LoPair Au Pair China Cultural Exchange Program
90% Rating
(37 Reviews)

LoPair Au Pair China Cultural Exchange Program

2017 IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award Winner | 2017 LoPair Scholarship is calling you!
The LoPair Scholarship Fund exists to help high quality applicants fulfill their dreams of living in China by providing reduced program costs. There are still some Scholarship places left for 2017! Don't miss your chance; apply now!

Nǐ hǎo! LoPair offers an award-winning cultural exchange program which enables you to become fully immersed in Chinese culture, learn Mandarin, make fantastic friends from across the globe. We'll provide you with a 3-12 month placement in a major Chinese city living in a homestay with a lovely Chinese or Expat family.

Your adventure starts with a three-day group orientation, training and sight-seeing tour in the beautiful city of Hangzhou! You'll get 60 Mandarin class hours per 3 months, fascinating Chinese cultural courses etc. You will become a real family member and assist them with live-in educational childcare and some light household chores up to 30 hours a week — you'll get a room of your own, meals, insurance and international round way flight tickets! On top of this, you will have plenty of chances to explore on your own, with other au pairs and with your family while receiving 1500 RMB pocket money per month and a Completion Bonus for all programs exceeding 6 months!

Locations
Asia » China » Beijing
Asia » China
Program Tags
Au Pair
Hands-On Learning
Language Immersion
Teach Abroad
Length
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
Accommodation
Host Family
Hostel
Primary Language
English
Age Max
18
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
- $150 program fee
- $450-1,200 airfare add-on depending on the flight origin
Zone1(Europe,Oceania,Asia): $450
Zone2(Africa,North/CentralAmerica): $600
Zone3(South America): $1200
- Various discounts and scholarship available ($50-$150)
- LoPair scholarships available($300)
Other Locations
Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Chongqing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Suzhou, Nanjing,Taiyuan

Questions & Answers

Hi Karlie, I agree with Clara that asking directly Lopair ([email protected]) is the best idea. I am 99% sure it's impossible to have two au pairs in the same family, but I think you guys can manage to be placed in the same city! The matching process might just take a little bit longer, because you have to make sure you both find your families in the same city. Hope this helped, and let me know if...

Program Reviews

  • Housing
    92%
  • Support
    89%
  • Fun
    94%
  • Value
    82%
  • Safety
    94%

Program Reviews (37)

Andrea
Female

Challenging but worth it

7/10

I undertook a 6 month program with a family in Shenzhen. I took care of a two year old boy and spent most of my time with the host grandmother and ayi. The orientation that Lopair provides is excellent it makes you feel safe and prepared, you meet countless people from all over the world, some in which I still keep in touch with. From my experience my host family took the phrase 'become part of our family' literally, of course this approach came with a few bumps it really allowed me to become fully immersed in the Chinese culture. I recommend this program because even if the experience isn't all positive and perfect you will definitely come out the other side having learnt something. Personally for me, this was a huge step out of my comfort zone but I don't regret it because of all the people I met, the language that was once so foreign to me is now understandable and the fact that I now have a second family in China that is happy to welcome me back again with open arms. So even if you are unsure of your decision, I would advise you to still try it, even in unfortunate cases Lopair is still supportive of whatever decision you make and will help you get to where you want to be. I will also mention that the children can be difficult to deal with as most of the time they are overprotected and/or over indulged by their families. Of course there are exceptions but this sometimes results in undisciplined host children which can be difficult to deal with. In my personal experience I wish I had done the 3 month program because by the fourth month I had become weary. Which is why I recommend to any future au pairs not to bite off more than you can chew and to extend your stay if you find yourself enjoying the experience. All aspects outside of the family such as social life and school are great, you learn so much and meet new people. When it comes to the family get to know as much about them during your interviews.

Erick
Male

The experience of my life turned into the dream of my life!

9/10

Since I applied for the the chance to be AuPair and go abroad my normal life in Mexico. I just decided to be part of a new culture and involve myself on the experience I thought would be the most incredible one. Well, that's true... I lived the most excited and amazing chance in my life, 1st traveling since Canada, next flight to Shanghai, take a bus to Hangzhou with my new AuPairs friends and live such as party there. Go to Beijing and be part of this Chinese family and creating a goo environment and being sure everything what surrounds me was safe and comfortable.
Having a 2nd chance with another family and be the big brother for 2 amazing girls (Run Sheng 2 yo and Ning Ning 9 yo).
These girls changed my mind and made me the teacher, the cook, the nanny and even the bodyguard. I very appreciate my host family's trust, confidence and caring for me.
Where now at the place where I'll be in the future I know I created a little space in their hearts for me. These girls taught me more than I can teach em and without any doubt, they'll be my little sisters for the rest of my life. Now I know how it feels be part of the Chinese Culture and realise that everyone has the opportunity to change someone's life.
Be here, be now! This is what you have, this is what you are, but more importantly... You're the best part of the world when you love what you do and share with amazing kids your own way to live.
I never stopped to believe on what I can achieve, cuz I always know what's my deal.

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M
Male
19 years old
Germany
Other

A very valuable experience

10/10

I stayed in a host family for 4 months and it was a very valuable experience for me. The feeling after your host child`s English slowly improves is one of the best ones I have experienced here. Doing an Au-pair stay was a good opportunity for me to learn more about China and the Chinese culture.
LoPair helped me whenever I was in need e.g. for the visa extension. I would definitely recommend this program to adventurous people who want to get to know something completely new.

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Alexander
Male
26 years old
Hangzhou, China
Other

Educate and Grow in the 'Heaven of China'

10/10

The Au Pair experience in China is an extremely rewarding experience I would gladly recommend to anyone. Becoming an active member of another family enables one to become a more well rounded individual. There is an education you will receive here that a text book could simply not illustrate. My experience in Hangzhou has left me feeling like a graduate of an international character building academy for which I was lead by amazing people and integrated into an amazing family. As the youngest sibling of three I was dedicated to becoming an older sibling and role model to a child and as time progressed I found that I assumed more roles than that. You have the opportunity to meet like minded individuals from around the world and can easily communicate with these new friends about your life experiences and why it is important to share knowledge and grow with other people. I am extremely proud to have participated in the Lo Pair Exchange! Good luck to all future arrivals!

How can this program be improved?

I honestly could say I believe the program could only improve by more bright individuals coming and sharing their lives and becoming involved in the program!

Christina
Female

Teaching Abroad Review

10/10

I have always wanted to explore and see China. I was nervous in preparation to go and thinking about how the experience would go scared me. Considering how far away and different it will be from Canada. I quickly found out that their was nothing to worry about, with the right preparation and open mind I fell in love with my whole experience. The food, people and stories where quite an amazing experience.

From Start to Finish, I had a lot of support from the preparation to go to the moment I got off the plane, the orientation before meeting the host families and through out the whole time spent in china till I left to go back home. I made a lot of friends from around the world. My host family was very nice and helped me explore their beautiful city. I got to teach a little girl and learn about their culture.

Working internationally is a great way to connect and expand your social circle. After I came back from China I worked in my local city. As I met people back home I found that people were interested in my international work experience and knowing a bit more about what I did. I am very grateful for this whole experience thanks to Lo Pair.

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Zoe
Female
20 years old
Germany
Other

Au Pair in China 2016/2017

8/10

Going to China as an Au Pair ist most likely a very difficult decision to make. First of all there ist the distance from your home country and the different culture that definitely takes more than just a few weeks to get used to. Then there is the language that you don't know anything about - and english often doesn't help either. And to top that all of there is the life with a new family that you will spend the next months with.
If you are willing to step out of your comfort zone, lopair is the right program for you!
I can happily say that I made some really great friends during my time in China, both in my city and others. Lopair makes it very easy to connect with other Au Pairs and offers both fun and cultural insight with their classes and workshops on chinese culture (cooking, music, calligraphy etc). Another thing is the language classes, which is probably the most attractive
aspect of this program for many future Au Pairs.
The staff of lopair ist incredibly nice and supportive. There is no question they could not help you with, and they try very hard to make this experience worthwile for borth the Au Pairs and the host families.
Overall a really great program that I can very much recommend!

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Michael
Male
20 years old

Goo expierience

9/10

你好!我叫Michael!I am currently living in 杭州中国(Hangzhou China) as an Au Pair through Lo Pair. When I looked t this program I was immediately attracted to it because of the Chinese language and culture class that is included, and Lopair的中文课是很好!So I have not been disappointed! Living with my host family has also been a treat, I play with my host children and teach them English, and get to practice my Chinese with Ayi and my host parents! I think Lopair found me a good family to stay with and can do the same for you too.
Daily life as an Au pair here is good. I get the morning to get out and explore, study, or relax, and in the afternoon and in the evening after dinner I teach the children english. With Betty we play, and draw, and even sing a little bit! When I’m teaching Joe we will talk, read, play games in english, and study out of his english books. I do have to say, the parent’s pay quite a lot for me to come and have this experience, And for their children to learn. Don’t worry, be friendly, talk, have fun with the kids, but take it seriously. The more you and the children are speaking back and forth in english the happier the parent’s will be! Also eat your veggies In front of the kids
Speaking of food, it’s probably quite different from anything back home. I really like the food here though, plus chopsticks are quite fun to use. Enough said I think.
Chinese class is good, you get to spend time with the other au pairs nearby and I’ve gotten plenty out of the classes I’ve had so far. The teacher’s are nice, and should be happy to answer any Chinese language related questions you may have. Once a month you’ll get to go to a cultural class as well. Some examples are; painting umbrellas, or learning the traditional way to make tea, or practice tai chi.
All in all I think this program is very good. If you keep in mind that the children will probably be hard to deal with sometimes, the parents have high expectations for you, and the culture is very different from what you’re probably used to, you should be fine. Bring positive energy, curiosity, and an open mind, and you’ll have a wonderful time!

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Valentina
Female
20 years old
Virginia, USA

Loving Life in Beijing!!

9/10

I've been in Beijing for a little over 5 months now and my 6 month stay will soon come to an end. I don't want to leave yet because there is still so much I want to do. I have enjoyed my new lifestyle and daily routine that I have perfected. I've been lucky to have been placed with a host family in Beijing. The city really has a lot to offer, it is beautiful, and such a great place to make friends. My stay with a host family where I teach their four year old boy has really been a new and enriching experience for me. It gave me the opportunity to build such a great relationship with my host kid as I taught and played with him. About 9 months ago, I looked into this program and thought it would be the best way for me to travel, learn a language and culture. The process was very quick and easy that before I knew it I was having interviews with host families and then all of a sudden I found myself on a plane flying to China. I've gone a long way in a short period of time and I'm glad that I went through LoPair because it is great program! They provided us with orientation from the first day of our arrival which was a very helpful transition into being an au pair. My local coordinator was absolutely amazing, easy to talk to, and so much help. Also, I gained amazing memories and friendships that I will forever cherish. From this experience I also learned more about myself and developed as a person. By being part of such a unique culture, immersing myself, learning the language, and teaching a language has made me realize that China, specially Beijing will be a place that I will find myself coming back to....very soon.

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Stella
Female
20 years old
Germany

My time in China

8/10

I am for 6 months in China. My boys are 1 and 5 years old. And the beginn of my half year in China they were shy and didn't want to do anything with me. But after some weeks they realize I am not their teacher. I am their sister. And it is amazing to become a part of a new family. I see the boys how they grow up and learn a new language. They can communicate with me.
In the evening we watch tv and it feels like a real brother-sister relationship.

My best moment was when the one year old boy his first English word said. "Purple".

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Ilaria
Female
23 years old
Italy

Just do it!! China is waiting for you

10/10

Living in China is an adventure! Everything is completely different from home! I am so happy to have chosen this program, it is great, I think all the family are chose really good and really accurately by lopair ! All the stuff help you step by step, the orientation is a good beginning for understanding the life here in China and to let us know more about chinese people! Lopair program gives you the opportunity to get close to the china culture! I learnt so much about China, the food is amazing, the people are always super nice and having the opportunity to learn chinese is always fun and interesting!! I really suggest this project!! Just do it don't be afraid China has so much to give to foreigners!!!

Santhel
Female
25 years old
Tione di Trento

Happiness that never ends

10/10

I had been aupair in China from January 2016 till July2017. I loved every single day of my stay. I had been completely happy with my experience and I was extremely sad when it came to a end.
Being in China helped me not only to learn more about an amazing culture, but also to lore more about my self. I did incredible things and had amazing adventures. I saw beautiful places and meet people that I can call friends for all my life on.
I had a great time with my host family, with whom I still talk at least once per week, and I miss a lot my little monkeys, my two little host brothers. They really made me feel part of their family and I am really thankful for all the good things they shared with me. It had been an honor to be their aupair, and they still make me fell really loved when they say that is so hard for them to had an aupair after me because we were really the best match both of us could ask for.
I learned a lot about Chinese culture and Chinese language during school lessons, I had a great and funny teacher that pushed me in the right way and make me learn the most in my short stay, and I am so happy because now when I meet a Chinese person I can have a basic conversation with them and I am still studying the language because she made me love it.
I really hope to able to come back to Beijing one day, see my wonderful host family and all the friends I left behind.
As I said leaving had been really hard for me, I was really sad. That's why when LoPair offered me the job as OR I Italy I couldn't believe my luck. I miss be in China, but be here to help people have an adventure as good as the one I had make me really happy. I start to be happy in China and I am still as happy heling people go there as aupairs.
Thank you LoPair to let my happiness never end.
BE an aupair in China is not easy, is not for everybody, but if you have a big heart and you are open-minded, China can give you so much. It is worthed every second, and you will never forget your time there.

How can this program be improved?

This program is new and being inside now I see better how it is already imroving day by day. LoPair stuff is doing a great job creating a program always more near aupair and families needs. So I don't have big suggestions, just keep on doing what are yu doning, because is working.

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Hope
Female
21 years old
Indiana
Indiana University- Bloomington

Great Program!

10/10

I was an au pair with LoPair from January-July 2014 and my experience changed my life. I gained perspective on a whole new level through my experiences in China, all thanks to LoPair and their amazing staff. They became like family. I made an incredible bond with my former host family and still continue to be in contact with them until today. We visit each other every year and the children will forever be my little brother and sister. Now, I am happily recruiting my other classmates and friends who are interested in a once-in-a-lifetime journey, like au pairing in China. Highly recommended!!

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Michael
Male
23 years old
London

Amazing

9/10

My host family are amazing! They've made things so convenient for me. We recently went ziplining and mountain climbing, and that was so significant for me, cause it helped me confront my fear of heights. I've had loads of fun, and really bonded with them, and I'm dreading to leave. China is Amazing. The beauty of its lakes and mountains always seem to leave me in awe. An amazing opportunity. I would definitely do it again.

Response from LoPair Education

Dear Michael,
It's great you bonded so much with your family and that you are enjoying China. We know you will be leaving soon, so we wish the best with everything and hope to see you soon here in Hangzhou.
LoPair Team

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Fiona
Female
22 years old
Germany

Being a part of a Chinese family

9/10

I've always wanted to go to China. Since I was a little child I've been interested in China, it's culture and history. So becoming an Au Pair, living with a host family, was the best decision I've ever made.

China is complete diffrent from any western countries. But the people here are so friendly and I am happy that I matched with my wonderful hostfamiles.

I spent the first 6 months in Hangzhou. My host sisters were adorable children although, especially the little one in the very beginnging, were sometimes naughty. And I wished her older sister would have been more motivated learning English. She hated Englis and couldn't speak any English words although she had learned it for two years at school. But they both learned while having fun. At least words hey liked like puppy, cute and beautiful. We had lots of fun and many things in common.
Alice, 12 years old, also loved to draw, so we often drew on her blackboard. I loved it when she told her 'dog stories'. She gestured all of the time because she didn't know how to express herself. In the end of the 6 months she tried to speak as much English as she could and even translated for her grandma (But she still said: 'Grandma shuō' instead of 'grandma said') and didn't hate English any more.
Connie, 4 years old, was the more active learner and loved to Play 'puppy' and bulding tents with the curtains. She also loved to draw and write her name in English (always in the wrong order, no matter how often I corrected her) and simple words like 'cat'. We sang a lot of Disney songs like 'Let it Go' and 'Be A Man'.
My host parents and I got very well along. My host mum and I chatted a lot and she always had to translate for her husband and her parents.

When I look now at the photos they make me cry and laugh (especially our selfies) at the same time because I miss them so much. They became a second family

I loved to Explorer Hangzhou and the nearby cities with my friends and my host family.

I extended 6 more months with another family in Shenzhen. Form the very beginnging I wanted to extend nd I'm glad that it worked.

My current host family has two Boys. Both speak very good English although they're still in primary School. When I arrvied at Shenzhen Airport my host brothers welcomed me with Posters they wrote and they even wrote it in German, my mother tongue. The first Thing they told me in the car was that they fight often. And they do. They even fought about who can show me which room of their flat first.
Henry, 8 years old, always thinks he has to correct my pronunciation because he learns American English at School and I speak British English. He can be very stubborn and whe he's in a bad mood he avoids me. But when he's in a good mood he is so funny, likes to Play games with English words, Ludo and creating Power Point presentations.
Terry, 6 years old, loves to planes, Lego (currently we build about one new Lego set per week) and he loves to ride his bike very fast. He often daydreams and writes Chinese characters in the air when he actually should eat his meals or listen to what the adults saying.
Terry loves to teach me Chinese words and Henry's always surpised when I understand them talking in Chinese. When Henry and I Walking in the park we often have good talks.
All of my host family members are very nice. I played badminton with my host mum and often try to speak with the Ayi in Chinese.

I have now three months left but already know that I will also miss them very much. Especially the kids hugs.
And I hope I can keep in touch with them for a very long time.

How can this program be improved?

Maybe telling the host family when they want some improvment of/complaining about the Au Pairs that they can tell the Au Pair first directly and of course telling it to local coordinater. It's more personal and I think it helps better for boths sides.

Response from LoPair Education

Dear Fiona,
The little details of your everyday life stress how much you care for your host family and children. This also proves the great relationships you can establish through the program. We always consult with families and make sure the behaviour of both sides, host family and au pairs, leads to an harmonious permanence. We understand that avoiding to be straightforward can sometimes be a characteristic of Chinese families, but we will work more towards consultation and dialogue in order to meet both the family and au pair needs.
Have a great time over your program extension!
Lopair Team

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Dora
Female
25 years old
Italy

Life changing experience, and great for Chinese culture & language knowledge!

9/10

When I arrived to China as an au pair, it wasn’t my first time in the country. I had been a student there for a semester already (although in a different city) and I felt like I hadn’t established…a real relationship with the country, if you know what I mean. As a foreign languages student, I also wanted to improve my language skills, which I wasn’t very satisfied with. Mandarin students out there, I’m writing this for you: towards the end of my program, Chinese people I met for the first time would ask me how many years I had been in China! Lopair’s program helped me develop not only much better language skills (my Chinese teacher was just AWESOME, one of the best teachers I ever had!), but also the skills to talk to Chinese people. I understood so much more about Chinese culture and society and, combining that with the language, I feel like I achieved a much more complete knowledge of China. My host family helped me a lot with that: every one of them, from my Chinese mom to the family nanny, was patient enough to answer my many, many questions (“What’s in that dish? What’s that guy doing exactly? Is that a traditional character? Can you SERIOUSLY buy all that stuff on Taobao?”) and they never missed a chance to point interesting things out for me. We also travelled together to parts of China that I would have never seen by myself, which was amazing.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that everything’s going to come super easy. Chinese culture is very different from Western cultures, and it does require an open mind and a lot of flexibility and patience. What they say about Chinese children being spoiled is true most of the time, so expect to be baffled by parent’s and relatives’ behavior sometimes, and just bear in mind that you were raised in a different education system. Chinese people also tend to make decisions very quickly and to give you very little notice for either eating out that night or taking a two week trip to Korea the next day, which can be unsettling, but just until you get used to it. China has made me a much, much more flexible person and I also have to say, Lopair did a great job at preparing me and fellow au pairs for these and other situations at the arrival orientation camp. They have a good perspective of what Westerners find strange and they really give you priceless tips to handle your family life, your host kids’ tantrums and potential culture shocks at your best. For example, having minor control issues (before my program!), I found it very reassuring to get a detailed explanation of how culture shock works, so that when it happened, I knew it was just a phase and didn’t freak out.
My time in China really made me a better person, not even mentioning how nice it looks on my resume. I would most definitely recommend this experience, and if you’re undecided about which agency to choose (as I was, because of the aforementioned control issues), I’d definitely say go with Lopair. They take their job and your safety seriously, and if I had the option to go back, I’d do the same thing for sure!

Response from LoPair Education

Dear Dora,
Reading your comments really give our team an immense pleasure. You highlighted the aspects we most care about and we are glad you felt immersed in Chinese culture and that the program helped you in so many ways, such as with the language. Hope to see you soon in China!
Best,
LoPair Team

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Clara
Female
23 years old
France
Other

Worth it but not for everyone !

8/10

Hello everyone,
My name is Clara, I'm french and I'm an au pair since november 2016 (about 5 months now). My host family is composed with a journalist mother, an artist father and Chloe, my host child.
This program will make you discover China and chinese mentality. You will also take part in a lot of activities with you family (restaurants, hostels, trips, museums...).

But you have to know that your host family pays a lot to have you and they will expect a lot from you. For example, I am the first au pair of my host family and I have to plan a schedule every week for Chloe so she can make progress, the host mom also wants the proof of her progress !

But I have met a lot of people that I can now call my friends and a very good team at Lopair that will help you for everything (thanks Nancy for booking my tickets to Shanghai for an exam !).

I have lived a lot of things now and it worth it, but you have to work hard !

Go on my blog for more infos !
www.aupairinchinablog.wordpress.com

How can this program be improved?

Maybe explain more to new host families that we are not teacher/babysitter/housekeeper !
(But I am the only one with this problem ^^)

Response from LoPair Education

Dear Clara,
You have showed to live this experience at its best by documenting it and by being really active with LoPair in different ways, especially through social media. Chinese families wish the best for their children and considering the strict education system, sometimes you can easily expect that they will be quite strict in educating their children even from home. We understand your position and always try our best to consult with families and always make sure you together with all other au pairs are in suitable enviroments where you can learn, care and explore.
Wish you the best with the rest of your program.
LoPair Team

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Abigail
Female
21 years old
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Southern Adventist University

Happy in Hangzhou

8/10

Getting off the bus in Hangzhou, from the Shanghai airport, was a little terrifying. My fears were quickly put to rest with a smile from my coordinator, who had a car waiting to take me to a hostel. Over the next two days I met other au pairs from all over the world. LoPair welcomed everyone like they were family during the short, but very useful orientation. After the two day orientation, each au pair went their separate way.

I stayed in Hangzhou. My host family lives in a beautiful northern section of Hangzhou, surrounded by mountains. My host family welcomed me and has done everything in their power to make me feel happy and accepted. In the evenings, I help my host child with her English homework, work on art projects, and teach her English by using an interactive method I created on my computer. While my host child is in school, I am free to do as I please.

China has such a vast culture that spans over hundreds of years, meaning there is always something to see or learn. On the down side however, during the day it is often difficult to meet up with other au pairs, so touring alone is common. Coming to a foreign country which does not speak your native language can be very challenging and lonely, but can be time for growth and learning. I don't think anyone can honestly say that living abroad is always fantastic, but with an open mind, any struggle can be looked at as a learning opportunity or an adventure.

My host family has taken me out on the weekends, to show me fascinating places in Hangzhou. They have been patient and tried their best to meet in the middle, when it comes to the difficult language barrier. I feel so blessed to be in a host family that loves each other, wants the best for me, and respects me.

Lopair has a great and reliable support system, as well as providing lots of resources to their au pairs and host families. I recently met a girl who came to China through a different agency I had considered using this agency but when their credentials didn’t check out, I decided against it. The girl I met was treated like a servant and was forced to give English lessons to large groups of people. Her host family would then make people pay for the lessons, keeping the money and not giving any to the girl. The host family was making money off her back. The girl left the family and dropped the host organization. She was taken in by Lopair, treated like family, and now has a new host family---set up by LoPair. I think Lopair has done a great job at giving their families and au pairs a good experience and providing what they need.
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Family Outing

Saturday morning dawned. After breakfast and a tearful homework session (handwriting sheets are not Josie's favorite thing). My family took me to a historic temple in Hangzhou. Entering the courtyard of the temple, we were handed 3 sticks of incense each. A large flame was placed in the center of the yard and next to it was a sand pit in which to place the sticks. Not sure on Buddhist protocol, I watched my mom, a is practicing Buddhist. She lit the three sticks, placed them above her head and bowed three times, in the direction of the first temple door. Then placed the sticks in the sand pit.

A temple is not just one building. A temple is made up of closed off grounds, with a number of buildings dedicated to specific Buddhist icons.

The temple was awesome. I was shocked and slightly mesmerized by how massive all the icons were. We went from building to building and my mom and little sister did a lot or bowing, while I awkwardly embraced the beauty of the icons.

Lunch time rolled around. Within the temple enclosure was a small restaurant. Since coming to China, I've eaten a lot of noodles because they're vegetarian and I'm vegan. At the restaurant, we were served a steaming bowl of noodles. These were no ordinary noodles, they were accompanied by fresh cut vegetables, mushrooms, beans from the ginkgo tree (only eat 5 ginkgo beans or bad things will happen) and served in a searing savory broth. I had reached noodle nirvana.

After lunch we went into what I guess would be a buddhist gift shop. Mom had me trying on these bracelets made of seeds from the Buddha tree. They were not CHEAP…so once again, the only frugal person in the bunch, I was being pretty passive, not really committing to anything that was put up my wrists. Finally my mom picked out two and the lady from behind the counter put them on me. (Internal thoughts: wow, these are beautiful! I love them...oh mercy...look at the price).

"You love. I buy." My mom placed a wad of cash on the counter and we walked out of the gift shop. With the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and classical Chinese music playing, I was getting my zen on.

An overwhelming sense of eat.pray.love-ish attitude was filling my soul. We made our way out of the temple and to the car. Feeling so wonderful, I decided to see if I could remember the name for tree in Chinese. Pointing to a tree I bluntly asked if we could get take-out food. My mom burst out laughing and corrected me.

Once in the car, my family decided to take me to some historic streets in Hangzhou.
I have never seen so many asians jammed into one place. Everywhere the eye could see, something fascinating was going on. Children were peeing in the street, awful smelling dumplings (made with fermented beancurd) were sizzling and steaming on a grill, vendors were yelling, ancient medicine shops were brimming with hopeful customers, odd meat products were being carried around on sticks and consumed.

"What do you love? I buy," said my mom. My mom kept trying to buy me random things that I knew wouldn't fit in my suitcase when I decided to go home.
"I help you find thing to love," continued my mom. Feeling bad, I let her buy me a little hedgehog ornament. I plan on taking it home and giving it to my older sister, Sarah, who has an odd love for the prickly rodents. As we headed home, I felt so happy to be in China with a family that wanted me to be excited about a new culture and was willing to give me such wonderful experiences.

How can this program be improved?

Let au pairs make certain stipulations about host families they are willing to work for. Au pairs often work far more than they should and deserve more freedom.

LoPair should also do a little better job at being realistic when it comes to the amount of social time that au pairs will have/their ability to travel around China.

Response from LoPair Education

Hi Abigail,
We are glad you made the most out of your experience in China. The family wanted you to be excited about such a new culture because you also showed willingness to learn and adapt. We usually clarify how many work and holiday hours there will be and do our best to prepare our au pairs for the challenges of the program through our orientation arrival. But we will make more efforts towards this direction.
Best of luck with everything and hope to see you soon!
LoPair Team

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Deborah
Female
21 years old
Beijing, China
Other

Overall a valuable experience

7/10

I am currently in Beijing. This is definitely a good program if you want to be an au pair in China. A few things to keep in mind:

1. The families pay LoPair a lot of money, so they expect a lot from you. Follow their house rules and do your best to meet their expectations, but don't be afraid to speak up if they ask too much of you. You want to get something out of the program just as much as they do.

2.If they can afford an au pair the families are usually very rich, so you might get to go on expensive trips and stay in fancy hotels. Enjoy it and don't feel bad about it, they really do have a lot of money.

3. Learn Chinese. Even if the family speaks English or your native language it will be a huge advantage in your everyday life. Being able to have conversations with the kid's grandparents is great, too.

4. The au pair program is still relatively new in China and many Chinese families host au pairs for the first time, so your might run into some issues with the family. Don't be afraid to switch families if nothing works out. I switched families after a month and I'm much happier now.

5. Chinese children can be incredibly spoiled. In my first family, a temper tantrum would result in the child getting a new toy. Go along with it, you're not there to change them. When you get tired of it just ignore the child until he or she calms down.

LoPair's support is great, the Chinese classes are helpful and you will make many new friends. Just be sure you are ready to spend lots of time with young children and aren't afraid to try new things.

How can this program be improved?

LoPair should make sure the families stick to the rules. Other au pairs to have told me that they don't get their off days or have to work too many hours.

Response from LoPair Education

Many thanks for your comments and feedback. We always work hard to make sure that both parts, the au pairs and the families, respect one another and gain the best from living together. We wish you all the best with your stay in China!

Default avatar
Lisa
Female
25 years old
Lippstadt, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Other

Chinese Communication

7/10

Living in a family or community without any direct communication between the people was the biggest challenge in my gap year in China. I had to get used to the fact that my hostfamily didn't tell me anything. 'We are going on vacation.' 'When?' 'NOW! Pack your bag, we are leaving in 5 minutes.' Yes, Chinese people are not talking and they are very, very spontaneous. One time my host brother woke me up at 6 o'clock in the morning to tell me that we are going on vacation. There even wasn't enough time for me to take a shower. Of course they planned the trip a few days before, but it wasn't necessary for them to tell me, not even the evening before, so I could have got up earlier. But however, after a while you get used to it. They don't want to be mean, that's just their way of life, their way of behavior. It was one of my biggest challenges in China, because they always seemed so inflexible even when they were spontaneous, but it made me a lot more open-minded to an other way of life. Yes, I do a lot of things different at home, but that doesn't mean my way is the right one. Trying to live different for a certain amount of time is the challenge of a gap year and now, after living for six months in China, I can say that this challenge and new thinking made me a better person.

Response from LoPair Education

We are sorry to hear that. Since the first days in China, with the Orientation Arrival, we help our Au Pairs develop awareness about Chinese families' different mindset and about what to expect from living with a host family in China. However, we do appreciate the flexible perspective you adopted and thanks for highlighting your achievements. All the best with future experiences!

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Sabrina
Female
23 years old
Dortmund, Germany
Other

Staying in a Chinese Host-family

9/10

I lived 6 Months in a Chinese Family. They have two Children and live in a cool place called Ningbo. I was hired as an Au Pair, which was quite a lot of fun and a cool experience. Most Host Family was awesome. Before i went to China we had several Skype talks to make sure that we are a good match, LoPair helped a lot to find a good Host Family and in the End they found the perfect one for me.
Under the week I mostly had to take care of the little daughter. She is 8 years old and a really lovely kid. In the morning we only did study related things, which means one Chapter in her English book, Math, Chinese writing (my host sister insisted that I always have to write the characters too, so it was a challenge for both of us) and often we also did some homework for her Pinyin class. Than we had lunch together, which was prepared by our amazing ayí who cooks very well. After lunch we always had time to do some fun stuff outside. On the weekend we always had some cool adventures, my host parents always planed some interesting things. They are very outgoing people, which I liked a lot. I have really seen a lot of China. My host family showed me many places. I have never imagined that I will see so much of China in this time. A big thanks to my host family for this! I think we saw almost all the interesting things around Ningbo and we had two big trips. In January we went to Sanya, which was absolutely amazing and over the Spring Festival we went to Beijing, which was really cold but still an amazing place to visit. We also went to Hangzhou and Taizhou. My Host grandparents live in Beilun, and I stayed with my host sisters their for a few days. It was a very interesting experience to see the „older“ Chinese way of living.
I think the sentence that helped me the most to life in a Chinese family is „ just flow with it“. Don´t overthink things. Be prepared to be spontaneous and to meet a lot of different people who will not understand you and you will not understand them either. But it doesn’t matter. Appreciate the difficult communication; it can be a lot of fun!
And most important! Be patient and Relax. It can’t be always sunny and smiley. Sometimes you have a bad day or your host parents or your host siblings. It´s normal. And it is normal if some days you don’t really have something to talk about. Don’t stress yourself about this. It happens. You can’t talk all the time. If you think about your own family, sometimes you have quiet dinners too. And the next day everything is all right again. If you worry too much you just see things that are not there, or if something really bothers you just ask if everything is all right. Only talking people can be helped.

Response from LoPair Education

Thank you for your comments and the precious advice given on such a challenging and enriching experience. Best wishes from our team!

About The Provider

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LoPair, based in Hangzhou, is proud to be the 1st Chinese au pair company that wins the Au Pair of the Year Winner Award at 2017 annual campaign run by International Au Pair Association. We place au pairs from worldwide with host families in 10+

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