Tag Archives: International

Saying Good bye to Au Pairs

Community Counselor Cindy Garruba wishes Caroline from Brazil good bye

Every au pair must return home to her country when she completes her Au Pair in America program.  APIA wants to support au pairs as they take the step ahead into the “real world”!  Some au pairs are heading to University to complete a degree or earn a masters, some are heading into the career world, and some might be heading onto another world adventure.

Anais from France at her good bye coffee

What ever our APIA au pairs are about to do, we want to prepare them as best as possible.  Au Pair in America has started a Re-entry Resume building program for our au pairs.  Field Reps/ Community Counselors, Cindy Garruba and Robin Leon have developed tools for au pairs to use to build their resumes.  They have taken skills au pairs learn and translated them to meaningful terms to use on their resumes.

Caroline from Brazil with her Education Certificate

Luggage Tag Good bye Gift for Au Pairs

Counselors host cluster meetings or good bye coffees for au pairs as they leave.  They now can add resume building into these farewells.  APIA au pairs also earn education certificates when they complete their required classes.  Once they return home, they also receive the Completion Certificate.  Many also earn Global Awareness certificates for sharing their culture as lessons in US classrooms, youth groups, or organized groups.  They often earn ESL or TOEFL certificates, too.  Many au pairs from APIA love volunteering and earn Volunteer certificates from APIA.  All of these certificates build their resumes, too.

Au Pairs from Au Pair in America are always a part of the family and we send them off with a good bye luggage tag that says:

“I’m going places with Au Pair in America!”



September Back to School & Routine Cluster Meeting

September is an important time of year for Long Island families.  The kids go back to school and routines change.  Au Pair in America Suffolk County Au Pairs gathered at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s house to get some important tips.

The meeting began with making ornaments for the International Holiday tree au pairs and host families will decorate for the Stony Brook Village Promenade of Trees in December.  Everyone painted a heart ornament to represent their country or their experience in the USA.  The au pairs are so creative.  They spend a lot of time doing arts and crafts with their host kids!

The agenda included Minimizing Morning Madness, School Bus Stop Safety, Safe Driving including no cell phones and distractions from kids in the car.  We discussed the use of the child’s backpack as the communication tool between school and home, keeping on top of homework and school notices.  We also talked about baby safety because September is Baby Safety month!

Cluster meetings are an important part of the au pair experience.  Not only do they learn important tips for a successful year as an au pair, but they also have an opportunity to make friends with other au pairs!

We celebrated Carmen from Bolivia who has spent almost 2 years in the USA with her host family in St. James.  She earned her education certificate and will get a certificate for completing the Au Pair in America year when she returns home to Bolivia in October.

A Global Awareness Lesson on Germany

20161219_122810_resizedVanessa Kleyer from Germany volunteers regularly in her host child’s 3rd grade class in Mastic Beach.  She brings in games from Germany and plays with a some of the kids during their lunch break. The week before the holiday break, Vanessa gave the kids a special lesson.  She taught them a little about her country.


First she had her host child find Germany on the world map.  They learned how far away Germany is from the USA.

Then she taught some German words and phrases to the children. She showed them the German flag and each child colored a flag on a flyer she handed out.20161219_122517_resized






She told them some stories that were written in German and the children were excited when Vanessa introduced her mother visiting her for the holidays.  Her Mom read “The Princess and the Pea” in German to the children after telling them about the story.  The children listened intently.20161219_124555_resized





Each child received a piece of chocolate from Germany to try.  Then they split up into groups with the teacher, assistants, Vanessa and her Mom to play some German games in small groups.  The lesson was fun and informative.  The children truly loved hearing about Germany from their friend Vanessa!20161219_130221_resizedLearn more about Global Awareness, sponsored by Au Pair in America, by visiting the Global Awareness website.  http://www.globalawareness.com/

Happy Chinese New Year


This is the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle. The monkey features prominently in many ancient Chinese legends. People born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be intelligent, clever, and gregarious, but also mischievous. They are skilled and smart, but shortcomings, like a quick temper and a touch of arrogance, tend to hold them back.

Have fun and enjoy the celebrations!

Au Pair March Meeting!

WIN_20150315_152949 (2)The Au Pair in America Suffolk County Cluster gathered at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s home to fill out their tax forms.  They also welcomed new au pairs and said good bye to a couple leaving soon.  A lot of people wearing green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!  Cindy had a raffle for those wearing green to the meeting, 4 au pairs won Starbuck’s gift cards!  Green tortilla chips and dip, mint chocolate chip ice cream and green cookies were enjoyed by all!

Cindy presented au pairs with certificates for teaching Global Awareness to American students.

Cindy presented au pairs with certificates for teaching Global Awareness to American students.


Cindy thanks Nikoleta as she prepares to return to Slovakia

Cindy thanks Nikoleta as she prepares to return to Slovakia

Host Families and Au Pairs form Lasting Bonds

One of the wonderful benefits of the Au Pair in America programs is the relationships formed by host families and their au pairs.  Au Pairs truly become part of the family.  Often they return for visits with their former families.  Some families even go and visit their former au pairs in their countries.  Recently the Diana Melick, a host mom from Setauket, Long Island, New York traveled to Germany with her twin daughters.  While there they visited with their former au pair, Helena Gottschalk.

helena and melick kids

2 Au Pairs teach First Graders about Germany


Maria Tarnopolskaia and Clarissa Pfisterer

Clarissa Pfisterer and Maria Tarnopolskaia, Au Pair in America au pairs, visited Peconic Community School to teach the first grade class about Germany.  They prepared a power point and a craft for the children.

IMG_20150123_103217Clarissa’s host child, Charlotte was very excited that her au pair was teaching the class about Germany.  She had already learned a lot about Germany from Clarissa.  Charlotte is able to speak some German sentences and answered a lot of the questions the au pairs asked the students. The children learned about things invented in Germany, German foods, some German words and how to count to 5 in Germany. 1 eins   2 zwei   3 drei   4 vier   5 funf


They loved hearing that some of their favorite princess stories were from the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. IMG_20150123_103452After the power point and all the children’s questions, they painted pretzels made of clay.  They au pairs had explained that pretzels are from Germany!  One child painted her pretzel in the colors of the Germany flag.

IMG_20150123_100310The presentation by Clarissa and Maria is part to the Global Awareness program sponsored by Au Pair in America.  Au Pairs are encouraged to share their culture with American school children.  Each au pair who participates in Global Awareness prepares her own presentation.  She is supported with materials from the Global Awareness coordinator and then works with the teacher to prepare an age appropriate lesson.  Each lesson is as unique as the au pair is herself.  To learn more about Global Awareness click here.

Both Maria and Clarissa earned certificates from the Global Awareness program for their presentation.

Both Maria and Clarissa earned certificates from the Global Awareness program for their presentation.

Au Pair Visits Pre-School Class

ALICE BROWN EARLY LEARNING CENTER -Ms. Caligiuri’s pre-k class had a visit from Andrea Vargas Guerrero.  Andrea is an Au Pair with Au Pair in America in Huntington, Long Island. Ms. Caligiuri wrote this about Andrea’s visit: andrea picsThis morning, Charlotte’s Au Pair, Andrea, visited the class to speak with the Pre-K 3 children about her home country Colombia! Andrea explained to the children about the several differences between the United States and Colombia. Colombia is a Much Smaller Country Than America Andrea showed the children on a map how small Colombia is when compared to the United States. The Colombian Flag VS. The American Flag Andrea also spoke about the Colombian flag and how different it is from the American flag. Breckin: The flag of America is red, white, and blue. Mason: And there are stars and the stars are for each of the states. Andrea showed the children what the Colombia flag looks like. Andrea: The Colombian flag has three colors…yellow, blue and red. She then gave each child their own sticker of the Colombian flag.                                                                                                                      At the end of Andrea’s visit, she taught the children how to count up to ten in Spanish. She showed a book of numbers, and while the children said each number in English, Andrea said it in Spanish. After going through the whole book, Andrea played a game with the children, where she said a number in Spanish and the children were asked to jump that number.    Thank You Visiting Our Class Andrea!!!!!

Cinco de Mayo

image002Cinco de Mayo officially commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Pubela on May 5, 1862. It is not the anniversary of the defeat and expulsion of the French forces by the Mexicans, which occurred in 1867. It is also not, as is often assumed, the day of Mexico’s celebrations of independence, which are actually held on September 16. It is believed that the origins of Cinco de Mayo celebrations lie in the responses of Mexicans living in California in the 1860s to French rule in Mexico at that time.

Cinco de Mayo is seen as a day to celebrate the culture, achievements and experiences of people with a Mexican background, who live in the United States. There is a large commercial element to the day, with businesses promoting Mexican services and goods, particularly food, drinks and music. Other aspects of the day center around traditional symbols of Mexican life, such as the Virgin de Guadalupe, and Mexican-Americans who have achieved fame, fortune and influence in the United States.

Click on this link to go to some free Cinco de Mayo coloring pages for children:  http://www.freekidscoloring.com/holiday/cinco_de_mayo/