Au pair in China - the ultimate au pair experience!Posted by Maria Knauer • May 30, 2018 • 8 minutes read
You want to experience a truely different culture and learn one of the most complicated languages in the world? You want to become part of a family in the country with the second biggest economy, expected to eclipse US by 2050?
Become an au pair in China!
As China doesn't have a governmentally organized au pair program, it's difficult to become an au pair without involving an agency. Therefore we've entered into a partnership with iCXC, an au pair agency from Shenzhen.
So what can you expect from becoming an au pair in China? Let's ask James Wu from iCXC some questions!
Maria (cAP): James, why should young foreigners decide to come to China as an aupair?
James (iCXC): China is a big country with diversity of culture and big cities like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai are modern and developed metropolis which you won't feel unfamiliar with, also the more difference from the culture then the more you will learn. Imagine that, what's the meaning of living in another country that with almost the same culture as your country and what's the challenge from it? Plus you can see what international city we have from the pictures on the website we post, you can find a lot of convenience after your arrival in China, it's now a cashless society and we can use our mobile phone to pay without any cash, also China now is main financial force that can provide a lot opportunity for foreigner and you will definitely learn a lot from China.
That sounds really interesting! But how is it to be an au pair in China? What do Chinese families expect from their au pairs?
Being an au pair in China may have difference as being an au pair in other country. Host family in China usually expect au pair to talk with the kid proactively and do something but not being a nanny or baby sitter but more like a older brother or older sister for the host kid. An au pair in China usually isn't required to cook or do the cleaning job for the family, host family will usually take au pair as one of the family member and some nice family will even treat au pair as one of their kids. But host family in China usually expect the au pair to teach their kid English and also some other skill if it's possible and take the kid outside for activity, and also create a foreign atmosphere for the host family in China, let them feel the culture from your country, to present a culture exchange experience.
So, how does a typical day of an au pair in China look like?
Usually au pair will get up and eat breakfast with host kid and then send the host kid to school (maybe not, depends on the schedule of the host family), since host kid stays in school in the morning so basically au pair are free, two of the seven days in a week au pair need to attend Chinese Class that provide by our agency (it's for free) in our office, it start from 9:00-12:00, then you can join lunch with other au pair. Host kid usually free from around 3 or 4 in the afternoon then au pairs usually need to pick the kids from school and after that au pair need to tutor their homework and after dinner au pair need to play with the kid or tutor homework to them or play with them, you can share your story with your host kid if you want and the kid usually go to sleep around 9 or 10 then after that you can spend your free time or go outside, but you have to return to host family before the curfew. In weekends you will tutor homework to the host kid or join the family activity with the host family. Once again, au pair in China doesn't required to cook or drive or do some laundry. Also you can find some opportunity to talk with the host parents if they have time.
This sounds actually pretty relaxed! But there's something that takes me wonder - does the au pair need to speak Chinese?
No, an au pair in China isn't required to speak Chinese.
If the au pair doesn't speak Chinese, in which language can the au pair then communicate with the kid and parents?
Au pairs can use English to talk with the host family since some family can speak basic English and also kids in host family usually can speak English. If the family couldn't speak English you can use Google translate or Youdao translate (a Chinese app) to communicate with the family,
Communicating with help of an app sounds pretty difficult... Is it possible to learn Chinese to a level where you can make at least basic conversations within a year / while being an au pair?
It's totally possible, although Chinese language is hard but it won't be problem to learn some essential and necessary Chinese within a year to help you live more easily in China and our agency provides Chinese Class for free to help you learn faster, but if you want to be a professional Chinese speaker then it's no doubt you need more time. But of course it's possible to learn Chinese within a year.
Well, this sounds like as an au pair I will need some friends additional to the family to talk to in English or my mother tongue - so how can au pairs find friends in China?
You can start from making friends with au pair from our agency! Au pair from our agency comes from so many countries, also you will meet friends from the other agency and meet people from other place (who know if (s)he's also from your country?), so you will definitely meet people easily!
Where do the au pairs in your agency come from?
Currently we have au pairs from Germany, Columbia, France, Mexico, Denmark, Argentina and UK and we already hosted au pairs from Russia, America, Italy, Ukraine and other countries.
And how many au pairs and host families do you currently have?
Currently we have 25 au pairs in Shenzhen and few au pairs at other cities we support with our agency. We have over 30 families looking for an au pair right now.
On connectAuPair, au pairs and host families can get matched without involving an agency. Besides the fact, that you have several host families looking for au pairs (so that's already a good reason for au pairs to get in contact with you), why should au pairs and host families decide to get supported by an agency?
Chinese culture is a different culture compared to the western culture, so an au pair will face a lot of culture difference and some culture shock that may be difficult for them to overcome. An agency like us can provide orientation training to let au pair adapt the culture in China and you can always turn to us for help if you want to open a bank account or apply a SIM card. Also some misunderstanding will occur when a matched family faces the culture difference and we will coordinate with them to solve the problem, we can minus the difficulties and barrier for every au pair and provide support. And for the host family we will offer language support to solve the communication problems and will be the bridge for the au pair and host family.
Well, these are some really good reasons for agency support. But why should one choose iCXC?
We are an agency that was already found over 10 years ago and hosted au pairs from almost all over the world, approximately over 700 au pairs so far, so we are an experienced agency that can provide professional service for au pair and family. Also for au pair you can make a lot of friends from different countries in our agency so you won't feel alone.
Plus we are an agency that provides activity in a higher frequency which you could compare to the other agency: We offer Chinese Class every week, Culture Class every month and also farewell party for au pair who's about to finish their program and birthday party for them, you will gain a lot of fun if you join our agency and you don't want to miss this joy! (Actually a Canadian au pair I know from another agency joined our culture class this January with an au pair in our agency because their agency didn't provide culture class)
One last question: Why did iCXC decide to partner with connectAuPair?
Because of the increasing number of our host families and we need an agency or platform that can provide au pair to us, so I googled some au pair website and found connectaupair, the front page is well designed and everything is put in a order and it's easy to use so I guessed this website is a reliable one (then I found it was founded by German then everything made sense :-)), so I offered a cooperation proposal to you and found out that you happened to intend to open the market in China, so that's how we met with connectaupair.
Thank you very much for the interview James!!
Do you have questions about becoming an au pair in China?
Just ask them right here or post a question in our community!
You can also contact James directly via our messaging system!