Explore China and earn money. Provide child care to a screened host family.
Travel and earn money at the same time. If that sounds great to you, think about becoming an Au Pair in China!
What do Au Pairs do? Au Pairs take care of the children during scheduled hours. They help the children with their homework and assist in keeping children’s rooms and play areas clean. They prepare snacks and meals for the children, and drop them off or pick them up from school or activities. If this sounds like something you’d be really good at, then being an Au Pair in China is definitely for you.
- Be between the ages of 18 and 30. (Female Au Pairs are placed quickly, while male Au Pairs can take a bit longer to be placed.)
- Hold a Passport from the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.
- Have previous childcare/babysitting experience with references and a genuine love of children.
- Commit to a minimum of 3 months as an au pair. (Many families prefer a commitment of 9-12 months.)
- Provide a medical statement and a background check.
- Be interviewed by phone or Skype to be accepted by the family.
- Have driving experience.
- Be able to obtain the multiple entry visa.
Au Pairs in China Receive
- Placement with a carefully screened family along with a private bedroom and all of your meals.
- A monthly salary of at least $450 US for 25 hours of childcare and English tutoring each week.
- Usually 1 1/2 days off per week.
- Airport transfers.
- Medical and accident insurance coverage.
- Assistance with your airfare, depending on how long you will stay in China.
- 60-hours of Chinese language classes during your first 3-months in China.
- Yes! There are enough host families seeking Au Pairs, it is possible to place you and a friend near one another.
- 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. Most families prefer an au pair who can commit to 9 or 12 months.
- $350 for 6, 9 or 12 months. $599 for 3 months.
The fee you pay to au pair in China goes to our 501(c)(3) non-profit company, The GeoVisions Foundation. The program donation for this experience covers our costs of local screening of potential host families in China; assisting you with the process of compiling the documents you will need to collect; assistance in China during your entire stay to make sure what you have agreed to is what really happens; and social gatherings with other au pairs near you. This provides you a great deal of security and a social base to grow and enjoy your time in China. If you are from the US, the fee also includes your travel and medical insurance.
We provide 24/7 emergency service, manned by real people. You are supported from the moment you contact us to the time you return … and beyond, through our active Alumni Community. Be sure to speak to your tax preparer to see if any of these fees can be deducted as a charitable donation or in moving expenses.
Surprisingly, when the au pair fee and other expenses are compared with pocket money earned plus the value of room and board, au pairs earn more than they spend. Did you know that being an au pair is one of the most affordable ways to experience international travel even if you have to pay a program fee and airfare?
You can find sites on the Internet that will encourage you to find a family for free. Some of those sites boast 2 Million registrations. How can any company screen 2 million families? Please think twice before you agree to travel thousands of miles from your family and friends and move in with a host family who are advertising that they want a young woman or a young man to move in with them. They remind us of dating sites.
If things go wrong and your host family violates your agreement with them, resolving the problems will be all up to you. And today you may not be concerned. That’s fine. But just know that any family that ducks under the radar and doesn’t want to be screened, that regularly goes beyond the terms of your contract, making you work too much, too often, on the wrong kinds of tasks will likely keep on doing it unless there is someone right there to step in and help you. Or get you out of that situation quickly and safely.
In the USA and in The Netherlands, au pairs are required to use an approved au pair agency. This government requirement is all about protecting you.
Want some real down to earth ideas? The website, AuPairMom.com is a great source. At that site they “get about one email a week from an au pair in Europe or Australia who is working without the support of an agency. She is usually being expected to work far too much, has limited to no use of a car, can’t leave the host family’s house, and/or is having her pocket money withheld for problems she does not think she caused.”
With GeoVisions, every family is screened carefully and visited in person. Many of these families have hosted au pairs before. We brag that we have a few hundred host families not millions. It’s a number we can screen and stay connected to. It’s not about the money. It’s about your safety.
Why Is There A Placement Fee? It’s like I’m paying to get a job.
You can find free au pair positions on the Internet. Over the years we have met au pairs who did that and had horrible experiences when they thought they were going into a fantastic overseas au pair job only to find out the family where they were living was not screened, families dismissed au pairs routinely without paying them, and there was no one to turn to for help and support. No one to look out for them. And because they were on their own, they were lonely. Read about them here.
At GeoVisions, the families are screened and in some cases, we have placed au pairs with that family before. We make sure you’re being paid the highest stipend possible. We provide a person in-country to help you and to be there for you. You can meet other au pairs just like you and attend social activities with other au pairs. In fact, if your placement doesn’t work out, we will move you to another family (based on circumstances).
We have negotiated reduced airfare for you and we have negotiated 60-hours of Mandarin lessons so that you don’t have to pay to learn the language. We introduce you to other au pairs and provide activities for you to enjoy China and make new friends.
Can I choose my location?
You cannot choose your location in China. We recommend focusing on family interviews and choosing your location based on the host family that you really “connect with.” Let the family connection guide your decision on where you will live.
What if I don’t like my placement when I arrive or I have host family issues? Can I move?
Before you depart, we connect you via email, phone and Skype with your new host family. You’ll have all the details you want before you ever leave home. GeoVisions spends a great deal of time on match-making. It is the only way the program will be successful. There needs to be a “connection” between you and your host family. You will Skype, call or email your family before you pay the balance of your program fees. It’s the only way everyone will be happy.
But after you arrive if you’re having issues, we have a way to start the process to fix things or, change your placement, if necessary. This is extremely rare, but we’ve done this long enough to know things can come up on all sides.
Can I be placed with someone? I’d like to travel with a friend.
Unfortunately, host families needing an au pair have the room for one extra person in the home. So we are unable to provide a homestay for anyone except one au pair per household. If you want to apply with someone else, they would be placed with another family. There are so many host families in China in need of an au pair, we will be able to place you very near one another.
Some Fun Cultural Differences
By being aware of some of the cultural differences you lessen the impact of culture shock and you make your life considerably easier. Here is a list of some of the more overt cultural differences of Western culture in relation to Chinese culture:
Food etiquette in China is different from other cultures. Watch what they do. You will be amazed. Slurping and reaching for food is totally acceptable as is removing food from one’s mouth and putting it on the table. Note that playing with chopsticks and making faces at the food (no matter how disgusted you might be) is not acceptable. Showing this emotion is considered a loss of face. Also note that going “dutch” is seen as unfriendly. If you offer to pay for everyone’s meal it will develop your relationship with him or her or them, even though they may not let you actually pay.
We might as well address the one thing you HAVE to get used to. People. And lots of them. If you choose to travel or go out you will be exposed to crowds. On public holidays the masses of people will become readily apparent as you shop with 1.5 billion Chinese. Don’t expect people to wait in line. There is very little sense of personal space.
Visiting a Person’s House
If you are invited to a Chinese person’s house, which will happen, always take a gift of fruit or flowers. A pre-made basket of fruit costs about $5.00. A bag of oranges or a bunch of flowers only costs a couple of dollars.
Red flowers are good to take. White flowers are only used at funerals. Indian candy or smoked salmon as a “gift from home” always goes over really well.
Smoking is seen as a masculine activity and very few think of it as a health threat or as offensive. Often people will smoke in restaurants with little or no regard for smoking or non-smoking sections. Chinese men constantly offer cigarettes and alcohol to other men. The type of cigarettes a person smokes establishes a class system. To decline an offer of a cigarette or alcohol say gently, “Wo bu hui. Xie xie.”
Today, attitudes towards tipping are changing in China. Although the practice is not officially recognized, tips are now frequently offered to and accepted by travel guides, tour bus drivers, porters and waiters in top-class hotels and restaurants. However, tipping is still not expected in most restaurants and hotels. Consumer taxes are included in price tags on goods but big hotels and fine restaurants may include a service charge of 10% or more.
Physical Contact/Holding Hands in Public
Chinese are not big on public displays of affection. You will rarely if ever see couples kissing in public. Shake hands but refrain from hugging, kissing, winking, patting or making physical contact. As a “friend,” you will find that men will hold hands with men and women will hold hands with women and walk on the street. This may be “weird” in the west, but it is a common friendly practice for young people/adults in China. You may even have a friend of the same sex try to hold your hand at some point.
In Western countries one expects to maintain eye contact when we talk with people. This is a norm we consider basic and essential. This is not the case among the Chinese. On the contrary, because of the more authoritarian nature of the Chinese society, steady eye contact is viewed as inappropriate, especially when subordinates talk with their superiors.
Chinese students are not brought up to maintain constant eye contact with their teachers. Eye contact is sometimes viewed as a gesture of challenge or defiance. When people get angry, they tend to maintain steady eye contact. Otherwise, they keep talking looking elsewhere or nonchalant. Also, try to avoid physical content and eye contact with the opposite sex.
Bowing or nodding is the common greeting; however, you may be offered a handshake. Wait for the Chinese to offer their hand first.
Inviting People Home
You are definitely welcome to invite Chinese people to your home. Expect that if you invite them that you will be required to supply everything, just the same as if you invite them to dinner in a restaurant.
Be prepared to be asked your age, or why you are not married or don’t have any children. This is not considered prying but rather friendly and expressing interest in your life.
Chinese Hosts Offering Something
Usually when a Chinese host offers a guest refreshments, if the guest declines, the host will ask again twice. Remember this if you entertain at your place. If someone declines they may really want something so you should really ask a couple more times. It makes it look like you are really concerned with their comfort.
We have families available year round.
Au Pairs in China will work up to 25 hours each week. They also receive 1 and ½ days off each week.
After your arrival, you will receive a timetable with duties and working days/hours, so you know exactly the working time. The family must respect your time off. Should the family require you to work outside the usual working hours this must be agreed by both sides and any extra hours worked must be paid.
Included. Au pairs will receive a pre-departure orientation online (approximately 2 hours). There will also be an in-country orientation, usually on the second day in China, that focuses on customs, expectations, weekly schedule, etc.
You must be a native English speaker.
Included. China is one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures; over 5000 years old. China is the most populous nation in the world, with 1.28 billion people. One fifth of the planet speaks Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is the mother tongue of over 873 million people, making it the most widely spoken first language in the world. In addition to the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, Mandarin Chinese is also spoken in the important and influential Chinese communities of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Mongolia.
Language classes are provided to au pairs. Each 3 month period will include 60 hours of language classes.
18-30 years old and must have at least a high school diploma. We have placements for both males and females.
Throughout China. Mostly in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, or Shenzhen.
Depending on how long you can be an Au Pair in China, your host family will contribute towards the cost of your plane ticket.
The family will pay:
- $370 (approx.) toward your airfare if you commit to 3 months.
- $725 (approx.) toward your airfare if you commit to 6 months.
- $1,090(approx.) toward your airfare if you commit to 9 months.
- $1,450 (approx.) toward your airfare if you commit to 12 months.
Au pairs are responsible for the cost of their visa.
Each Au Pair receives an invitation letter, which is needed for an entry Visa. It is possible to receive a one-year multiple entry Visa. If you are staying less than a year, it is possible that you will receive a 90-day multiple entry Visa. If you need to renew the Visa because you’re staying longer than 90-days or you decide while you are in China to extend your Visa, you will need to travel to Hong Kong for a Visa renewal. Your flight to Hong Kong for the Visa renewal will be covered by your host family.
Insurance is required and is paid for by your host family. Your coverage begins upon arrival in China.
Included by your host family or our in-country partner.
Included if you are with the children.
Included. You will have a private bedroom at your host family.
Meals while at the host family are included.
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