Au Pair in America is turning 33!
Which is why this week, we’re going all out in celebrating our 33-year-long journey of bringing the world together.
We do appreciate that there are tons of different options for you out there when it comes to going abroad. So here are no less than 33 reasons why all of us here at Au Pair in America really do love this program so much, and why we think that Au Pair in America would be a good fit for you!F
#1 | AT AU PAIR IN AMERICA, YOU’RE NOT ‘JUST A NUMBER’.
We think that, regardless of where you go, most times your experience is only going to be as great as the people around you – which is why our Au Pair in America community is something we’re especially proud of, and the reason why we like to give those closest to you a shoutout & a pat on the back! Hence our Au Pair Buddy campaign, where we introduce some of our au pairs loveliest ‘meet cute’ stories on a monthly basis!
#2 | CAREFULLY SELECTED HOST FAMILIES.
If you are, have ever been or will be an Au Pair in America, you’ll know that you need to schedule in some time to apply to our program before you can depart to the US. We’re sure you can appreciate that this is a necessity, as we want to be able to prepare you for your au pair year in the best way possible. And we pride ourselves with the fact that we have the best au pairs out there on our program! The good news is that just like yourself, our host families have to go through an extensive application process as well – as we want to be able to ensure that you’re going to have a fun, but even more importantly safe time in the states. So you can rest assured that no matter what host family you’ll end up matching with, you will be in good hands!
#3 | WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK.
Even if you tried, we can assure you that we would never leave your side. From the day you’re registering with Au Pair in America until the moment that you’re stepping off the plane and return to your home country after living in the states for several months; we’re right there by your side, all the way. During your application, matching and general pre-departure phase, you will always be able to contact an Au Pair in America representative, either through your local APiA partner agency in your home country, your local interviewer or our APiA headquarters in London. And once you’re in the US, our lovely US team will make sure to look after you! Most importantly, your local community counselor, who is going to live in your area and who will get to know both you as well as your host family, is the #1 person for you to contact about literally anything and everything – homesickness, travel tips, questions & concerns, colleges in the area… EVERYTHING!
#4 | FIND YOURSELF.
We want to make sure that you’re making the most of your au pair year(s), so we always encourage our applicants to really utilize their time in the US to dedicate some time to their already existing hobbies and talents, and to try out new things. And who knows, you may end up with a new passion along the way! Our lovely South African au pair & singer Fame, as well as our Israeli au pair (& illustrator) Gal are the perfect examples for that!
#5 | YOU MAY END UP BECOMING INSTA FAMOUS.
Did you know that you can take over our official Au Pair in America Instagram and/or Snapchat account if you’re an au pair with us? That’s right, you can take over either one of those accounts for one week at a time to tell your story, talk about your overall au pair experience and share your tips for an amazing au pair year!
#6 | EXPERIENCE THE TRUE MEANING OF BECOMING A MEMBER OF A SECOND FAMILY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD.
The beauty of the au pair program is, that yes, you will be traveling and living in a foreign country for anywhere between 12 – 24 months. But more importantly, during that year, you won’t be just another tourist touring the states – you will eventually become part of a family, which means that you will have the privilege of experiencing the US as a local rather than a tourist! And to take it even one step further: Our au pairs and host families have a reputation of establishing a bond that is so strong, that it is bound to outlive the extend of your au pair year – our British au pair Clare is the best example for that.
#7 | CULTURE SHOCK –NO THANKS!
Leaving your home country and the family and friends you’ve known your entire life can be quite a roller coaster of emotions – regardless of how badly you want to become an Au Pair in America! And you know what, that’s totally fine, and nothing at all to be worried about. Most au pairs experience a sort of ‘culture shock’ at some point during their first few days, weeks or months in the states. Not to worry though, because we come prepared! Your first stop of your Au Pair in America journey will be Orientation – and we’re not over-exaggerating when we’re saying that there is no one else in the world who does a better job at helping our au pairs overcome the first, initial culture shock & jet lag than our amazing Orientation trainers! Every single one of them is dedicated to making you feel as welcome as they possible can in the United States – and most of them have a lot, a LOT of experience when it comes to battling homesickness!
#8 | YOUR CV & LINKEDIN PROFILE ARE GOING TO BE ON FIRE.
Perhaps not literally, but trust us when we say that spending an entire year abroad – not just traveling, but also showing that you’re willing and capable of taking responsibility even at a young age – will do sheer wonders for your resume! And the best part; when your au pair year is coming to an end, Au Pair in America will help you revamp your CV, and provide you with valuable tips and tricks for the new, exciting chapters that are awaiting you after your return from the USA!
#9 | YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO HELP BUT FALL IN LOVE WITH THE USA, THANKS TO OUR AMAZING COMMUNITY COUNSELORS!
No matter where your host family lives, you’re guaranteed to have a group of au pairs living in your area as well as an Au Pair in America representative, whose door will ALWAYS be open for you (both metaphorically and quite literally). Mirroring the warm and welcoming nature of Americans in general, your community counselor will do their best to get to know you & your hoist family, and help you adapt to your new surroundings as best they can. Whether you need help with a problem, or just someone to go grab a cup of coffee with – your ‘LCC’ will be there, right by your side.
#10 | YOUR CLUSTER –YET ANOTHER FAMILY AWAY FROM HOME.
Speaking of community counselors – they’re also in charge of organizing monthly events for you and your fellow au pairs in the area – so called cluster meetings – which will make it so much easier for you to find new friends and get to know the area in no time! These cluster meetings are by no means mandatory, but we would always encourage you to give it a shot – you might not be struggling to adapt to your new home away from home, but perhaps you can help out someone else who is!
#11 | BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL CITIZEN.
Now that you know all about how our Au Pair in America clusters work, there’s one perk in particular that so many of our au pairs are benefitting from especially once their au pair year has come to an end; and that is the fact that it is SO easy to make friends from all over the world while you’re in the US! Au Pair in America recruits au pairs from over 50 different countries, so chance are that your will not only be able to meet your fellow au pairs thanks to your monthly cluster meetings, but it is likely that you will end up making friends with au pairs from all over the world! Just imagine how much fun it would be to be able to meet up again with your new friends even after your au pair year has come to an end – only this time around, you’ll be able to go out for afternoon tea in the UK, celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico or go on a day trip to go see the Chinese Wall with your au pair friends!
#12 | LOCAL SUPPORT IN OVER 50 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES – AND COUNTING.
We’re very fortunate to be working with local travel experts around the world. Most of our partner agencies have multiple years of experience in the areas they operate in, and thanks to the fact that they’re locals themselves, they know EXACTLY what kind of questions or concerns you (or your parents!) might have, and are always happy to provide adequate and quick support in your native language.
#13 | THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ARE A WHOLE WORLD IN ITSELF.
One of the great things about the USA is that it doesn’t really feel like you’re moving to ‘just’ one country abroad – their 50 states all do almost feel like they’re their own little universes, if you will. The West Coast has a completely different feel to it than the East Coast or the Mid West does, and the same goes for the Southern States as opposed to the states up North. We have host families living all over the United States – and throughout your year, you will have plenty of opportunities to go and explore this incredibly huge country! By the way: If you’re looking for travel tips, you should definitely check out our ‘In Love With America’ blog series, where our au pairs have the opportunity to share their experience and personalised travel tips for certain cities and states throughout the states!
#14 | WE’RE THE PROUD SPONSOR’S OF IAPA’S AU PAIR OF THE YEAR OF 2019!
That’s right, earlier this year, Rozelle achieved what no one else at APiA has achieved before. She is the first Au Pair in America to ever win the prestigious International Au Pair Association Au Pair of the Year award! We even had the honour of accompanying Rozelle to the awards ceremony in Luxembourg and watch her accept her well-deserved awards:
#15 | 33 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, DON’T THEY?
We think they do – 33 years is a long time as such already. But some of you might not realise that Au Pair in America was also the first legal au pair program to EVER be designated by the US Department of State in 1986. That means that we were the first program to ever be allowed to send au pairs over to the United States – which is what we have been doing and for over 30 years now. And we’re certainly looking forward to many, many more years to come!
#16 | WORRIED ABOUT GAINING WEIGHT IN THE USA?
Gaining pounds upon pounds as an au pair is mostly a very common stereotype, however, we cannot deny that theUS have a lot of culinary treats to offer. If your plan is to literally go the extra mile in order to stay in shape, we might have just the thing for you! Over the last few years, Au Pair in America has always been a part of the NYC marathon, in one way or another. Some of our NYC clusters are taking the opportunity to collectively volunteer at the event as part of one, big cluster meeting. Others, just like a couple of our community counselors and even one of our au pairs last year, decided to actually run the marathon themselves!
#17 | MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH AU PAIR IN AMERICA.
These days, leaving your mark by having a positive impact on those around you and the world in general is more important than ever. Which is why we here at Au Pair in America want to encourage you to make the most of your time in the states. For example: Every year, we’re celebrating those of our admirable au pairs who have gone above and beyond to volunteer and have a real impact on their community through our ‘Community Service Awards’. Inspirational stories are definitely our favourite kind of stories to share with our Au Pair in America family, so make sure to go check out what our last three winners accomplished to make themselves stand out of the crowd!
#18 | PREPARATION IS KEY.
We get it – once they’ve started their online application, our au pairs would usually give anything to be able to depart to the US the very next day! But we also know, that for many of you, this will be the first time that you’re not only going to live away from home, but on top of that also the first time that you’re going to be moving countries! This is where our experience of 33 years of cultural exchange comes in handy though – because we’re here to help and support you with any pre-departure related things that you didn’t even realise you will need to take care of! Anything from your visa application process to tips on what to do the first time a host family and calls and wants to chat with you via Skype – we’ve got you covered!
#19 | MORE THAN JUST AN AU PAIR, MORE THAN JUST A GAP YEAR.
We get it, these days there’s so many different options out there when it comes to gap years in particular. So why not go with a program that combines a variety of different things? You get to travel, you get to improve your English while spending time with your host family, you get to take a couple of classes that you’ve always considered majoring in one day – and as if that’s not enough already, you also get to decide to stay for another 6, 9 or 12 months in the states on top of the initial 12 months, in case that you simply cannot get enough!
#20 | MAKE AMERICAN FRIENDS ON CAMPUS.
Speaking of colleges in the area, there are SO many options for you to fulfil the educational component of the Au Pair in America program! We are the only sponsor that offers online classes at UCLA, but you can also do the opposite for example, and go on a couple of weekend classes to anywhere from the Niagara Falls, to San Diego, Boston, New York and many more. And of course, you can always check our your local college’s course catalogue to see if you fancy any of the classes that they offer – perhaps a nice photography, history or foreign language class?
#21 | WE LOVE OURSELVES A GOOD COMPETITION!
You may have picked up on it already, but we absolutely love being part of such an incredible community of former, current and future au pairs – which is why we’re trying to give back as much as we can! If you follow us (or our local partner agencies of your home countries, for that matter!) on our social channels, you will have seen that we’re regularly running competitions and giveaways quite frequently. So if you fancy one of our exclusive APiA sweatshirts or similarly exciting things from our merch collection, make sure to stay on top of the social game by following us on our 4 big ones:
#22 | ALWAYS BE ON BRAND.
Leaving everything and everyone you know behind in order to become an au pair abroad is definitely something you can and should be proud of – so why not show it off? We might be a little biased, but we think our merch game is quite all right!
#23 | WE SEEM TO HAVE A REPUTATION…
That of an excellent customer service provider as well as an outstanding support network every step of your Au Pair in America journey. So much so, that a bunch of our former au pairs decide to become a brand Ambassador after their time in the states, in order to enable and encourage other young people in their home countries to embark on their very own Au Pair in America adventure! And what better way to educate yourself about this particular gap year option than by speaking to someone who’s already done & gone through the whole process themselves? By the way – for each successful referral, our Ambassadors get the equivalent of US$75 on their national currency. So if you’re a former Au Pair in America and are keen to tell others about your experience, make sure to drop us on Email on firstname.lastname@example.org to officially apply to our Ambassador program. PLUS, we’re also running a similar referral program for our au pairs who are currently still living in the states as an au pair – we may not be able to pay you any more than your weekly stipend that your host parents are paying you, but that doesn’t stop us from giving you a US$75 gift card for each successful referral!
#24 | ONCE AN AU PAIR IN AMERICA, ALWAYS AN AU PAIR IN AMERICA.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – but we are so grateful for our Au Pair in America community, and the fact that so many of you decide to keep in touch with both their host families as well as with us even years after they’ve long returned to their home countries already! With our ‘Where Are They Now’ blog series, we like to shed some light on as many of your stories as we can – and it is always mind-blowing for us to see the amazing things our au pairs end up doing with the skills that they’ve developed throughout their au pair year!
#25 | HIT THE ROAD WITH TREKAMERICA!
As much as we can all agree that traveling is probably one of the best things in the entire world, planning a trip can be a pain for some of us at times. Especially if you find yourself in an entirely new country – I mean, where to begin? Not to worry though, our friends over at TrekAmerica are making it really easy for you to discover the best bits of USA & Canada on an epic road trip, with other young international travellers. No matter if you’re looking to experience the ‘big city life’ or some of North America’s stunning national parks instead, whether you only have time for a long weekend trip or if you’re looking to planning your travel month through them, not only does TrekAmerica got your back, but they also have amazing deals for our au pairs. You can find them at: https://www.trekamerica.com
#26 | HOW ABOUT A MINI MOVIE ABOUT YOUR AU PAIR EXPERIENCE?
We consider ourselves so very fortunate to be able to work very closely together with both our au pairs as well as our host families – which brings us back to the fact that you’re more than just a number here at Au Pair in America. One of the perks that comes with working so closely with our community is that we get to feature some of our au pairs & their host families in their own little videos over on our YouTube channel – every single one of your journeys and experiences are so unique, we just can’t get enough of them! We’re always looking for new faces and more stories to tell – maybe with a little bit of luck, the next one could be featuring you!
#27 | OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS ARE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS.
Each and every single au pair story is unique and special in their own way; that becomes especially obvious when searching for our #iLoveAPiA hashtag over on Instagram. Our au pair never fail to virtually keep us in the loop on what they’re getting up to in the states, and we absolutely love it. Which is why we like to take it even one step further; we love having you guys tell your stories and share your experience and tips with your fellow (and future!) au pairs through our social channels and online platforms. For example as part of our blogger or vlogger team!
#28 | SO MANY BUCKET LIST WORTHY EXPERIENCES.
Believe us when we say that there are countless things that you will be able to check off your bucket list during your au pair year; one of many being able to celebrate some of America’s most icon, national holidays, including but not limited to Forth of July, Halloween or Thanksgiving!
#29 | WE DON’T BELIEVE IN THE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH.
Correct us if you think we’re wrong, but it is very unlikely that one program and one program only is able to meet the expectations and satisfy the needs of ALL of the thousands of au pairs that we are sending to the US every year. Which is why we figured that there shouldn’t just be *one* but a variety of Au Pair in America programs! Depending on what you’d like to focus on during your year in the states and what kind of experience you’re bringing with you, you’re able to choose between three different au pair programs, to eventually find & go with the option that best suits you!
#30 | MEET THE TEAM.
What we do believe in at Au Pair in America is transparency, which is why we want to give our au pairs the possibility to meet as many of our staff members as possible! Apart from your local interviewer back home and your community counselor in your new home in the US, who you will be able to meet and hang out with in person, there are plenty of places where you can virtually meet the rest of our staff online! For example, every now and then you can meet members of our Marketing team on our Snapchat account, who are all former au pairs themselves and who are dedicating a full week to taking over the account to answer all of your questions every now and then! There’s also plenty of blog posts introducing our team – so do make sure to head on over to https://blogs.aupairinamerica.com when you have a minute!
#31 | JOB OPPORTUNITIES GALORE.
We’ve already established that taking a gap year to gain some experience abroad can do wonders for your future career. And we here at Au Pair in America would be silly to not wanting to keep all of this creativity and talent that we see in our au pairs on a daily basis all for ourselves! We’re always looking for new additions to our Au Pair in America team; so always make sure to check and see if there are any vacancies for any local interviewer positions, or perhaps even some job openings for our headquarters in the USA or the UK!
#32 | WITH AU PAIR IN AMERICA, YOU’RE LITERALLY PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER.
For those of you who don’t know: Au Pair in America is only one of many cultural exchange programs that our parent company has to offer. We are an organization of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), the leader in cultural exchange and educational programs since 1964, creating opportunities for more than 1.5 million students. In addition to Au Pair in America, our programs include College Study Abroad, Camp America, gifted education and high school study/travel.
#33 | STRIKE A GOOD DEAL WITH AU PAIR IN AMERICA.
Remember when we said that we had a thing for competitions? Well, it’s not just that, but if I were you, I would also be looking out for any promotions that we regularly like to throw in the mix for our au pairs in the making! Whether you’re an early bird or a particularly quick and busy bee when it comes to filling our your application ahead of the deadline – we’re keen to help out with your program fee every now and then!