The Au Pair China Program offers individuals from around the world an affordable way to gain practical teaching experience and a unique, close-up look at Chinese life and culture. You’ll be able to experience the real China by immersing yourself in the local culture. You’ll also form a lifelong bond with your host family and siblings.
This is a short-term teach abroad program in China offering a monthly allowance and completion bonus, Mandarin lessons with qualified teachers, monthly cultural activities, access to a vast support community in your host city, a comprehensive orientation and the experience of a lifetime.
Au Pair China Program at a Glance:
- Placement with a Chinese host family in Beijing or Shanghai
- Accommodation (private room) and meals included for the entire program (3 meals per day), including during the orientation and homestay with the host family
- 6 Mandarin classes per week at a local licensed Mandarin language school, and access to offline Mandarin learning resources
- Monthly allowance 1,000 RMB (approx. $150 USD) and completion bonus (excluding 2 months); 1000 RMB accumulated per month:
- Monthly cultural activities included in the program, with other program participants
- 24/7 in-country support from bilingual staff
Meet Your Chinese Host Family!
Our host families undergo a careful vetting process to make sure they are qualified to welcome our au pairs. All our families:
- Lead successful lives as lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, etc.
- Have lived or travelled abroad
- Are interested in cultural and language exchange
- The parents’ English levels may vary but they all display a willingness to communicate, even if only through sign language!
- Most families have children aged between 3 and 14 years old
- Most families employ an Ayi (housemaid) for chores and cooking
- Language learning – Develop or improve Chinese oral and written communication skills, engage with others in various environments, understand importance of language to local societies
- Social and emotional growth – Independence, self-confidence and self-awareness
- Cultural awareness – Greater understanding of Chinese culture and home country as a result, develop global citizenship, adapt effectively to different cultural settings
- Global awareness – Social, political, environmental, infrastructure and economic state of the Chinese community, increased tolerance for living in different physical environments
- Lifelong learning – Explore an international career path after returning home, continued global learning, apply acquired overseas knowledge back home.
- Engagement – Develop a basic understanding of different world views on Chinese culture across a variety of issues, articulate their experience as a foreigner living in China, demonstrating respect for local customs that may differ to their own values.
- Network development – Networks that may be useful for developing future collaborations, social networks comprised of local Chinese and foreign peers
- Disciplinary knowledge – Translating theory into practice, improved critical thinking, identifying relevant issues, improved articulation of thoughts, professionalism
Life as an Au Pair in China
Unlike other cultures, Au Pairs in China are not expected to undertake any sort of heavy housework. Primary responsibilities are teaching English to the host family’s children and to serve as a positive role model at home. Of course every family has different needs, however both the Au Pair and the host family sign a contract agreeing on the terms of the arrangement for the duration of the program. This contract serves to ensure both parties understand their responsibilities and boundaries, and allows our partners to resolve any conflicts that may arise.
Au Pairs typically teach for a total of 30 hours per week including teaching, lesson planning and spending time with the host family. As lessons won’t be in the classroom, au pairs will need to add creativity into planned activities.
An au pair’s role as an English teacher will be focused on conversational English, sharing Western culture and sometimes towards English exams (depending on the family needs).
You will receive two (2) consecutive days off per week and be given an additional three (3) days paid vacation for every 3 months of your program. The host family will determine when you can take these days off.
Au pairs will undertake six (6) Mandarin classes per week, excluding the first full week which is orientation and settling in with the family. Each class is 45 minutes with a 15 minute break. Sometimes 2-3 classes will be paired together.
You can choose a 2, 3, 4, 5 or a 6-month Program, making the timeframe easily accessible to students on their summer break and to those wanting to spend an extended time in China.
“I really loved my time on this programme. I stayed with a lovely family who made me feel very welcomed from the beginning. They had a daughter who I grew very close to. I enjoyed reading to her and teaching her piano. The mum and dad were very kind and we became good friends. They showed me different parts of Beijing and took me on vacation to Shanghai which was the highlight of my trip. I was very sad to leave them but we have stayed in touch. I loved my time in China.”~ Helen, Au pair China (U.K.)
- A TEFL certificate required. Get one online here.
- A native English speaker or proficient in English from North America, South America, Western Europe, South Africa, or Oceania.
- 18 – 29 years of age
- No degree required!
- Clean criminal record
- Positive, loves children, open to other cultures, passionate, flexible, assertive, willing to adapt to new situations, cheerful, understanding and tolerant
- Prior experience teaching or working with children will be viewed favorably
- Eager to learn about Chinese culture
PROGRAM START DATES
You can choose to stay 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 months.
- Oct. 21, 2017
- Nov. 11, 2017
- Dec. 16, 2017
HOW TO APPLY
Ready to become an au pair in China? Please be prepared with the following before applying:
- passport copy
- recent photo
Successful applicants will be asked to provide:
- a medical check
- proof of a clean criminal record
- a character reference
- a short video introduction for prospective host families
“I consider this experience a wonderful and extraordinary life lesson and I would not hesitate to do it again. Apart from getting to know the language and the lifestyle ofChina, I have grown as a person and as a traveller. I have learnt to understand and coexist with different cultures and personalities and I will be going back home with many beautiful memories. If a journey should not be measured in miles but with friends, then I certainly have come a long way. Beijing is such a cool city and I really recommend living here for a couple of months. China is both very difficult to get to know but also very interesting. To stay here as an Au Pair in a Chinese family is a very good way to learn about the country and the language.”~Elliot, Au pair China (U.K.)
What to Expect with the Au Pair China Program:
- Application pre-screening and information sessions available
- Assistance and relevant documentation to obtain correct visa
- Pre-Departure materials including immunizations advice, pre-departure checklist and practical information to assist their preparation
- Airport pickup on initial arrival into placement city (Beijing/Shanghai/Hangzhou/Zhongshan) with experienced and friendly staff personally greeting you and escorting you to the hotel for your stay during the orientation
- Comprehensive orientation covering advice on do’s and don’ts in China, how to be a responsible traveler, etiquette in China, health and safety, preparing to be an Au Pair in China, establishing communication channels and practical living tips for using ATMs, transport, phones, etc.
- Welcome meal dining on local Chinese cuisine with fellow participants
- Arrival pack containing Mandarin phrasebook, map, local SIM, transportation card
- Monthly cultural activities and assistance with local information and suggestions for free time usage. These may include dinners with other participants, karaoke nights, charity days, etc.
- Access to the alumni community and networking events including LinkedIn networking page
- 24/7 emergency support by Participant Management Team to assist Au Pairs in a timely fashion for any emergency situation
How long are the short-term au pair contracts?
Participants can choose to stay 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 months as an au pair in China.
Where will I be placed?
If you’re coming solo, you’ll be placed in Beijing or Shanghai.
If you’re coming with a friend, we can also place you in Hangzhou (1 hour from Shanghai) and Zhongshan (Southern China near Guangzhou)
What are the included monthly cultural activities?
Each month, participants will have the opportunity to take part in an organized activity that provides an additional opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and to socialize with fellow participants. Activities can include professional networking events and seminars (organized by Chambers of Commerce), day trips to local temples and cultural sites, or leisure activities (e.g. rock climbing, tea tasting, tai chi).
What are the provided meals like?
The host family will provide participants with 3 meals per day, 7 days per week. Most often these will be meals shared with the host family and will be traditional cuisine. If the host family cannot provide a meal, they will provide participants with food to cook or money to buy food. The participant will cover any expenses associated with dining out personally.
If a participant has any allergies or dietary restrictions, they should advise this during their application.
What is the provided accommodation like?
The host family will provide a private room for the Au Pair, which should include:
- A comfortable bed with linen
- A desk
- A chair
- A closet
- Adequate lighting and air ventilation
- A shared bathroom
What kind of visa should I get?
You will have guidance when applying for your visa, but you will be required to enter China on an X2 (Student) visa, which is the suitable visa type for foreigners on a cultural exchange in China. You’ll be issued an Invitation Letter with supporting documentation to obtain the visa.
What should I expect from orientation?
Following airport pick-up and transfer, you will spend your first night in a 3-star hotel in your placement city. The following day you will be picked up and taken to the orientation. Orientation includes do’s and don’ts in China, how to be a responsible traveler, etiquette in China, health and safety, how to use public transport, preparing for being an Au Pair at your host family, establishing communication channels and practical living tips for using ATMs, transport, phones, etc. Plus, you will also receive a welcome pack (metro card, sim card, mandarin phrase book), and Peking Duck welcome lunch, and finally drop off at your host family.
Is it easy to send money home from China?
Not exactly. The Chinese government has restrictions on foreigners sending home money, and it’s not possible to exchange money at a bank without a Chinese friend to do it for you. However, you can easily find people willing to help you do this. Many people manage to exchange money on the black market and send it home via Western Union to pay their student loans, so it’s difficult, but not impossible.
I heard there’s no Facebook in China. Is it true?
Yes, it’s true. Legally. The Chinese government has banned almost all social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Most blogging platforms are also blocked. However, there are two ways around it. You can either join a Chinese social media site like QQ, or blogging platform like Weibo, and do it the legal, local way. Or, you can purchase a VPN (virtual private network) for about $5/month to disguise your computer and make it look as if you’re back home on your comfy couch.