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Working with Chinese Children -- LoPair Au Pair China

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

The time of my life!

Ni Hao, my name is Marius and I’m a German Au pair in Beijing. I’m here for nearly 2 months now and I really got used to my new home. For me there was no “big cultural shock”. It came slowly, realizing that some things are so different. Like the food, the distance between places (30min is a fairly short distance) and most of the Chinese traditions.
In China there is no “normal day”, because of the Chinese people being so spontaneous. It’s like a big adventure where you just don’t know what’s coming up next. The one day you’re on vacation lying on the beach, the other you’re in the mountains skiing.
If you’re not on vacation, you have to take care of your host kids. Usually I stand up at 7am in the morning and helping Tiger (my host child, a 4 year old boy) to make his way to the school, have some fun during this and of course trying to teach him some new words and sentences in English. After this I usually discover different parts of Beijing until I have to go back home to pick up Tiger at school around 4pm. The rest of the day I accompany Tiger on having Kung Fu lessons, swimming and various musical classes. To finish the day, we always play something together and he’s getting a sticker as a small reward.
On one of our first meetings Triston told me, that I can be myself in China if I’m willing to adapt and lose some of my “German habits”. And you know what? It’s totally true! The key of having a great time in China is to adapt to all the new things and just try them out. Then you will see, that this program will give you the time of your life!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    6

Three months in Shanghai

I am coming to the end of my three months here in Shanghai. In summary, I have had a very positive experience; I have a great relationship with my host kids (5 and 2), particularly the five year old who has made notable progress with her English. It is rewarding to see her reading, writing and general understanding of the language improve so much, and it's lovely to hear her use new phrases so smoothly and with perfect comedy timing! I will miss her so much. By living with my host family, I have been able to experience a new culture in a way that staying in a hostel would not provide. The differences in culture, tradition and attitude become apparent day by day, which is an invaluable feat.

However, this has meant my love for solo travel has been a little stifled - I did make one short trip to Beijing which was incredible, but at times I have felt a little tied down. Of course, the generosity of my host family is greatly appreciated - I have loved being a part of their routine and getting to know them all as people - but I would have loved to have more freedom to explore. My host family live very far from the city centre, so even when I do have free time I am a little bit stuck for things to do.

On a different note, I have loved learning Chinese with my brilliant teacher, Ella - I arrived with next to no knowledge of the language and I can now understand and contribute to daily conversation in the household. For such a short period I feel inspired to continue with Mandarin studies when I return home.

I would recommend this programme to patient, enthusiastic and intuitive individuals who are willing to open their minds to a new way of life, spend most of their time with children and not take themselves too seriously. As with any new venture there have been highs and lows, but this experience has been incredibly valuable for me and I leave Shanghai with a real sense of fulfilment.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Not for everyone, but definitely worthwhile

Hi my name is Georgina from France, and I am an Au Pair in a wonderful family in Beijing, China. And I can say, without a doubt, that this is an experience worth having, not only for the fact that I get to visit amazing new places, that I get to learn about a great culture, that I get to meet so many different people and eat delicious food, but also for the fact that I know I am having an impact on a little girl's life in a very unique way. I'm her "jiejie" her older sister from a different country, but I'm also her friend, her mentor, and her English teacher. It seems like a lot of work, and it can be tiring, but in reality it's a dream to be part of someone's family and share everything with them on a daily basis, I now know the meaning of "home is where the heart is".

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Social Life

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Internship Placement

    7

Overall a valuable experience

I am currently in Beijing. This is definitely a good program if you want to be an au pair in China. A few things to keep in mind:

1. The families pay LoPair a lot of money, so they expect a lot from you. Follow their house rules and do your best to meet their expectations, but don't be afraid to speak up if they ask too much of you. You want to get something out of the program just as much as they do.

2.If they can afford an au pair the families are usually very rich, so you might get to go on expensive trips and stay in fancy hotels. Enjoy it and don't feel bad about it, they really do have a lot of money.

3. Learn Chinese. Even if the family speaks English or your native language it will be a huge advantage in your everyday life. Being able to have conversations with the kid's grandparents is great, too.

4. The au pair program is still relatively new in China and many Chinese families host au pairs for the first time, so your might run into some issues with the family. Don't be afraid to switch families if nothing works out. I switched families after a month and I'm much happier now.

5. Chinese children can be incredibly spoiled. In my first family, a temper tantrum would result in the child getting a new toy. Go along with it, you're not there to change them. When you get tired of it just ignore the child until he or she calms down.

LoPair's support is great, the Chinese classes are helpful and you will make many new friends. Just be sure you are ready to spend lots of time with young children and aren't afraid to try new things. However, LoPair should make sure the families stick to the rules. Other au pairs to have told me that they don't get their off days or have to work too many hours.