Yearly Archives: 2014

Photography Classes

Information about photography classes taught at the Cumming campus of North Georgia University.

Please be mindful of the location of the class, when looking at the photography classes. Not all of the classes are held in Cumming and those at the actual NGU campus may be too far for our cluster.

people taking pictures

These are the photography courses. You can actually achieve a photography certificate by taking several of these courses.

Information about Photography Certificate program

List of photography courses

A Treasure Hunt For Your Host Kids

A Treasure Hunt For Your Host Kids

Leah Abernethy, a former Au pair, shared a great game to put together for your host kids. This looks fun for you and the children!  Thanks for sharing Leah!


Leah wrote:

About a month ago I started putting together a treasure hunt with rhyming clues for the kids. The kids really loved it! For the treasure at the end I just went to the Dollar Tree and spent $15 ($5 a child) on small toys and a few candies.

You could also bake something or maybe rearrange the clues so the

last clue leads to the car and then you could take the kids out for ice cream.



Sincerely,   Leah Abernethy


You’ve just finished school and it’s been a long day

I’m sure you just want some electronics to play.

But I have a better idea; just wait till you hear,

There are 10 clues for a treasure hunt near.

You must work together to solve all these clues

And then you will find a small treasure for you!

Please take turns and everyone try

Also walk slowly so you don’t fall and cry

1.The first clue is easy; I suppose
it’s found where you wash your dirty clothes

2. Slide and swings and monkey bars
the next clue is where these things are.

3.. When (child’s name) is dirty, it is quite easily seen!

So he’ll (she’ll) enter this room to get thoroughly clean.

4. This clue is difficult to read, but never fear

Simply hold this paper up in a mirror

(Write a word written backwards here)

5. My wrinkly skin is like a dog talking

I am long-lived, but you won’t catch me walking

6. The next clue, if you are hasty
is where we store all things tasty

7. The next clue, if you go look
is where (child’s name) goes to find a good book

8. And now for the next clue that you seek
it’s on something with four wheels that goes beep

9. Some visitors pause here and strangers announce their reason.

Things that decorate me can indicate the season.

10. Find something that comes on a roll

You can find it near the toilet bowl.

11. Here’s the last clue, so please don’t weep!

Look under the place where (child’s name) will sleeps

Thanks for sharing Leah!

Fire Safety for Au pairs!

Basic fire escape planning for host families. 

Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

  • Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Include the Au pair in your home in this discussion. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. For easy planning, download NFPA’s escape planning grid (PDF, 634 KB). This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.
  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code® requires interconnected smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
  • Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor’s house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
  • Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor’s home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
  • If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
  • If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won’t compromise your security – but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
  • Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family’s fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people’s homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don’t have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend “sleepovers” at friends’ homes. See NFPA’s “Sleepover fire safety for kids” fact sheet.
  • Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately. Residents of high-rise and apartment buildings may be safer “defending in place.”
  • Once you’re out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

Putting your plan to the test

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It’s important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer’s instructions carefully so you’ll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don’t want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice “sealing yourself in for safety” as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.


Happy St. Patricks Day Au pairs !
So what is it and who was St. Patrick? Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians. Many people ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland ?’ According to folklore the reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. St. Patrick’s Day was first publicly celebrated in Boston in 1737 where a large population of Irish immigrants resided. Nearly 200 years later, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland was held in Dublin in 1931. During the mid 90’s, the Irish government also began a campaign to promote tourism in Ireland on March 17th.
While many Catholics still quietly celebrate this day of religious observance by going to mass, St. Patrick’s Day has slowly evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years, along with legendary shamrocks, many symbols were included in festivities that are reflective of Ireland’s folklore, culture, and national identity (think leprechauns, ethnic cuisine, and wearing green). Other places that join in on this celebration include Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada.
New York City hosts the largest St. Patrick’s Day in the world with around 150,000 marchers.  In Chicago they turn the river green and other cities and towns all over America celebrate the day. Savannah Georgia has quite a celebration!  You’ll find many restaurants serving traditional Irish cuisine next week with corned beef and cabbage being the most popular,
You can find some fun games and activities including coloring pages, word puzzles and recipes for  children here:
My Favorite Irish Blessing. To all my lovely Au pairs past and present!

Options for care. What an Au pair needs to know!

Options for care- What an au pair needs to know!

Sick too

Au pairs can go to mini clinics for a number or illnesses:

Colds, flu, Cold sores, ear infections

Coughs, headaches, migraines, insect bites, head lice

Urinary tract infections, Sinus infections, rash, Ringworm,

Upper respiratory infections, Pink eye, skin irritations

Stomach aches, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting

Seasonal Allergies

Some examples of mini clinics are:

Urgent Care Center

Walk in clinic

CVS Minute Clinics

Walgreens Take Care Clinics

Primary Care Physician office (This is will require an appointment and might not be available on the same day or after hours)

Mini clinics are open after hours and late hours and do not require an appointment. When visiting these clinics or physicians office please direct receptionist to look on back of card for details of your net work. You are a part of the First Health Network.

To Search for a doctor or clinic in your immediate area go to use the U.S Search Provider Tool.

The Customer Service department is available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Standard Time at

1-800-303-8120 prompt 5 or 203-399-5130

For emergencies outside normal hours Team Assist is available at 312-935-1703

Au Pairs should avoid using the Emergency Room if the condition is not life threatening.

Three Reasons you should avoid using the Hospital emergency Room for non-threatening illnesses:

1. A 500.00 deductible will be charged if you seek medical care in an Emergency room for an illness that is not deemed to be an emergency. This 500.00 deductible will be charged whether you have the upgraded insurance or the basic insurance. Basic insurance already has a 100.00 deductible, so this would make a 600.00 charge for basic insurance users.

2. Typically the wait for treatment in an emergency room will be long.

3. Hospital emergency rooms are for those with true life threatening injuries or illness. It is important to keep medical coverage available for those who need this care.

Emergency Room picture

Of course, if you are experiencing a true, life threatening emergency, treatment should be sought in an emergency room!

Information was obtained at


How to Obtain a Georgia Driver’s License

Au pair Information

How to Obtain a Georgia Driver’s License

In July of 2012 the State of Georgia passed new laws regarding Driver’s License for au pairs. The new law resulted from the federal requirements of the Real ID Act. All non US citizens who are present in the state for more than thirty days are required to obtain a Class C Driver’s License. The exam, including a road’s test will be needed. Please refer to for a copy of the driver’s manual and access to a practice test. 

All locations of the DDS do not offer a first issuance of the license. Check the website to find a location closest to you. All are open Tuesday – Friday 8:00-6:00 and some may be open on Saturday 8:00 am – 12 noon. Locations will be closed on holidays. Times and locations change frequently. Call before you go to verify

These are the locations Most often used. Some may be too far from your location.

Alpharetta- 1575 Maxwell Road   Alpharetta, GA 30009 Saturday 7:30am 12pm

Canton right off 575 behind library- Brown Industrial Parkway, Suite 200 Canton GA. 30114 

Cumming 400 Aquatic Circle Cumming GA. 30040 Saturday 8am-12pm

Marietta  1605 County Services Pkwy  Marietta, GA 30008  Saturday 7:30am

Gainsville 1010 Aviation Blvd  Gainesville, GA 30501  Saturday 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cartersville  1304 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy  Cartersville, GA 30121 Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm

Kennesaw-Saturday7:30-12pm  3690 Old 41 Hwy NW  Kennesaw, GA 30144

Blue Ridge This office is not open on Saturday. 211 Industrial Blvd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513


Information obtained at

Class C Driver’s License220

Basic Requirements

  1. Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Pass Knowledge Exam.
  3. Pass Road Skills Test.
  4. Pass Vision Exam.

Documents Required to prove legal presence and residential address.

  1. 1-94 card
  2. Passport
  3. Confirmation of Placement letter issued by APIA
  4. DS 2019 form ( check to make sure current host family address is listed and the au pair has signed at bottom).
  5. International Permit and country license.
  6. Social Security Card.

Two forms of proof of residential address are required.

Recommended: Any two of the following can prove your status as a resident.

A confirmation of placement letter from APIA indicating your host family address.  (Provided by APIA before you leave your country)

A bank statement with au pair name and the host family address. The statement must be dated the same month that you are getting your license.

The letter sent with your Social Security Card indicating your name and your host family address can be used. Save this envelope and all is contents when the Social Security card arrives.

A letter from the au pair insurance company with au pair name and the host family address. This could be a bill, an explanation of benefits regarding a claim or other information. The letter must be the same month that you are getting your license. The United States post office is a branch of our government. You can order and pay for stamps online. Have them mailed to your host family home address. Be sure to have your name and their address. When the stamps are mailed, you will need to keep the envelope and any written information inside. This will be proof of your Georgia residence.

For confirmation and more information on obtaining a Georgia Driver’s License please go to

Gwinnett Technical College Free ESL Classes

Gwinnett Technical College

English as a Second Language Schedule 2014

Winter Quarter: January 6th – March 3rd

(2 months)

Registration Deadline: Dec 17th

Saturday Classes: January 11 – March 3

Spring Quarter: March 10th – April 30th

(2 months)

Registration Deadline: March 3rd

Saturday Classes: start March 15

Summer 1 Quarter: May 5th – June 30th

(2 months)

Registration Deadline: April 30th

Saturday Classes: start May 10

Summer 2 Quarter: July 7th – August 27th

(2 months)

Registration Deadline: June 30th

Saturday Classes: start July 12

Fall 1 Quarter: September 8th – October 29th

(2 months)

Registration Deadline: August 27th

Saturday Classes: start September 13

Fall 2 Quarter: November 3rd – December 16th

(mini session)

Registration Deadline: October 29th

Gwinnett Technical College Continuing Education ESL Classes For Au pairs

English as a Second Language

Gwinnett Technical College

No Documentation needed for Continuing Education ESL classes.

Students may register and enter class any time during the session.

All regular sessions are 2 months

There is always an Early Registration Deadline for each session.

There is a $20 late fee after early registration deadline.

Weekday Classes

(9:00am – 12:00pm)


(6:00pm 9:00pm)


48 hrs / 4.8 credits (CEU’s)

16 sessions





Intensive 4-day

96 hrs / 9.6 credits (CEU’s)

32 sessions

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs


(9:00am – 12:00pm)

2-day TOEFL

48 hrs / 4.8 credits (CEU’s)

16 sessions





Intensive TOEFL

96 hrs / 9.6 credits (CEU’s)

32 sessions

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs


Saturday Classes

(9:00am – 1:00pm)

Saturday Conversation

32 hrs / 3.2 credits (CEU’s)

8 sessions


Saturday TOEFL Prep

32 hrs / 3.2 credits (CEU’s)

8 sessions


Students who miss more than 20% of class will not receive an attendance certificate.

Students may miss 3 days of the 2 day a week classes. Students may miss 1 day of the Saturday classes.



 A print out of the I-94 is required to obtain a Social Security Card. 
To obtain the card, the Au pair/companion will need various documents and the  I-94 card printed out. Please see “How to get a Social Security Card” under Life in the USA on our blog for a detailed description of what other documents to bring and where to go. 

1. Print out the I-94 card information from the following website:

2. Follow the link that looks like this in the third paragraph “get their I-94 Number”.

3. HIt the box with I-94 at the top and on the bottom reads “Get most recent i-94”. 

4. Click consent to the terms of agreement. 

5. Enter your passport information and save the 1-94 to your computer. Ask your host family to assist with printing it out. 




Photography course and certificate at NGU Cumming campus


Information about the classes taught at the Cumming campus of North Georgia University.

The belly dancing class is not taught at the Cumming location. There are several other courses that may be of interest to you. When looking at their listing of courses, please be careful to see the location where it is taught. If there are at least five people who would like to take the belly dancing course or any course, they will make a class for us in Cumming.

These are the photography courses. You can actually achieve a photography certificate by taking several of these courses.

Information about Photography Certificate program

List of photography courses