All classes ideally should be in-person or hybrid (a combination of in-person and online) to count for your education requirement. In-person classes at locally accredited colleges are highly encouraged and will enhance your program experience. Should you be unable to find in-person classes that interest you for part of your education requirement, please see the details below regarding when online classes will be accepted.
- Au pairs will complete 6 credits, 7.2 CEUs, or 72 hours for their education requirement.
- Classes must be taken through US-based, accredited post-secondary schools (normally colleges and universities).
- Au pairs must provide a certificate, letter, or transcript confirming the completion of the class.
- Education should be completed at least 6 weeks prior to the end of your visa in order to be eligible to apply for an extension.
- If you choose a school that is not listed below, check here to be sure it is accredited and will be approved BEFORE you register for the class.
Au pairs may register for a wide variety of class types including:
- Courses for credit (full participation, grades awarded).
- Non-credit courses (full participation, no final grades).
- Audit courses (no grades given, class participation may be limited).
- Weekend courses offered at an accredited post-secondary institution where au pairs may have the opportunity to earn 3 or more credits in one weekend.
If you are looking for English classes, these are the best local options:
- LADO is a language school for adult learners. They start new classes almost every week. Au Pairs will take a placement exam to find out which class is best for them. LADO also offers classes in other languages. Classes are held weekday mornings, nights and weekends. Currently classes can ONLY be taken at the Arlington, VA location which is near the Rosslyn Metro station. The DC and Maryland locations are closed.
- International Language Institute offers English classes for adult learners starting almost every week. Au Pairs take a placement exam before being assigned to a class. Classes are held and weekday mornings, evenings and weekends.
- Georgetown English Language Center has very challenging English classes that run on a semester-basis. New classes start in September, January and June. Georgetown also offers Business English. The Evening & Weekend English courses typically run 8 or 9 weeks.
- For Au Pairs who have ALREADY completed their course requirements, DC offers several free English classes which DO NOT give credit for the Au Pair program. Carlos Rosario, Next Step Public Charter School, Washington English Center and ESLIM all have free or low cost English classes which do NOT give credit.
Au Pairs who do not want English classes often take:
- Au Pair Weekend Classes.
- Borough of Manhattan Community College Weekend Travel Classes. (Several here in DC.)
Other Educational Options
- APIA Advantage – UCLA Extension Program – The online course called “ECUC X 470 American Studies” is specifically designed for Au Pairs. This course explores U.S. history and culture and English-language study.
- Columbia College
- Fairfax University of America (Sat Museum Classes)
- Inlingua English Center
- International Center for Language Studies
- Learning Across America (Study & Travel)
- Mentora College Intensive ESL
- Montgomery College (must pay out-of-state tuition)
- Prince George’s Community College (must pay out-of-state tuition)
- University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Workforce Development – These specific classes (Workforce Development) are free for DC residents. Required proof of residency: APIA participation letter, DC driver’s license/non-driver ID card, and residency documents from your host family.
- University of Richmond (Weekend classes in Richmond, VA)
- University of the Virgin Islands (Weekend classes in DC)
- Select online courses at Coursera or edX.
Is an ONLINE class appropriate for me? Here are some justifiable reasons:
- If in-person classes are not available for au pairs in the host family community or are too far away for an au pair to travel.
- If in-person classes other than ESL are not available for au pairs in the host family community and/or the au pair doesn’t need an ESL class.
- If in-person classes in their field of study or that interest them are not available in the host family community.
- If in-person classes are too expensive, making completing the requirement within the education stipend impossible.
- Or if an au pair was in a rematch and didn’t have the opportunity to register for in-person classes.
Which types of online classes are allowed and when can I take my classes?
- All courses MUST be taken from an American college or university. You may confirm the approved US-based colleges and universities here.
- You may take one online class per semester, but all online classes must be completed during the SINGLE semester in which you’ve registered.
- When submitting your proof of completion for an online class, your counselor will need the university’s name, the course start and end dates, the number of credit hours earned, and the certificate of completion.
- You can check both Coursera and edX for a wide variety on online courses. Please confirm that the college or university from where you will complete your online course is an approved US-based institution. The program accepts only these US programs.
- Host families may not persuade au pairs to take online or hybrid courses, the decision should be made by the au pair and with a justifiable reason.
We understand this information is confusing! If you have additional questions, please contact your community counselor before registering for a course.