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2020 Weekend Education Classes

2020 Weekend classes

Important to note:

If the class is remote, Host Families pay for the class and what is included.   Au Pairs pay for any transportation, food, & lodging not included in the cost of the class.

There are three main organizations that offer Weekend Classes across the country.  You can search these sites to see upcoming offerings across many locations:

  1. Cultural Hi-ways/ Borough of Manhattan Community college.

They have learning local and learning express options.  Classes are focused on history and explorations of locations.


  1. Au Pair Weekend

“Single” classes earn 36 hours in one weekend.  “Double” classes earn 72 hours over 2 weekends.  “Combo” classes earn 72 hours in a single long weekend.  Classes are focused on history and exploration of locations.


  1. Classroom Au Pair

Classes mainly offered in NJ/ NY area and Florida.  Classes are focused on a range of topics.


The following listings are organized by location in the country to help au pairs control airline costs.  It is listed by Northeast, to South, then West options. 


Albany, NY                             College of St. Rose, at Silver Bay

AP chooses subjects, see course descriptions. Lodging and meals are included in the average cost of $340. Each weekend plus homework, provides an au pair with 3 credits.


Brookville, NY                       Long Island University                     

Weekend classes focusing on one topic.  They offer transport from the train station at a certain times.  Please see course descriptions. Average class cost of $285 and is based on receiving up to 3 credits.   Lodging and meals are not included but can be purchased for $100.



New York City, NY               Cultural Hi-Ways/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour, and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.  Occasional 72 hour NYC/ Washington DC/ New Orleans classes are offered for $639.  See site for details.


New York City, NY               UCLA Extension                      

Performing Arts (Theater/ Broadway, Music) or Visual Arts (Art Architecture, Photography) class offerings.  36 hours per class, Friday -Sunday for $295 + $110 in fees.  72 hours for both classes for $500 +$215 in fees.  covers 3 meals during the weekend, admission to museums, shows, and activities; materials; local transportation) No housing included.  See website for full details.


White Plains, NY                    Pace University         

3 course offerings – American Studies through Film, Cross Cultural Communication, American Humor, Tourism.        20 credit hour class:  9-5 pm Sat & Sun for $200.  40 hour credit class:  weekend class & research essay requirement for $365.  No housing, but free parking.


Purchase, NY                          SUNY Purchase                                    

Explorations in American Life and Language – courses focused on English language in business and culture classes.  Weekend options: 20 hours or 40 hours towards your U.S. government education requirement.  No housing available, but short-term parking available.


West Harrison, NY                Fordham University                             

Classes focus on Psychology and Marketing presently.  Weekend classes with pre- assignment options for 20 hours ($225) or 40 hours ($375) if research paper is also submitted.  Free Parking.


New Rochelle, NY                 Iona College              

2 – 3 class offerings that change with each semester.  Each class has a 2 or 3 credit option depending on completing a multipage assignment.  2 credit class costs $240, 3 credit course costs $350.  Classes run from 9am – 5:45pm each day.   Overnight accommodations may be available, see site for details.


Boston, MA                Bunker Hill Community College         

2 classes offered – Discover Boston and Make a Difference.  Receive up to 45 hours for a 3 day course, $295 + $60 in fees.  Up to 90 hours for both classes for $500 + $115 in fees, when you sign up for both at the same time (“Double”).  No housing provided, see website for full details.


Fairfield, CT              Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.


Stamford, CT              Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.


Jersey City, NJ           Hudson County Community College   

Classes offered include acting, cooking, event planning, English, photography, social media, music, as well as destination offerings in Florida.  Pre and Post assignment homework required.  9am – 7pm classes, must attend all hours to get completion certificate.  36 hour/ 3.6 ceu classes from $295 – $345, depending on class.  Transit station, street parking, or lot parking available.  See site for details.


Morristown, NJ          Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Niagara Falls, NYC, Montreal, Amish Country of PA, Boston, & Washington DC.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour, and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $485 depending on number of classes and tour location.


New Brunswick, NJ                Rutger’s University                      

Classes tailored to Au Pairs.  Topics include American Food, Childcare topics etc.  8:30-4:30 on Saturday & Sunday.  $390 for 3 CEUs, includes materials, breakfast, and lunch.  Certificate upon completion.   No housing but onsite parking, free shuttle from NJ transit train station.  See website for full details.


Philadelphia, PA                    Peirce College              

Arts and Diversity: A Focus on Philly’s diverse population and art scene with visit to PA Museum of Art and neighborhood murals. $319 for 36 hours.  See site for details.


Millersville, PA                      Millersville University

Amish Culture studies in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  36 hours of coursework from classroom discussion, field trip and pre and post work assignments.  $350 for tuition, registration, materials, and excursion fees.  Housing not available, but main office is open to contact for suggestions. Class runs from Friday at 3pm – 4pm on Sunday.


Massachusetts Bay Community College / East Coast Adventures         

“Journey through North America” class – class room learning and trip for 3 CEUs.

Montreal, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Quebec City & Washington DC.  APs responsible for visa/ passport requirements for any travel to Canada.  See site for dates & pricing.


Washington, DC        Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

Learning Across America.  Au Pairs earn 36 hours or 72 hours.  Prices range from $279 – $629 depending on number of classes and tour location.  Classes meet at Trinity Washington University.  See website for more details.


Washington, DC        University of the Virgin Islands            

American History classes, Exploring DC with a walking tours, Sign Language, Personal/ Career Development, Movie making, Understanding politics etc.  Saturday & Sunday for 20 hours/ 2 CEUs for $275.  Class occurs at the Smithsonian Museums.  See website for details.  Additional classes in Maryland.



Washington, DC        Virginia International University

One day classes at Smithsonian Museums and private are galleries.  Classes typically run 10:30am – 3:30 pm.           The museum classes are $40/class, and students earn 0.5 CEUs. For new students, there is a one-time administration fee of $20. There is no textbook.  See website for details.


Washington, DC        George Washington University                     Http://


Women’s Business Leadership. Focused on leadership, mentorship, professional communication, & goals.  Pre- and post-class assignments.  36 hours towards requirement.   $360 early registration price / $375 late registration price + $25 materials fee.


Washington, DC        University of the District of Columbia Community College

2 class offerings -Make a difference and Discover DC and the United States.  36 hours for 3-day weekend class $295 + $60 (materials and registration fees).  Discount offered for enrolling in multiple classes during registration – 72 hours for $625.  Some meals included, no housing available through the school. Full details on website.


Towson, MD              Towson University                               

Class options focus on Pop culture, English grammar, or the Baltimore area.  APs should sign up at least one week before the class as field trips tickets may need to be ordered in advance.  3 credit class, pre- class assignments approximately 16 hours’ worth of homework.  No lodging or meals provided.  $375 +$25 application fee.


Richmond, VA            University of Richmond

Under Language and Culture Studies:  and Under Cultural Studies

Under humanities-culture


Please see course descriptions. The average cost of $325 is based on 3 credits. Less expensive, shorter one day opportunities are available for less credits.  No lodging available but, website references to local hotels at a special rate.


Chapel Hill, NC    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Adventures in Ideas:  Weekend Seminars” Lectures and optional meal.  Several offerings focusing on Global Urban Life, American Christianity, African American Music, Mapping the Ancient World etc.  See website for more details.  Tuition by deadline $110 – $125, late registration $125 – $140.  Meals $15-20.  Discounts for multiple registrations.    No housing or transportation available.


Charleston, SC            Trident Technical College

Southern culture, history, language, landmarks.  Learning takes place in and out of the classroom.  Includes graveyards (ghost stories).  Late Friday – Sunday.  30 hours, for $325.  Registration includes fees for events, but not food or lodging.  Hostel information available on site.


Miami, FL                  Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

A focus on multiculturalism in Mimi, focusing on history, street murals and unique neighborhoods.  Class takes place from Thursday to Saturday.  Pre and post assignments are required.  $499 tuition includes 3 night hotel stay and some meals.  See site for details.


Miramar, FL               Unilatina International College

60 hour class focusing on Public Speaking Skills, personality awareness, strengths and personal improvement, life planning tools, and stress management skills.  Pre and post assignments.  Class runs Thursday – Sunday, $570 before registration deadline $595 after.    Hotel recommendations available.  See website for more details.


Orlando FL     Hudson County Community College  

The Making of Walt Disney World.  Learn the history and about its influence.  You will visit educational attractions – Epcot and Magic Kingdom.  $495 + 2-day theme park ticket ($237) earns 36 hours.   Includes 2 nights in shared room, 4 meals, transportation to attractions.  See site for details.


Tampa, FL              Hillsborough Community College             

Multiple classes, see website for details.  40 hours for single class costs $599 and 72 hour combo class costs $615 which includes tuition and registration, materials and excursions.  Late registration penalty is $50.  Discount offered for enrolling in multiple classes during registration.  Housing is not included in price of tuition but can be arranged as a convenience.  Some meals are covered.  Housing cost depends on length of stay and accommodations chosen.  See site for details.


Nashville, TN             Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

In this course you’ll explore the events that established both Nashville’s robust live music scene and its influential music industry.  Class takes place from Thursday to Saturday.  Pre and post assignments are required.  $495 tuition includes 3 night hotel stay and admissions to museums and earns 36 education hours.  See site for details.


Nashville, TN             University of the Virgin Islands           

Psychology: The power of Language and Thoughts.  This course will focus on control and mastery of emotions, impulses and actions to achieve personal goals through mind mapping and visualization.  Successful completion of the course requirements will earn the student 40 hours or 4 CEU’s.  $335 course fee for on time registration.


Chicago, IL    Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

Learning Across America.  Classes meet on three weekend days spread out for several weeks with a break before the travel portion of the class.  Class focus and tour locations include Chicago and New Orleans.  Au Pairs earn either 32 or 40 hours with attendance for all classes & the tour, and completing the homework assignments.  Prices range from $279 – $459 depending on number of classes and tour location.    Classes take place in downtown Chicago at Loyola University.  Airfare to/from Chicago is not included in cost of tuition.  See website for more details.


Chicago, IL                             UCLA Extension       

Discover Chicago and Make a Difference class offerings.  Earn 36 hours for $355 class, some meals, materials and fees. Discount given for multiple class sign up at registration “Double” classes earn 72 hours for $619.  Pre and post assignments required for completion certificate.  No lodging available see website for full details.


Chicago, IL                            Illinois Institute of Technology

The American Legal System in Popular Culture is a six-credit course offered to students seeking an introduction to the American legal system and how it is portrayed in modern media. The course is targeted at au pairs who are interested in a broad understanding of the nation’s legal system and its role in shaping American culture.  $500,       3-day weekend.  See site for details, no housing available.


New Orleans, LA       Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

New Orleans is different in so many ways: its history, culture, music and food set it apart from just about any other city in America. Classroom sessions and field trips to some of the sites that reflect all that’s unique about the city including the French Quarter, Garden District and its famous cemeteries is included.  Class runs Thursday – Saturday, $469 for 36 hours and includes 3 nights at local hotel and some meals.  Some sessions earn 72 hours for $739.  See site for details.


New Orleans, LA                   Tulane University–Spring-Educational-Courses-in-San-Francisco-and-2-Other-Great-Locations-.html?soid=1101507129325&aid=3Ch9D6icIEA#nola

36 hours earned while learning about New Orleans.  Class and local transportation pass $289.  Class, local transportation pass, accommodations and breakfasts $459.  Class costs do not include transportation to New Orleans.


Houston, TX               Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)  

In this class, you will learn about the city’s founding, the way oil has shaped it, and the incredible diversity and culture of the area. Join us to explore the museum district, underground tunnels, famous green spaces, and learn all about The Lone Star State.  36 Hours earned for $309.  See website for details


San Antonio, TX                    UCLA Extension                      

History of San Antonio, with focus on the Alamo, Missions, and urban culture with a dude ranch experience.  Class runs from Thursday to Sunday, earning 72 hours.  $799 includes tuition, course fee, 3 nights lodging, 8 meals, education activities and transportation to airport at departure.  See site for full details


Boulder, CO               University of Colorado see “course descriptions”

This intensive weekend course for au pairs focuses on the business of tourism. Participants explore tourist destinations and visit local businesses and attractions for analysis and discussion. As a final project, teams develop a tourism campaign promoting Boulder to people from their home countries.  $450 includes tuition, activity fees, Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, Sunday lunch, Saturday bus pass.  36 hours earned which includes pre-and post-assignments.  Class is held 6 -9pm Friday, 9-5 Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday.  Travel to/from airport and hotel package options available. See site for full details.



Salt Lake City, UT                 Utah Valley University            

Make a Difference and Discover Salt Lake City.  72 hours earned over 4 day “Combo” class for $500 tuition and $115 in fees.  Housing option available for additional fee – $120 per student for 3 nights in a shared bed or $180 per student for your own bed in a shared room.  See website for full details.    Some au pairs have complained this class focuses heavily on the Mormon religion that is prevalent in Utah.


San Francisco, CA                  Cultural HiWays/ Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

Learn about the history and culture of San Francisco in the class room and around town.  Classes take place at City College of San Francisco.  $299 includes course, materials and activity fees.   See site for details.


San Francisco, CA                  University of California

50% class time / 50% city experience via museums etc.  Pre- class assignments as well as post class assignments required to receive certificate.  2 courses offered, up to 36 hours each- $349. Discount for registering for multiple classes at the same time earning 72 hours for $619. No housing or meals available through the school.  See website for full details.


San Francisco, CA                  University of the Virgin Islands

Photography class offered periodically.  Check site calendar for upcoming classes.


Los Angeles, CA                    UCLA Extension                      

American culture and history with a focus on entertainment and the arts focusing on either performing arts or visual arts.  Friday – Sunday 36 hour single class, $405 or 72 hours for Double class (2 weekends) for $705 for class, materials/ activities, & registration fee.  No housing provided see website for full details.


Los Angeles, CA                    University of the Virgin Islands

Sign language course, 4 CEUs.  Lodging available that includes a Saturday night hotel stay in the registration fee.  See site for more details.


San Diego, CA                        University of California           

50% class time / 50% city experience via museums etc.  Pre- class assignments as well as post class assignments required to receive certificate.  2 courses offered, up to 36 hours each – $295 for one or both together for Combo class in a single long weekend for $649. This class involves more written assignments than San Francisco class.  Housing and meals available for an additional fee.  See website for full details.


Big Island, HI                         UCLA Extension          

“Explore our Environment” pop up course offering 72 hours over a 6 day course offered in June 2019.   $975 to cover tuition, registration, shared accommodations, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, transportation and entry to sites during field trip, course materials, and supplies. Au Pairs responsible for their own airline flights. See site for complete details.



Southern Traditions for Fourth of July Celebrations!


Happy Fourth of July!

No other holiday can provide such a uniquely American experience. Being in the USA on Fourth of July can be wonderful and exciting anywhere in the USA. I hope that you enjoy this day with your host family. Here in the south, experience The Fourth with our southern traditions!!

Here are a couple of things you will want to accomplish:

Follow the Peachtree Road Racepeachtree race


Eat Watermelon outside and don’t worry if it drips down your arm!eating watermelon

See fireworks. Google closest Fourth of July fireworks to me. There will be HUGE fireworks at NewTown Park in John’s creek, Will’s Park in Alpharetta, Search your city to find the nearest “Fourth of July fireworks” to you!




Hold a sparkler.


Have a picnic with lots of friends.


Sit on a porch decorated with red, white and blue bunting and drink lemonade.

house with bunting

Run in a potato sack race with your host children.

Ask an American Friend what the fourth of July means to them.


On this night with fireworks soaring and families gathering checkered blankets, you will see a sense of pride and respect in their eyes. Pride in a country where being free is everything…… and respect for all those who give themselves to protect that freedom. I hope you enjoy our Fourth of July!

Vacation and Holidays for the Au Pair.

Summertime 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. However, if you know that you will be home, a holiday day off can be a nice reward for an Au pair!
  • Each host family will make different arrangements for 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 their host family first.


  • An Au pair earns 11 days of paid vacation during the course of her year. An Au Pair who always has the weekends free will earn 10 days of paid vacation.
  • Vacation time should be mutually agreed upon before it is taken.
  • All vacations 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 and her vacation days.
  • Time cannot be made up in the remaining week if the vacation is taken with individual days.
  • 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 guests visiting during work hours. It might be best to coordinate the Au Pair vacation with guests’ plans to visit.
  • 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. A schedule is necessary for work during the host family vacation.
  • 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.
  • An Au Pair cannot be away from the host family’s primary residence for longer than 3 weeks.
  • Year 2 Au Pairs cannot travel internationally with the exception of Canada, Mexico, and some adjacent Caribbean islands.

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.  This can take up to 4 weeks to process. A visitor’s visa may also be needed for the country you are visiting.

More information about international travel may be found with these resources:

Travel Validation Form

Year 1 International Travel Checklist

Year 2 International Travel Checklist

Automatic Revalidation Checklist

Drowning is FAST AND SILENT. Four Tips to prevent drowning!

DId you know that drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14?
 Drowning is FAST AND SILENT. Drowning happens to all types of families and in all kinds of water- bathtubs, pools, lakes, ponds, rivers, beaches, and even buckets and toilets. The good news is that drowning is PREVENTABLE.
The big four tips for water safety:
1. Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning. Never trust a child who says they will stay away from the pool while you go to the restroom or back to the car…. Take them with you!
2. Whenever children under age 5 are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
3. Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.
4. If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.

Sun Safety Tips for Au Pairs from Macroni Kids




Everyone loves summer, especially children.

But while you’re planning some family fun in the sun, be sure to make safety a top priority. Accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 in the United States, and the summer months bring with them a unique set of risks.

Keep reading for 5 tips to keep your kids safe this summer.


Sunburn, dehydration and sun or heat stroke are among the hot-weather risks parents need to be aware of when young children are playing outside.

  • Sunburn. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or above, at least 30 minutes before letting children go outside.
    • Reapply every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating.
    • The sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds, so you still need protection on overcast days.
    • Have kids wear protective gear, such as sunglasses with UV protection, a hat and tight-knit cotton clothing.
  • Dehydration. Provide plenty of water when kids are engaged in outdoor activities, and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks.
  • Sun or heat stroke. Plan outdoor activities for earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when possible. It’s safest to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

Babies are at greater risk from excessive sun exposure. Protect your infant with lightweight clothes with long sleeves and legs, a wide-brimmed hat, and a lightweight blanket. Apply baby sunscreen, and choose a stroller with a large canopy to shield those harmful rays.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4 in the U.S., and over half of all drownings occur in the summer.

Adult supervision and other water safety habits are essential, whether you’re planning a trip to the beach, a day at the lake or just an afternoon splash in the neighborhood pool.

  • We really cannot emphasize this enough: there is no substitute for adult supervision. Never let children swim without an adult or lifeguard on duty.
    • Inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties” provide a false sense of security. Keep young children within arm’s reach at all times while in or near water.
    • Never leave children unattended at the pool for any reason — that includes turning your head to answer the phone, read a book or converse with other adults.
    • Likewise, never leave children unattended in a hot tub.
  • Obey all posted rules at public pools or other swimming areas — especially those pertaining to running and horseplay. Keep wheeled toys away from the water’s edge. Observe all diving rules.
  • If you have a pool at home, keep it securely covered when not in use, and protect it with a childproof fence and locking gate. Don’t allow diving from the side of the pool. A hot tub should have a locking lid.
  • Learn CPR and other First Aid so you’re prepared in the event of an accident.
  • Children must wear a properly-fitting life jacket at all times while riding on a boat, and adults must never consume alcohol while operating a boat.


Summertime brings with it road trips and lots of outdoor adventures. Don’t let all those fun outings end in tragedy or a trip to the hospital.

  • Car safety for kids. Never let kids ride in the cargo areas of pickup trucks or vans. Children under 12 should ride in the back seat, and be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat for their height and weight.
  • NEVER leave children in a parked car, even for a few minutes. In Georgia heat, it only takes a few minutes for children to die in a car. “Look before you Lock”— what is in the backseat! 
  • Bike safety. Bicyclists of all ages, including kids, must wear a properly fitting helmet while riding a bike. Make sure your child’s bike is the right size, and teach him or her to obey all traffic rules while riding.
  • Playground safety. As with other summertime activities, kids should always have adult supervision when having fun on the playground.
    • Equipment should be firmly anchored and well-maintained. There should be shock-absorbing material such as rubber, gravel or wood chips, and equipment should be installed at least 6” from fences or sidewalks.
    • Avoid clothing or accessories that could cause strangulation. These include drawstrings, necklaces or loose-fitting garments.


Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac all contain urushiol, a rash-causing substance that produces an allergic reaction in 60-80% of all people.

You don’t even have to touch the plant to be affected. Urushiol can be transferred by touching another person or an article of clothing that has been in contact with an offending plant. If can also be inhaled if a poison ivy plant is burned.

You can reduce the risk to you and your kids by:

Learning to identify poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac leaves

  • Avoiding outdoor areas where you know poison ivy is present
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants in areas where poison ivy may be present
  • Washing skin as quickly as possible if exposure occurs
  • Bathing and washing clothes after time outdoors
  • Bathing pets who may have been exposed

Symptoms of poison ivy exposure include red, itchy, swollen skin and blisters.

  • Call a doctor if your child develops a fever or any type of rash.
  • The rash typically takes 1-2 weeks to heal.
  • Treatment includes cool showers and soothing lotion to calm the skin.
  • If your child has a severe reaction, your doctor may prescribe pills or creams to promote healing.


Always check for ticks after you or your kids have been outdoors during the summertime. Removing the tick as quickly as possible reduces the risk of tick-borne illness such as Lyme disease.

  • Don’t use petroleum jelly or a hot match. These don’t work and may cause the tick to burrow even deeper into the skin.
  • Remove the tick using the following steps:
    • Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
    • Pull firmly and steadily until the tick is removed.
    • Don’t twist or rotate the tick.
    • If part of the tick stays in, it will eventually come out on its own.
    • Gently wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Call your pediatrician. He or she may prescribe antibiotics if your child is at risk of Lyme disease.
  • Pay attention for symptoms of Lyme disease. Early treatment is crucial for long-term recovery.
    • Red ringed rash around the affected area
    • Red or irritated skin
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Painful or swollen joints
    • Facial paralysis

See full article at

Tips For Driving Safely During Your Au Pair Year

Au Pair Driving Tips. Keep Safe! 


These issues are ones that often happen for Au pairs. Use caution and don’t let it happen to you!

The most important thing to remember is to be honest with your host family. If something happens while you are driving- immediately tell your host family. Most hosts will forgive you, but if they discover that you did not tell them, this can lead to a rematch or your having to go home early. 

Driving late at night is dangerous because of drunk drivers on the road. In Georgia, after 3am for every five cars that pass you, three of those five drivers have been drinking alcohol. Host families often have car curfews because of this reason.

If you have one beer or one glass of wine or one mixed liquor drink and you drive within one hour—you will test positive for alcohol and can be charged for a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol). Age 21 is the legal age to drink alcohol in the USA. If you do drink alcohol while out, use Lyft or Uber to safely return home.

USA police departments make a lot of money when they find someone drinking and driving. They are LOOKING for any excuse to pull you over and test you. If you are arrested for driving while drinking, you or your family back home will need to get you out of jail. APIA will NOT get you out of jail. This is about $7000.00 and then you will need to go home.

If you damage someone else’s car, and no-one is hurt, you still must call the police.  You must stop, move the car and exchange names and insurance info. Take pictures of the car and the damage you made and any damage other than yours on their car. If you have hit a parked car with no driver, take pictures and leave your name and host family phone number. Failing to do these things, and not stopping is considered ” leaving the scene of an accident”. The penalty for this is five years in jail and several thousand dollars in fines.

Driving in the rain or on wet streets increases your likelihood of having an accident. Sometimes it is best to stay home, if you know bad weather is on the way.

Make a system for checking behind the car before backing up. Use the rear view mirrors, but also look behind the car before getting in. When in a driveway, look for children, dogs, shrubs or toys. Most Au pair accidents involve backing up.

When entering a busy street or highway from a parking lot, look for the nearest exit with a traffic light and go there to enter the street. Trying to cross a busy street with no signal is dangerous.

At intersections, look twice before pulling out.

If someone is yelling or honking at you to enter a busy street or intersection, ignore them and wait until you are confident. Accidents happen when you are pressured to move when you are not ready.

Parking a big American car in a small American space is difficult. Practice parking in small spaces outside your host family home with trash cans. Your host family will respect your efforts to be responsible.

Do not hold/talk with your cell phone while driving. This is a law in Georgia. Do not listen to earphones to hear music from your cell phone.

Traffic along busy shopping malls requires special caution. Go slower and do not try to change lanes. Avoid these areas at holiday times.

If you realize you are about to miss your turn, let it pass by. You can safely turn around and go back, but trying to make a last-minute maneuver will cause an accident.

Never turn your head to speak to another person in the car. Children will cry and misbehave, but you must keep your eyes on the road ahead.

If your car runs off the road, don’t panic. Turning the steering wheel sharply to get back on the road will cause the car to turn over or cross into the on-coming traffic. Instead, slow down and travel off the road until you can safely and slowly return back to the road.

While traveling in a neighborhood, use caution and go very slowly. Dogs and children can quickly dart in front of you.

Never let the gas get lower than half a tank. Running out of gas can put you and your host family children in danger. Use your own money and give the receipt to the host family.

Many intersections now have automatic cameras that take pictures of everyone going through the light. If you enter the intersection on a yellow light, and it turns red while you are beneath it, you will be ticketed. Never slam on brakes when approaching the yellow light. Slow down and use caution to stop appropriately.

Be mindful of school zones. The fine for speeding here is very high.

Be mindful of school buses. When you see the yellow flashing light, prepare to stop.

When you see that a police car is pulled over on the side of the road. Merge into the other lane or slow down to make sure the police officer is safe. This is called the “Move Over Law”.

Your host family can require you to pay 500.00 towards any damage that is caused to their car while you are driving. Be a responsible driver and study the situations that you are not certain about. Ask questions to clear up any confusion and always use caution.

For your information: Chapter (or section 5 and 7) have detailed information about the laws and road signs.

Au Pair Education Requirement For 2022

Online Education Options for Au Pairs:

Online classes are a great option because many are self-paced. This means that you can do the work whenever it is convenient for your schedule. There is no class time you are required to log into at a specific time.  Many in-person classes will require a Georgia Driver’s license to register. In-person, classes require you to drive the host family car during high traffic times in order to get to the class in time. Most in-person classes are in the evening or on Saturday. In-person classes are expensive and will often cost more than the host family allowance in order to achieve the 72 required hours. Many options for online classes will allow you to audit them for free. 

Your course will be approved if these things are met:
1. Comes from an accredited college, university or technical college approved by the DOS.
2. The college, university, or technical school must be an American school.
3. Starts before the end of March 31, 2022
4. Have a screenshot of the number of hours you will earn.
5. Provide a certificate or a screenshot of the page that shows you have completed the course. The proof of completion must include your name.  If you choose not to pay for the certificate, it is possible to AUDIT the course for free. You will need to provide screenshots that prove that you completed the whole course. These must be EMAILED to your community counselor.
6. All classes must be finished by the end of your 11th month….30 days before the end of your year. Please submit all certificates at the time you finish them by emailing them to the counselor at her APIA address. Don’t wait to send all at once.
7. 72 hours or 7.2 CEUs must be achieved in order to extend a term.
8. 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.
9. Special 6-month extension requires 36 hours or 3.6 CEUs.
10. 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!

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.

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

Most Popular Courses:

The Science of Well Being –

Dog Emotion and Cognition –

Interior Design –

Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism Industry –

Computer Science for Business Professionals –

How to Write an Essay –

Tricky American English Pronunciation –

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 –

Improve your English Communication Skills –

This is a specialization with multiple courses giving all of the 72 hours when all courses are completed.

Photography –

Photography Specialization :

Culinary Arts –

Best Course for 5 Hours:

Fairfax University of America – Online Museum Courses

Best ESL/TOEFL Courses:

The University of California at Irvine offers a series of classes:

International Language Institute – DC –

LADO – DC Metro Area –

UCEDA – or for ESL classes, too.

EFI Online –

Kenton County Adult ESL –

Community College of Allegheny County – Grammar Refresher –

Zoni Language Center – Intermediate Conversations –

Hudson County Community College – English Skills for Real Life Situations –

Prince Georges Community College – ESL –

Fairfax Universtiy of America –

Georgia Tech Language Institute –

International Language Institute –

More Popular Choices:

Teaching English courses:

Learning Across America and Learning Express –

Classroom Au Pair –

Psychology Classes:

Yale University: One course gives 15 hours

Penn State University: five courses in the specialization giving 80 hours.

Wesleyan Unversity 38 hours

Everything you need to know about HOW TO GET A GEORGIA DRIVER”S LICENSE


There are two tests that must be completed to receive a Georgia driver’s license. The first is the written or knowledge exam and the second is the skills test or road’s test. All non-US citizens who are residing in the state for more than thirty days are considered residents and are required to obtain a Class C Driver’s License in order to drive in Georgia.

Beginning April 12, 2021- No appointment is needed for the first written test. The first written exam can be accomplished at soon as the Au pair has received the SS card.  This is offered in multiple locations including Cumming, Alpharetta, Canton, Norcross, Marietta, Kennesaw, and BlueRidge which are closest to our cluster. Check business hours for the location of your choice. All customer centers are closed on Monday and close at lunchtime at 12pm on Saturday. All will be closed on Federal and State holidays.
To be prepared for the written test and road test, study sections 5 and 7 about Georgia driving laws and road signage.
The Road’s Test or Skills Test is taken after the learner’s permit is issued. The Au pair does not have to hold the learner’s permit for any length of time. The Road’s Test can be taken immediately. The Road’s test requires an appointment. The appointments are in high demand and appointment times can be scarce.  The appointment can be made ahead.
It is possible to make the Road’s test appointment before the learner’s permit is obtained. This is accomplished by not making an online account first and simply setting the road’s test appointment. Speak with your community counselor to learn more about setting this up.
Please note: A licensed GA driver will need to drive the Au pair to the ROADS test. The registration and current car insurance must be provided. The licensed driver will stay in the car with the Au pair during the test.

What to expect during the Road’s Test:

Learn what skills will be tested during the Road’s test.
*Many driving instruction agencies are licensed to provide the Georgia Road’s/skills test after completing their driver’s training classes. This may be easier than setting up the road test through the Georgia driver’s service for the State of Georgia.  For more information, please see the blog.

Documents Required                                                                                         

Documentation showing your identity and legal presence in the USA:

  1. DS2019 form ( Verify that the form is signed at the bottom by Au pair and shows current host family address)
  2. Passport
  3. I-94 card  (print out from the cbp website).
  4. Social Security Card
  5. Participation letter can be printed directly from the Au pair portal.
  6. International driver’s permit
  7. Original country license ( this should be returned to you).
  8. Two forms of proof of Georgia residence: 1. Au Pair Participation letter ( print from the Au Pair portal) AND 2. choose one of the following ways to prove your residency:
  • Bank statement with Au pair name and host family address dated within 6 months of the appointment date.
  • Save Social Social Security card information when it arrives through the mail showing Au pair name and host family address- this must be dated within 6 months of the appointment time.
  • Print your insurance card from the CISI website with your name and host family address on the card

For more information regarding the Georgia Driver’s License refer to our Blog under life in the USA

Where to take your Georgia driver’s written and roads tests?

Two test must be taken: A knowledge test and a skills test.  No appointment is necessary for the knowledge exam, but wait times can be long.  An appointment must be made to take the roads test. Test can be made 120 days ahead. Save confirmation emails and appointment numbers. The written exam can be made as soon as the social security card is obtained. 

 The Roads test does not have to be taken in the same location. Please research all available appointments close enough to drive from the host family home. A licensed driver will need to drive the Au pair to the Road’s Test, if she has been issued a temporary permit. 

Class C Driver’s License


Search for driving distance from your host family’s home using this link. Ask your host family which location is closest to your home.

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

All are open Tuesday to Friday. Some are open on Saturdays 8am-12pm. The offices will be closed on holidays. CHECK the hours of operation for the specific office BEFORE you go.

Alpharetta Does not offer the Roads Test, Written test only- 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

Norcross/Peachtree Corners- Saturday 7:30 to 12pm 2211 Beaver Ruin Rd Norcross, Georgia 30071

Blue Ridge This office is not open on Saturday211 Industrial Blvd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513


Information obtained at

Let’s Talk! Reminders and tips about communicating with your Community Counselor.

Communication with your Community Counselor

It is very important to stay in communication with your counselor. Without at least monthly conversations, it is impossible for your counselor to know what is going well for you or what you need help with. The State Department of our Government sets the rules for which APIA must follow. One of those rules is that you must have at least one communication with your counselor per month. Most of our communication will take place at our monthly meetings. If you do not attend a cluster meeting, it is important that you talk with your counselor that month and discuss how your year is going.

Cluster meetings are mandatory. This is part of your contract with APIA. You will not always be able to attend. The following are reasons that you might not attend a cluster meeting:

  • You are sick.
  • You have an education class.
  • Your host family has a conflict in the schedule.
  • You are concerned about the cost of the meeting.

These are the only acceptable excuses. If you must miss a meeting for one of the above reasons, please call and let me know. If you miss more than three meetings during your year, I will not be able to give you a good recommendation in reference to your participation with APIA.

There are other times you MUST call and talk with your counselor:

  • When you go on vacation with your family or on your own.
  • To report any accidents: car, personal, in the home, with host children
  • If you are involved in an incident in which the police or firemen are present: fire, accident, robbery, etc.
  • If there are any concerns with the host family which harm you in any physical or emotional way.
  • If any incident occurs with you which may compromise your completion of the year.
  • If your host mom is expecting a new baby.
  • If your host family plans to move.

Many common questions can be answered without calling your counselor.

The official website for Au Pair in America ( then scroll to the bottom and click ” current Au pair”) is a great place to search for interesting facts or important information. Our cluster blog site is also a great place to find the answer you are looking for. The following are examples of questions you can answer on the website or on our blog.

  • Where can I go to the doctor?
  • What do I need to get my driver’s license?
  • What do I need to travel to another country?
  • How do I pay my USA taxes?
  • What activity can I do with my host children?                                                                              Your counselor is always glad to communicate with you. You are always welcome to contact your counselor. Here are some things to remember:
  • It might not be possible for her to speak to you or to respond to your text at the exact time you want.
  • If your counselor does not answer the phone, she may be in a meeting or talking with someone else. If this is the case, you will reach her voice mail. Voice mail in the USA is an important way businesses operate.
  • Your Counselor will not know that you called if you do not leave a message. Please call once and leave a message.
  • Do not call or text multiple times. It is only necessary to leave one voice mail or text message within a 24 hour time.
  • Please don’t feel shy about your English skills. Your counselor is in the habit of listening to au pair messages and she will be able to understand you.
  •  If you have an emergency, your counselor will call you back as soon as she receives your message. If you cannot wait on your counselor with an immediate emergency, call the after-hours emergency number for Au pair In America and follow the prompts for emergency assistance.
  • If you are calling to say hi or with a question, she will return your call within 24 hours.
  • Most counselors have set office hours. If you call or text outside of these hours, and you do not have an emergency, she will call you back on the next business day.
  • Resist texting after hours or on the weekend. Send an email and your counselor will answer this when she returns to work on the next business day.     



Counselors love talking with au pairs and look forward to hearing how your year is going!  Counselors also love hearing about ideas for cluster meetings. So, call soon!!