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How to Help Your Homesick Au Pair

How to Help Your Homesick Au Pair

by E. Snyder

Being an au pair can be a wonderful experience full of adventure and learning. Au pairs get to travel abroad to live in a new town, immerse themselves in a different cultural, have an opportunity to become fluent in another language, and they become part of their host family. For many au pairs, and really for anyone that has moved to a new country away from family and friends, the homesickness bug will eventually bite. So how can host families help their new au pair get over the hump and really start to enjoy the experience?

One of the best ways to try to fend-off homesickness right from the start is to welcome your new au pair with open arms and tour of her new home town. Take the whole family to greet her at the airport, maybe go out for a meal then drive the long way home so she can see your neighborhood and start to get a lay of the land. A welcome basket in her room is a great way to show your new au pair that you're excited she's arrived and you want her to feel at home. Some great little things to include are a map of the city, your area director's card, a public transportation pass for her first month, a list of names and numbers of other au pairs in your area, a picture that the kids drew for her. A little basket of toiletries is nice too, anything that will make her feel welcomed and special.

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