Au Pair in China - Family Life
After your training course in how to deal with Chinese children in Beijing (4-7 days) your actual family life begins.
As all of our host families belong to the Chinese middle or upper class, usually at least one family member can speak English. And do not worry! You will not be thrown into the deep water! During the first two days you will be accompanied by your personal advisor to get to know the family and to learn about your responsibilities with his or her help. If you are to stay in a city in which we have no partner agency, your personal advisor will come there. He or she will help you to register for residence permit and at the university. Usually your host family will be present as well. Your personal advisor will stay for the first days to help you. Even after this time period has passed, you can always contact your personal advisor or Star Exchange.
Chinese people are accustomed to live close to each other. This is in China necessary during their time at school and university. Therefore they have a high degree of tolerance, patience and openness to the needs of others. As a result our au pairs experience the life within their host family to be unexpectedly smooth. This is also due to the fact that Chinese people have a great respect for the achievements of the West. In addition, you'll spend most of your working hours, on average 25 hours a week, as a private teacher to their children (in most cases to their single child). According to Confucian tradition, teachers enjoys a lot of respect within their social group. The parents expect you to educate their child in Western manners, to help with his or her homework, and to teach him or her a foreign language (in 95 % of all cases it will be English). Accordingly, you will not be expected to do a lot of housework since the average wage of a Chinese domestic help is relatively low.
You will have your own room with internet access. The family will cook for you and you will have two days off a week. In addition to public holidays, you will receive another 14 days of paid vacation a year, and thus, there is plenty of time to travel. However, we recommend that you spend the traditional Chinese holidays with your host family, because the celebrations with the family in China are an incredibly warm and impressively rich experience. In addition, the family is the best opportunity for you to learn Mandarin quickly.
The Chinese say that good relations are better than any law. If you later want to come back to China or even live or work in China, your host family will always be of help for you.
Conflict Prevention and Changing the Host Family
In order to prevent possible conflicts, we expect that you provide truthful information during the online application. Additionally, we expect you to contact your personal advisor at least once a month, so you can talk about your experiences – even if everything seems to be fine. Furthermore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with China and its culture before your departure. Information can be found on this website under "About China" or under "Related Links". From our experience this way most of the potential problems can be eliminated in advance. If, despite all good intentions, it comes to unsolvable differences between you and your host family, you, of course, can change your host family. Please remember that we need to find a new host family for you, which can take up to three weeks. In the worst case, you can also abort the program. Please always involve your personal advisor in your decisions.