by Floro Mercene
Becoming popular among the young, especially from Europe, who travels to Australia is the Au Pair Program. Au Pair program is an international cultural exchange that gives a possibility for young people to spend some time abroad, learn more about a different culture, improve the foreign language in exchange for help with duties related to child care.
The term “au pair”, means “on equal terms” in French, and signifying that Au Pair and Host Family treat each other as equals. While the Au Pair can live abroad in an economical way, the Host Family gets the benefit of flexible, affordable live-in child care.
Being Au Pair in Australia is to live with a host family taking care of their children and doing some household chores in exchange for a private room, meals and weekly stipend.
The Au Pair’s duties include child care tasks, for example, picking up the kids from school, tidying up rooms, preparing some simple meals for the children and helping with the homework. Simply, be a brother or sister for kids, usually, until the parent comes home from work. The rest of the day, and free weekend day could be spent the Au Pair’s own activities like studying, shopping, sightseeing, etc. The number of working hours may vary between 10 and 40 hours per week. Au Pairs usually attend a language course in the host country in order to improve their language skills and meet new people.
Most Au Pair contracts are 6 months long, which is the longest time allowed to stay with one single employer in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa.
Au pairing is known worldwide – many countries support the Au Pair cultural exchange program.