of how many hours an Au pair can work are mandated by the State Department. No Au pair is allowed to work more than 10 hours each day or left in sole charge of the children for more than 10 hours.
  • Only in America!
The number of gifts given to the children and the excesses we enjoy with gifts, food, and decorations are overwhelming to most Au Pairs. This often causes them to withdraw as they attempt to catch their breath and to evaluate the differences.
  • New Year’s Eve in the USA
Socially you should remember the holidays are a time when Au Pairs want, and need, to be with their friends. This helps their survival mechanism when they are missing old friends back home. New Year’s Eve, especially in America, is a special occasion to an Au Pair so open communication is very important as you decide on New Year’s Eve plans. If possible, use a different babysitter on this important night for her.

Halloween Safety Tips For Au Pairs.

HALLOWEEN SAFETYHalloween

Safety is a very important issue for Halloween.   This is the most popular holiday for children who are able to go from door to door showing off their choice of costume for this year, and collecting candy from the neighbors.  For au pairs there are issues to consider that may not have been encountered before.  Here are some reminders to help make this holiday fun and safe.  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!  

-Children should always be supervised by an adult when going “Trick or Treating”.

-Small children should not be allowed to run ahead or behind the Au pair. Talk to the host parents to find out if holding the child’s hand is necessary. 

-Only go to those homes that are known in the neighborhood to be safe participants.

-Never let a child go inside the neighbor’s home unless you know the person.

-Always check the candy before letting the children eat it.  Make sure that anything that has been unwrapped, homemade or just does not look safe is thrown away.  Ask the parents about this.

–When driving please slow down, as there will be a lot of children out in the dark.  They may not be visible.

-Talk to the children about safety during Halloween. (crossing the street, talking to strangers and waiting until their candy is checked before they eat it).

-Children may want to use a flashlight to see in the dark, this is also a good way for them to be seen by drivers.

Have a reflective pin, necklace or headpiece so that the children can be seen by drivers.

-If you have any safety concerns, talk to the parents.  

-Ask the parents about rules for candy consumption for the children.  Most parents will not want their children to gorge themselves with a lot of candy at one time.  Usually, parents will let children have a couple of pieces a day.

-Enjoy yourself.   Halloween is a fun holiday for adults too!  You may want to dress up with the children. 

Don’t forget to take lots of photos. 

Written by ALowery ATE cluster GA.