We live in a time of constant sharing through social media. We often share pictures, plans of somewhere we are going or rants about problems, without thinking much about who will see it and what could be the consequences.
Before clicking “post”, stop to think:
- Am I violating someone’s privacy?
- Am I sharing personal info. that could put me in danger?
- Would I want my current or a future employer to see this?
This will help protect your privacy and safety as well as that of your host family. It is important to respect your host family’s privacy and not share personal details and information. This applies to all kinds of situations, including: personal conversations, email and social websites.
For your own safety, it is a good idea to be careful what personal information you share about yourself as well. You should not give out information like your telephone number and address to people you don’t know. Safer to meet a new friend in a public place, than to give them your address before knowing them.
Once you post something on the internet (even if you later delete it), it can show up elsewhere. Unless you have specific permission from your host family, you should never post pictures of them, their children or their home on the internet.
If you have a blog or website where you post in your native language, remember there is translation software. So, even if you say it in your native language, be sure it is not something that might be misinterpreted in translation or something you will regret saying.
“Rest and be thankful.” – William Wordsworth
Holidays and vacations are a great opportunity to rest, recharge and explore the U.S.
Spring break is a busy travel season for host families. Here are some reminders about program rules regarding holidays and vacations.
- Host families are not required to give au pairs any specific holidays.
- Each host family will make different arrangements on holidays, some au pairs will be off and others will be required to work.
- Au pairs should not make plans for holidays without checking with your host family first.
- Au pairs earns 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of her year.
- Vacation time should be mutually agreed upon.
- All vacation should be preplanned (at least 4-12 weeks in advance.) This can allow time to coordinate the au pair’s weekend off for the month that she will also travel.
- All au pair’s friends and/or family visits/vacations should be pre-approved prior to purchasing tickets. Some host families will not be comfortable with your guest visiting during your work hours. You may need to coordinate your vacation with your guest’s plans.
- If an au pair travels with her host family, it should be discussed in advance whether this is the au pair’s vacation or if she is working.
- If an au pair travels with the host family to work, the host family is required to pay for her transportation, lodging and meals. Her Lodging should ensure her privacy.
Important: If an au pair is traveling outside of the U.S., she must have her DS2019 signed (travel validation) PRIOR to her departure from the US. A visitor’s visa may also be needed for the country you are visiting. More information about this may be found here on the Au Pair in America website.
It is normal for an Au Pair to feel a little bit homesick, especially after the holidays have ended. Our long rainy, wet winter has all of us singing the blues! Here are some tips for making it through the roughest days.
Here are some things to do if you are feeling a little blue:
- Be a tourist, get to know where you live, visit the local sights and explore just as you would if on vacation. Start a list of favorite places.
- Plan a trip with a friend, a day trip or a weekend, get excited about doing something new with a new friend and before you know it you will be excited and chatting about the trip instead of talking about what you are missing at home.
- Go to your cluster meeting, This will definitely help you.
- Not everything has to change. If you loved jogging at home, do it here. There are some habits you love that you can keep.
- Create a routine. Having a routine will help you feel at home and settle into life here.
- Do not stay home. Get out and about, go to the gym, the park, a coffee shop, a movie, staying home alone will not help homesickness.
- Ask your counselor to connect you with another au pair who was also homesick, there’s nothing better than talking to someone who has been in your shoes.
- Start planning a digital memory book. Collect pictures and mementos from your year in a special online folder. Online sites like Shutter Fly and Social Print Studios offer great deals on photo books.It will give you something to work on when you have quiet time alone and as your year progresses you will be able to see what an amazing experience you are having. You’ll have a wonderful keepsake to take home with you. You’ll feel so proud of your memory book!
- Most importantly, talk to someone, if you feel sad or homesick. Being part of a cluster enables us to help and support each other.
A little inspiration from a former au pair… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3IBmRWGnwA
Have a great year, this is your dream, make the most of it!
Au Pair – New Place, New Culture, Now What?
This class is for the Au Pairs or students of other cultures who already speak English quite well and want learn more about the place in which they have chosen to live, The United States. There will be in depth discussions about adjusting to live in the United States and the stages of cultural adjustment. What are the popular holidays and how do we celebrate them? Learn new vocabulary, idioms and maybe even some of our good ole North American humor and slang. Students will keep journals of different experiences for discussion in class.
March 4 – May 20
March 11: Professional Development Day
April 1-5: Spring Break
Alpharetta and Gwinnett Campus
Mondays & Wednesdays
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Early Registration deadline: February 27
Early Registration fee $500
Regular Price: $530
To Register: https://aceweb.gwinnetttech.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?&course=193CED9072
Au pairs must finish all educational classes one MONTH BEFORE their year end. The State Department will deny any request to extend your au pair term, if your education is not finished by the 11th month.
CEUs, Semester Credits, Continuing Education Credits are all different ways of measuring time in a class. Every au pair will need 72 classroom hours of education. For example: In order to have 72 hours of class time an Au pair must have 7.2 ceus. Count the number of hours you have attended class to add up to 72 hours.