Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Culture shock

Primary goal of the au pair life is to get to know another culture and language while living and taking care of a family's children. Number of au pairs complain that they are not compatible with their host family. The problem might also be the culture shock and people may not realise it.

It is not possible to move to another country and pick up the culture right away. Things will be different, perhaps much different, than your home country. Study the language and culture beforehand. Choose a country that you are really interested in getting to know. Different cultures do things differently around the world. That doesn't mean one way is right or wrong. Au pair candidate must keep an open mind and be interested in learning different lifestyles.

Same applies to the hosting family as well. Most host families like the concept of au pair because they have intensive travel experience. Some host mothers might have been au pairs when they were younger. Other families might simply want to expose their children to foreign cultures and languages. In any case, the au pair should also be ready to represent her country and culture.

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