Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are you feeling a little homesick?

Feeling homesick is a normal feeling when you first arrive as an Au pair. YOU CAN GET THROUGH IT! It just takes a little time and some effort on your part. Know that you can live with being uncomfortable for a short time. Trust yourself that you made the right decision. Trust me when I say it will get better and your whole year is ahead of you. Fun times and lifetime friends await you. GO GET THEM!

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! 

FOURTH OF JULY IN THE USA!

fireworks

 

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

This weekend you can count on enjoying traditional favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken, ribs, potato salad, chips and watermelon.  

eating watermelon

No other holiday can provide such a uniquely American experience. Being in the USA on Fourth of July can be wonderful and exciting anywhere. Here in the south, be sure to experience The Fourth in our tradition! A couple of things you will want to accomplish to be sure!

Watch the Peachtree Road Race!

Eat Watermelon

See fireworks

Hold a sparkler

Have a picnic with fried chicken

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

Run in a potato sack race with your host children

Ask what the fourth of July means to Americans you have met in your Au pair year.

On this night with fireworks soaring and families gathered on red and white checkered blankets, you will see in their eyes a sense of pride and respect. Pride in a country where being free is everything…… and respect for all those who give themselves to protect that freedom.

A few facts about this Holiday!

  • Fourth of July is the federal holiday marking the Colonies’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776,
  • The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
  • The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
  • The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence.
  • Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the bald eagle.
  • The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
  • In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. (Today there are over 311 million.)
  • There are more than 30 towns nationwide that have the word “Liberty” in their names.
  • Approximately 150 million hot dogs are consumed on this day. It’s the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.

 

Have fun with the children too, visit the link below for fun coloring pages, craft ideas, puzzles and games to celebrate the 4th of July holiday

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/fourth-of-july/

house with bunting

Have a wonderful 4th of July Weekend!

Stay Safe in Sun and Water!

Sun and Water Safety Tips

quickpoolfun3.bmp

Sun and Water Safety Tips

 

Keep your family safe this summer by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Click here for the Spanish Version.

FUN IN THE SUN

Babies under 6 months:

  • The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure, and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.

For All Other Children:

  • The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.
  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Be sure to apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.


HEAT STRESS IN EXERCISING CHILDREN

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.


HEAT STRESS IN INFANTS

Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. Every year, children die from heat stroke from being left in a hot car, often unintentionally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in children 3 and under. Here are a few tips for parents when traveling in a car with infants or young children:

  • Always check the back seat to make sure all children are out of the car when you arrive at your destination.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.
  • Be especially aware of kids in the car when there is a change from the routine, ie. someone else is driving them in the morning, you take a different route to work or child care.
  • Have your childcare provider call if your child has not arrived within 10 minutes of the expected arrival time.
  • Place you cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat, so you are reminded to check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.

POOL SAFETY

  • 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 in children.
  • Whenever children under age 5 are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.
  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach. Consider alarms on the gate to alert you when someone opens the gate. Consider surface wave or underwater alarms as an added layer of protection.
  • The safest fence is one that surrounds all 4 sides of the pool and completely separates the pool from the house and yard. If the house serves as the fourth side of the fence, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing the pool. Drowning victims have also used pet doors to gain access to pools. Keep all of your barriers and alarms in good repair with fresh batteries.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook ­– a long pole with a hook on the end — and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.
  • 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.
  • Children over age 1 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.
  • The decision to enroll a child over age one in swimming lessons should be made by the parent based on the child’s developmental readiness and exposure to water, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.
  • Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act. If you have a swimming pool or spa, ask your pool service representative to update your drains and other suction fitting with anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices or systems. See PoolSafely.gov for more information on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • Large, inflatable, above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.

– See more at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Sun-and-Water-Safety-Tips.aspx#sthash.dmJsgr9D.dpuf

Approved Weekend Classes for 2019

2019 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.

 

Albany, NY                             College of St. Rose, at Silver Bay       http://silverbayaupaircourse.com/

AP chooses subjects, see course descriptions. Lodging and meals are included in the average cost of $285. Each weekend plus homework, provides an au pair with 3 credits.

 

Brookville, NY                       Long Island University                               http://liu.edu/aupair

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 $250 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).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

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 York City, NY               UCLA Extension                                https://www.aupairclasses.org/new-york

Performing Arts (Theater/ Broadway, Music) or Visual Arts (Art Architecture, Photography) class offerings.  36 hours per class, Friday -Sunday for 295 +100 in fees.  72 hours for both classes for $500 +215 in fees.  No housing or meals included.

 

White Plains, NY                    Pace University                   www.pace.edu/eli/westchester/j-1-au-pair-student

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                                              www.purchase.edu/ell

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                                       www.fordham.edu/aupair

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               http://www.iona.edu/Student-Life/Student-Experience-Activities/International-Student-Services/ESL-General-Au-Pair-Program.aspx         

2 class offerings –American Pop culture and The Real You-Fulfilling Your Dreams.  Each class has a 2 or 3 credit option depending on completing a multipage assignment.  2 credit class costs $225, 3 credit course costs $350.  Lunch served both days, class runs from 9am – 5:45pm each day.   No housing available.

 

Boston, MA                Bunker Hill Community College                   https://www.aupairclasses.org/boston

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.  No housing provided, however local recommendation listed on site with discount code.

 

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

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

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).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

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.

 

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

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

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                                http://www.cpe.rutgers.edu/aupair/

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.

 

Millersville, PA                      Millersville University

https://www.millersville.edu/internationalprograms/eli/short-term-english-programs/au-pair-weekend-program.php

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                 http://www.massbay.edu/journey/  

“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).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

Learning Across America.  Au Pairs earn 36 hours Prices range from $279 – $485 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                      www.uviprogram.org

http://reg.abcsignup.com/reg/event_page.aspx?ek=0040-0016-856f3de29a2043ed8c7ded072bb2faf7

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        http://viu.edu/sels/programs/adult-esl.html#Museum

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://www.WBLseminar.wordpress.com

 

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   www.aupairclasses.org

Learning to live your American Dream.  45 hours for 3-day weekend class $295 + $60 (materials and registration fees).  Discount offered for enrolling in multiple classes during registration.  No housing or meals available through the school, but discount at local hostel with a discount code. Details on class website.

 

Towson, MD              Towson University                                         www.towson.edu/elc

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.  $300 +$25 application fee.

 

Richmond, VA            University of Richmond

Under Language and Culture Studies:  http://spcs.richmond.edu/noncredit/language-culture/index.html  and Under Cultural Studieshttp://spcs.richmond.edu/noncredit/language-culture/culture.html

Under humanities-culturehttp://spcs.richmond.edu/noncredit/areas/humanities-culture/cultural-enrichment.html

 

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         www.humanities.unc.edu

“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

http://www.tridenttech.edu/ce/programs/catalog/charleston-history-and-culture.htm

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.

 

Tampa, FL              Hillsborough Community College                       www.aupairclasses.org

Multiple classes, see website for details.  40 hours each.  $295 Tuition + $50 materials fee.  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.  Housing cost depends on length of stay and accommodations chosen.  See site for details.

 

Nashville, TN             University of the Virgin Islands                     http://www.uviprogram.org/

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).

http://www.campusce.net/learningacrossamerica/category/category.aspx

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 New Orleans is not included in cost of tuition.  See website for more details.

 

Chicago, IL                             UCLA Extension                 www.aupairclasses.org

Discover Chicago and Make a Difference class offerings.  Receive up to 45 hours for a 3-day weekend class for $295 + $50 food, materials and activity fee & $10 registration fee. Discount given for multiple class sign up at registration.  No lodging available, but website refers to local hotels.  Pre and post assignments required for completion certificate.

 

Chicago, IL                            Illinois Institute of Technology

https://www.kentlaw.iit.edu/news/2017/new-course-american-legal-system-in-popular-culture

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                   Tulane University

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Au-Pairs–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.

 

Boulder, CO               University of Colorado          http://iec.colorado.edu/aupairs 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                      https://www.aupairclasses.org/salt-lake-city

Make a Difference and Discover Salt Lake City.  Some au pairs have complained this class focuses heavily on the Mormon religion that is prevalent in Utah.  $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.  Transportation information on site.

 

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

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/San-Francisco-Educational-Course.html?soid=1101507129325&aid=e1eaQOs6D2Y

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         https://www.aupairclasses.org/san-francisco

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 45 hours each- $295 for one discount for registering for multiple classes at the same time. No housing or meals available through the school.

 

San Francisco, CA                  University of the Virgin Islands         www.uviprogram.org

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

 

Los Angeles, CA                    UCLA Extension                                www.aupairclasses.org

American culture and history with a focus on entertainment and the arts focusing on either performing arts or visual arts.  Friday – Sunday class, $405 for class, materials/ activities, & registration fee.  No housing provided, but lodging locations recommended by school upon registration.

 

Los Angeles, CA                    University of the Virgin Islands         www.uviprogram.org

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                     https://www.aupairclasses.org/san-diego

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 40 hours each – $295 for one. Discount for registering for multiple classes at same time.  This class involves more written assignments than San Francisco class.  Housing and meals available for an additional fee.

 

Big Island, HI                         UCLA Extension                    https://www.aupairclasses.org/hawaii

“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.

 

What Au pairs need to know about mosquitoes and their bites.

What Au pairs need to know about mosquitoes and their bites.

The happy days of sun also brings along the itchy bites of mosquitoes! Especially this summer, due to the large amount of rain we have experienced. Here is some information about mosquitoes and prevention of their bites that you may find helpful.

mosquito

Bites from mosquitoes carrying certain viruses or parasites can cause severe illness. Infected mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus to humans. Other mosquito-borne infections include yellow fever, malaria and some types of brain infection (encephalitis). The prevalence of these diseases depends on the geographic location. Recently, caution has been given about Zika virus and the impact on young women of child bearing age. Some areas of the the USA carry a greater risk of contracting these diseases than others. Speak to your host family to discuss the danger of mosquitos in your local area.

Mosquito Bite Symptoms

After the bite occurs, humans require some sort of mosquito bite treatment in order to ease the symptoms that occur. A mosquito bite usually results in redness and minor local swelling around the mosquito bite site. Itching is also very common and tends to last longer than the swelling, which subsides after a few hours. The itching is caused by a skin reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. These symptoms usually occur soon after the mosquito bite has occurred.

After many bites, some people become rather insensitive to them and their skin barely reacts. However, for others the mosquito bite symptoms become more severe with more bites. In fact, some people are considered allergic to mosquito bites and these individuals would definitely benefit from a mosquito bite treatment.

Unlike allergic reactions to bee stings or wasp stings, where an allergic response can cause immediate death, this same response from a mosquito bite is very rare. Instead, symptoms of an allergic response to a mosquito bite involve more significant swelling of the skin with sometimes very large hives or welts forming, more redness at the bite site, and extreme itching. These symptoms tend to last much longer than in non-allergic individuals, sometimes lasting two or three days. In more severe cases, blistering and bruising may also be the response. Overall, it is a much more uncomfortable and painful situation for the victim and a bite treatment becomes important.

American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), an international organization of nearly 2,000 public health professionals, formed in 1935. Recommends the following:

 

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Mosquito bites are annoying for individuals, but often no mosquito bite treatment is used. However, because of the possibility of contracting one of the above mentioned diseases, it is very important to avoid getting bitten as much as possible. Prevention is the best treatment.
In order to reduce the risk of being bitten:

  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) when outdoors during mosquito season. Read the precautions of the product carefully since these products can irritate the eyes, etc.
  • Wear shirts with long-sleeves, long pants, a hat, shoes, and socks when outdoors. Use of mosquito netting is also recommended in areas with higher concentrations of mosquitoes. Spray repellent on clothing because mosquitoes will bite through thin clothing.
  • Wear light colored clothing, since dark colored clothes attract more mosquitoes.
  • Avoid wearing scented products. Perfumes, etc. will attract mosquitoes.
  • Avoid times when these insects are more likely to bite such as early morning and evenings.
  • Reduce the number of mosquitoes in outdoor areas by emptying sources of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs and breed in these areas.
  • Report dead birds found to authorities so that they can be checked for West Nile Virus.

Following these steps will go a long way to preventing bites and the subsequent need for a treatment.

 

Mosquito Bite Treatment

In order to get relief from the mosquito bite symptoms, a mosquito bite treatment is required. A treatment for mosquito bites involves washing the affected areas with soap and water to ensure no infections develop and to help reduce the itch. Applying soap directly to the bite has been suggested as an itch remover. Use a cold compress on the bite site to help alleviate the itch, swelling, and redness. A bite treatment may also involve some of the procedures listed below.

  • Making a paste of baking soda and water and spreading it over the bites.
  • Using calamine lotion or a topical anesthetic to help relieve the itch and pain.
  • Itching can also be relieved by using a one percent hydrocortisone cream.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen will help with the swelling and pain.
  • The use of antihistamines is also a useful mosquito bite treatment because they will alleviate the itch and swelling.
  • Aloe vera gel is an effective all natural mosquito bite treatment. This compound reduces swelling and itching and soothes the affected area.
  • A mosquito bite treatment is also available in the form of commercial products specifically designed for this purpose.

Not scratching the mosquito bite area is an effective treatment for a mosquito bite. Scratching prolongs the swelling, itch, and discomfort, and can open the skin and cause an infection. If your mosquito bite becomes red and swollen and if the area around the bite feels warm to the touch, the bite may be infected. If this condition persists and does not respond to a standard mosquito bite treatment, then consult a physician

If unusual symptoms develop about five days after being bitten by a mosquito, then a standard mosquito bite treatment is ineffective and a visit to a physician should be a priority. Unusual symptoms can include severe headaches, fever, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, chills, and muscle pains.

 

http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=helpful+tips+to+prevent+mosquito+bites&qpvt=helpful+tips+to+prevent+mosquito+bites&FORM=NWRFSH

Springtime brings out the mosquitoes! What you need to know to stay safe.

What Au pairs need to know about mosquitoes and their bites.

The happy days of sunshine also brings along the itchy bites of mosquitoes! Especially this summer, due to the large amount of rain we have experienced. Here is some information about mosquitoes and their bites that you may find helpful.

mosquito

Bites from mosquitoes carrying certain viruses or parasites can cause severe illness. Infected mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus to humans. Other mosquito-borne infections include yellow fever, malaria and some types of brain infection (encephalitis). The prevalence of these diseases depends on the geographic location. Recently, the USA has cautioned about the Zika virus and the danger for young women of child-bearing age.  Certain areas of the world and currently in the USA carry a greater risk of contracting these diseases than others. Ask your host family about the dangers that Mosquitos present in your local area.

Mosquito Bite Symptoms

After the bite occurs, humans require some sort of mosquito bite treatment in order to ease the symptoms that occur. A mosquito bite usually results in redness and minor local swelling around the mosquito bite site. Itching is also very common and tends to last longer than the swelling, which subsides after a few hours. The itching is caused by a skin reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. These symptoms usually occur soon after the mosquito bite has occurred.

After many bites, some people become rather insensitive to them and their skin barely reacts. However, for others the mosquito bite symptoms become more severe with more bites. In fact, some people are considered allergic to mosquito bites and these individuals would definitely benefit from a mosquito bite treatment.

Unlike allergic reactions to bee stings or wasp stings, where an allergic response can cause immediate death, this same response from a mosquito bite is very rare. Instead, symptoms of an allergic response to a mosquito bite involve more significant swelling of the skin with sometimes very large hives or welts forming, more redness at the bite site, and extreme itching. These symptoms tend to last much longer than in non-allergic individuals, sometimes lasting two or three days. In more severe cases, blistering and bruising may also be the response. Overall, it is a much more uncomfortable and painful situation for the victim and a bite treatment becomes important.

American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), an international organization of nearly 2,000 public health professionals, formed in 1935. Recommends the following:

 

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Mosquito bites are annoying for individuals, but often no mosquito bite treatment is used. However, because of the possibility of contracting one of the above mentioned diseases, it is very important to avoid getting bitten as much as possible. Prevention is the best treatment.
In order to reduce the risk of being bitten:

  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) when outdoors during mosquito season. Read the precautions of the product carefully since these products can irritate the eyes, etc.
  • Wear shirts with long-sleeves, long pants, a hat, shoes, and socks when outdoors. Use of mosquito netting is also recommended in areas with higher concentrations of mosquitoes. Spray repellent on clothing because mosquitoes will bite through thin clothing.
  • Wear light colored clothing, since dark colored clothes attract more mosquitoes.
  • Avoid wearing scented products. Perfumes, etc. will attract mosquitoes.
  • Avoid times when these insects are more likely to bite such as early morning and evenings.
  • Reduce the number of mosquitoes in outdoor areas by emptying sources of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs and breed in these areas.
  • Report dead birds found to authorities so that they can be checked for West Nile Virus.

Following these steps will go a long way to preventing bites and the subsequent need for a treatment.

 

Mosquito Bite Treatment

In order to get relief from the mosquito bite symptoms, a mosquito bite treatment is required. A treatment for mosquito bites involves washing the affected areas with soap and water to ensure no infections develop and to help reduce the itch. Applying soap directly to the bite has been suggested as an itch remover. Use a cold compress on the bite site to help alleviate the itch, swelling, and redness. A bite treatment may also involve some of the procedures listed below.

  • Making a paste of baking soda and water and spreading it over the bites.
  • Using calamine lotion or a topical anesthetic to help relieve the itch and pain.
  • Itching can also be relieved by using a one percent hydrocortisone cream.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen will help with the swelling and pain.
  • The use of antihistamines is also a useful mosquito bite treatment because they will alleviate the itch and swelling.
  • Aloe vera gel is an effective all natural mosquito bite treatment. This compound reduces swelling and itching and soothes the affected area.
  • A mosquito bite treatment is also available in the form of commercial products specifically designed for this purpose.

Not scratching the mosquito bite area is an effective treatment for a mosquito bite. Scratching prolongs the swelling, itch, and discomfort, and can open the skin and cause an infection. If your mosquito bite becomes red and swollen and if the area around the bite feels warm to the touch, the bite may be infected. If this condition persists and does not respond to a standard mosquito bite treatment, then consult a physician

If unusual symptoms develop about five days after being bitten by a mosquito, then a standard mosquito bite treatment is ineffective and a visit to a physician should be a priority. Unusual symptoms can include severe headaches, fever, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, chills, and muscle pains.

 

http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=helpful+tips+to+prevent+mosquito+bites&qpvt=helpful+tips+to+prevent+mosquito+bites&FORM=NWRFSH

Springtime safety: Tick bites, poison ivy and other tips!

PREVENT INJURIES WITH PLAYGROUND, CAR AND BIKE SAFETY

Springtime is a great time to get outside and play! Keep these safety tips in mind. 

  • 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 properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat for their height and weight.
  • 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. Busy neighborhoods can be especially dangerous. Talk with your host parents about ways to keep safe while riding on busy streets.
  • 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.

 BE CAREFUL WITH POISON IVY

 

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.

 WATCH FOR TICK BITES

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

Program rules for Holiday and Vacation for Host Families and Au pairs.

“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.

Holidays

  • 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.

Vacations

  • 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.

Live Your Dream!

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! 

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting New Educational Class For Au Pairs!

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

No Class:

March 11: Professional Development Day

April 1-5: Spring Break

Alpharetta and Gwinnett Campus

Mondays & Wednesdays

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

10 weeks

7.2 CEU’s

72 hours

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.