Du wohnst in einem eigenen Zimmer bei einer Gastfamilie und kannst
an allen Familienmahlzeiten teinehmen. Die Gastfamilie bewirbt sich genau
wie du um Aufnahme in das Programm und wird von unseren AIFS Kollegen in
den USA interviewt und geprüft. Du entscheidest selbst, welche Familie
zu dir passt.
Wenn du die ersten Anrufe von Gastfamilien
bekommst, solltest du dir eine genaue Fragenliste bereitlegen. Wenn du eine
Familie besonders sympathisch findest und denkst, dass die Chemie zwischen
Euch stimmt, kannst du dieser Familie zusagen oder um ein weiteres Telefonat
Bei den meisten Gastfamilien handelt es sich um Ehepaare mit mehreren Kindern.
Es bewerben sich auch Familien, die nur aus einem allein erziehenden Elternteil
bestehen. Auf jeden
Fall wird dich die Gastfamilie nicht als Haushaltskraft betrachten, sondern
dich als neues Familienmitglied auf Zeit bei sich aufnehmen. Viele Gastfamilien
haben eine spezielle Haushaltshilfe. Die Familie bietet dir freie Unterkunft,
Verpflegung und einen Einblick in ihren Alltag. Dies ermöglicht dir
einen abwechslungsreichen USA Aufenthalt. Am Anfang wird dir vieles fremd
vorkommen, daher wirst du besonders in den ersten Tagen im neuen Zuhause
unterstützt. Bei der Eingewöhnung hilft dir entweder ein erwachsenes
Familienmitglied oder das bisherige Au Pair.
Unsere Gastfamilien leben in einem von 165 Gebieten (clusters) über
die gesamten USA verteilt. Um dir einen noch besseren Einblick zu geben,
haben wir hier drei Profile von Gastfamilien Beispielen zusammengestellt.
Host Family: Young
Location: Boston, USA
Our family consists of
Helen and John, parents to Jo, our 22-month-old daughter, Emily
our 19-month-old daughter and Matthew, our 10-month-old son.
We are fortunate enough to have adopted our two eldest daughters.
We live in Boston and this is our first year as a host family.
Boston is a busy metropolitan area with lots of restaurants, bookstores, shops, and
activities - we love it here! John and I own a ballroom dance studio, which is within
walking distance from the house.
We chose to have a live-in au pair because my husband has been complaining for a long
time that we need more help. I couldn't be happier with our decision, and wish we'd
done it earlier.
Our au pair usually starts at 1pm and works until about 7:30pm. We get up in the morning
and I feed the kids whilst John vacuums the house, collects the garbage and does general
errands. I will then read to the kids and get them dressed. Our nanny comes at 10am
to 2pm to give me a hand with the kids until our au pair starts.
Usually, we all go to the park, library, bookstores, mall, post office, grocery store,
etc, with the children. Our au pair helps prepare dinner and feed the kids.
She also helps at bath time, runs errands for the kids and generally keeps me sane.
The qualities we looked for when choosing our au pair was a smile in the pictures
and someone who seemed to have a positive attitude. When our au pair arrived,
I realized I really wanted someone to speak to my children a lot.
She rose to the challenge! I also need someone who can work with me as I plan on
being home with the children almost all of the time. I need someone level-headed,
with a good sense of humor who can support me with the children’s discipline.
We look for someone who is going to be comfortable hanging out with us – going places,
doing things and who will treat the kids well.
As a host family we can offer our au pair the opportunity to learn via trips
and school. We have a good family life and we’re a fun family with a sense
of humor, and the area is a great area to explore!
Host Family: Karsch
Location: Columbia, USA
consists of Samantha and Alexander Karsch, daughters Sophia,
9 years old, Annabel, 7 years, Libby, 5 years, and Chrissie
We live in Columbia with an endless list of family activities, social and
educational opportunities. The nation's capital, Washington, is close by and is home
to one of the world's best zoos, the Smithsonian Institution museums, the intriguing
Spy Museum and many others. Among the many outdoor activities nearby are hiking, biking,
skiing and whitewater kayaking. The climate is varied and New York City is a short bus or
train ride away.
This is our third year with Au Pair in America. Samantha and I work full time, and we
work odd hours. We needed live-in help with the kids so we decided to give au pairs a
try. Au Pair in America has been fantastic.
Our typical family schedule goes something like this: Samantha is a sports editor for
a newspaper and works Tuesday to Saturday, sometimes until 8:00 pm, sometimes until 3:00
am. Alexander works regular day hours as a technical project manager. The three oldest
girls are in school 8 am to 3:30 pm, then come home for a snack, to do homework, play
with friends or go to an activity.
Chrissie is in a Montessori school from 9:00 am until noon. When she gets home she
has lunch, maybe takes a nap, goes to the park with the au pair, plays with a friend,
etc. The au pair usually has the weekends off.
Our au pair helps with everything kid-related in the house. This means preparing and
feeding them healthy meals and snacks, playing with them and arranging play times with
other children. Our au pair also takes them to after school activities and parks,
guides their clean-up efforts and does the kids' laundry.
When we look for a new au pair, we look for someone who is willing to work hard,
can motivate herself and will look for ways to help out. A gentle, sweet nature
is a plus, but she must be willing to be assertive, too. Good driving skills and
swimming ability are important too.
When asked what our family can offer our au pair, how about four little girls who will
be your friends for life? Au Pairs who join us have to work hard, but the reward is so
much greater. These girls will be part of your life forever if you let them. They'll
invite you to their weddings, they'll come to yours, they'll e-mail you when you go
back home, and when you come back to visit, as we hope you will, they'll hug you so
tight you will wonder why you left. We are in close touch with most of our former au
pairs. Some have come back to visit and others are planning to when they can. They are
permanent members of our extended family.
Host Family: Roberts Family
Location: Baltimore, USA
We are the
Roberts family and we live in Baltimore. This is now our fourth
year with Au Pair in America and we have 3 children, aged 7,
5 and 3 years. We really like the idea of having a caregiver
who is part of the family and the flexibility that the au pair's
schedule provides. We keep to the same schedule as much as possible
so that the au pair can plan her studies and social life!
Our house is within walking distance of theatres, restaurants and shops.
Our au pairs can easily get to all of the sights, including the museums, bike trails,
zoo, and memorials.
Every year the schedule changes as the kids grow older. Now all of the girls are
in school, the au pair picks them up from school, takes them to out of school activities
/ lessons, and helps them with homework. In the summer everything changes again – this
year, our au pair did a lot of special trips with the girls, to the zoo, museums, and a
local butterfly garden.
Now that our kids are bigger the au pair is mostly responsible for keeping them
company and helping them find interesting things to do. Our current au pair loves to
play cards, go swimming, do art projects, and play her guitar with the kids.
She also does their laundry and keeps the play area tidy.
When we choose an au pair we look for someone who is responsible, fun and relaxed.
We also want someone who understands that this is a job in addition to being a great
opportunity to see the USA. We always try to find someone who is a good driver,
and who will not be too homesick!
As a family we like to include the au pair in dinners, going out, or whatever
we are doing. I travel on business sometimes, and I try to take the au pair on at
least one trip of her choice while she is here. We have taken au pairs to the
Grand Canyon, Disneyland and Las Vegas. All of the au pairs like to spend a lot of
time on the Internet and many of them communicate with their friends back home using
video instant messaging. They can also listen to the radio from their own countries!
Our three successful au pairs have been from Russia, Estonia and Romania.
They have all loved the children and have stayed on with us until the last possible
moment. All of them have taught us a few words of their language and interesting
things about their country.