Many Host Families have questions about what their au pair can do during their off-time and how they can meet new people. As part of the Go Au Pair family, I love it when I can reassure families that I plan at least four to six events each year for just that purpose. Although Department of State regulations require Host Families to attend one Family Day Conference, held by your designated agency (Go Au Pair), we offer at least four events each year for au pairs living in the same area to meet each other.
Our Local Area Representatives, that’s me, are responsible for planning and hosting these events. I happen to be hosting one tomorrow, at Colt State Park in Bristol, RI. We are having an International Potluck Bayside, and a gender reveal party for my cousin, too! I can’t wait to try all the goodies and find out if the cake is blue or pink inside! Congratulations, to Amanda and Jake on their new little arrival!
So back to the events. Some events are held at public places, like state parks, while others may be held at someone’s home. Last year, the LAR for the Boston area hosted a Yankee Swap at her home. Last week, they attended a Boston Red Sox game! Here in RI, we have gone to the drive-in movies, gone hiking, to the beach, out to brunch, snow tubing, and more!
If those events are enough, we do encourage our au pairs to make new friends on their own. They will find most Americans very friendly, especially at their local college or university where they will complete the educational requirement. Another resource is the local community, whether it be the library, the park, or anywhere else, au pairs who want to make friends will find a way. Yet another resource is the Host Family themselves. They may know other people around the au pair’s age who would make friends or show the au pair around town, even introduce them to other people their age.
In my experience, au pairs, by nature, are somewhat adventurous people. I mean, who would leave their family and friends and all they have ever known to travel to a foreign country to live with a strange family and care for their children? That is one brave individual! Those kids have a fairly easy time making friends, unless the Host Family lives in a rural area. Then it takes a little more effort, but nothing crazy. Once international au pairs make friends, they tend to spend lots of free time with them, soaking up our American culture while they can. If you have questions about hosting an au pair in RI, please contact me for details. We have a great local area discount right now, so go online and register for your cultural childcare experience today!