By LoPair Education   Reviews (31)   90% Rating

LoPair Au Pair China Cultural Exchange Program

By LoPair Education   Reviews (31)   90% Rating

LoPair Au Pair China is a cultural exchange program that combines its core values of learn, care, explore while giving you the chance of an exciting adventure in the beautiful Middle Kingdom! We provide you with a 3-12 month placement in a major Chinese city with a Chinese or Expat family.

After three-day group arrival orientation and tour, you will be transferred to your pre-matched family. You will get 60 Mandarin class hours per 3 months and fascinating Chinecultural courses. You will experience care by assisting your Host Family with live-in educational childcare and some light household chores up to 30 hours a week—you get a room of your own, boarding, and International round way flight tickets! On top of these, you will have the chance to explore on your own and with your family while receiving at least 1000 RMB pocket money per month and a Completion Bonus for all programs exceeding 6 months

Locations
Asia › China › Beijing
Program Tags
Hands-On Learning
Language Immersion
Teach Abroad
Au Pair
Length
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
Accommodation
Host Family
Hostel
Primary Language
English
Age Max
18
Cost
- $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
Starting Price
0.00

Questions & Answers

Hello Karlie! The best for you is maybe to ask directly to Lopair. But for my experience, I arrived at the same time as 2 other Au Pairs, and we had the opportunity to see each other quiet often (and...
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 t...

Rating Values

  • Housing
    91%
  • Support
    88%
  • Fun
    95%
  • Value
    79%
  • Safety
    93%

Program Reviews (31)

Michael
Male
19 years old

Goo expierience

Overall 9

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!

Valentina
Female
19 years old
Virginia, USA

Loving Life in Beijing!!

Overall 9

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.

Stella
Female
20 years old
Germany

My time in China

Overall 8

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".

Ilaria
Female
23 years old
Italy

Just do it!! China is waiting for you

Overall 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

Overall 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.
Hope
Female
21 years old
Indiana
Indiana University- Bloomington

Great Program!

Overall 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!!

Michael
Male
22 years old
London

Amazing

Overall 9

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.

Provider Response

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

Fiona
Female
21 years old
Germany

Being a part of a Chinese family

Overall 9

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.
Provider Response

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

Dora
Female
25 years old
Italy

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

Overall 9

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!

Provider Response

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

Clara
Female
22 years old
France
Other

Worth it but not for everyone !

Overall 8

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 ^^)
Provider Response

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

Abigail
Female
20 years old
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Southern Adventist University

Happy in Hangzhou

Overall 8

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.
------------

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.
Provider Response

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

Deborah
Female
20 years old
Beijing, China
Other

Overall a valuable experience

Overall 7

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.
Provider Response

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!

Lisa
Female
24 years old
Lippstadt, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Other

Chinese Communication

Overall 7

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.

Provider Response

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!

Sabrina
Female
23 years old
Dortmund, Germany
Other

Staying in a Chinese Host-family

Overall 9

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.

Provider Response

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

Valentina
Female
22 years old
Italy
Other

Explore China in every aspect you could ever imagine!

Overall 9

This program gives you the chance to explore China, chinese culture, chinese language, the beautiful cities; but the most important aspect is that after this program you can say that you have two families. My chinese parents treated me like their own daughter, my chinese sisters as their sister. I created a lifelong bound with my host family and now that I'm back in my home country I totally miss them. If you choose this program, be ready to fall in love with the Middle Kingdom.

How can this program be improved?
I would probably increase the meetings between the different au pairs.
Provider Response

Hi Valentina, we are glad to hear that the experience also helps our au pairs setting life-long bonds with their host family and people around them. Hope to see you soon in China!

Louise
Female
19 years old
Beijing, China
Other

Living the dream

Overall 10

For nearly five months I've been an au pair in Beijing the wonderful and always busy capital of China. You soon realize, that in a country as big as this distance is quite relative! But back to the beginning: I came to China in the end of July and even though my home country, Germany, gets pretty hot in the summer is no comparison to China's tropical humidity. After a seemingly endless flight to Shanghai, another German and one Australian girl went on another pretty long bus ride. The driving style left us pretty much praying to reach our destination Hangzhou alive. Finally there we had three nice days with the wonderful people in the LoPair office. Over all time of my stay, whenever there was a problem, there would always be someone to take care of you! Even though in the first few weeks our biggest fear was getting run over, I personally am now even more reckless than some locals. Of course the first time in your host family is a bit awkward but for me everything turned out fine and I'm enjoying every minute with my host kids! Some time we spend learning and often we go out to the park, do sports or cook and bake. But whatever we do it's always fun and I can't believe that there will come a day I have to leave. China itself has become home for me, the people are warm, welcoming, helpful and sometimes a little too impressed by seeing a foreigner and make the best food in the world! I fell in love with the beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities and would advise everyone to have this experience themselves! I for my part have decided to extend my program in this wonderful country! Good luck to everyone who wants to start their own experience abroad!

Provider Response

We are really pleased to read that the experience can have such an impact on our Au Pairs that the environment around them makes them feel like home. We hope to see you back in China!

Adriana
Female
31 years old
Spain

The best experience i've ever had

Overall 10

This is definitely the best experience I've had so far. I didn't expect I would be so happy in China since I'd already been an au pair in USA .

Living in Beijing is amazing and I all can say is that you can't be bored in this city. There are so many things to do and so many different places to visit and even though I have been here for 6 months, I still discovering new places to go. Plus all the amazing people I have met here who I will never forget.

Visiting the great wall or the temple of heaven, the summer palace of the forbidden city are experiences that you will never forget. All the history this country has,its culture and how amazing the people is in this country is just unbelievable.

How can this program be improved?
-We need more support from the coordinator.
- Families should respect the agreement (mine did :) )
-The school is usually very dirty.


Jordan
Male
18 years old
Current: Shenzhen, China. Hometown: Boston, USA

My review

Overall 7

My time as an au pair was generally positive. My host family was nice and seemed to be very accepting. They were joyful, relatively open minded people who accepted me into their house and made me feel welcome and at home.

One highlight of my experience was my host brother. He was 5 years old and a blast to be around. He was funny and energetic and had a full happy spirit. He is a great kid. His English still needs work, and I think I helped him a little. He was a little stubborn when it came to learning English, though.

My host family was also a highlight. They were so generous to me and always made sure I had everything I needed. They brought me with them on an overnight trip to a beach, and they brought me to Hong Kong to eat at a famous restaurant. They also bought me countless meals. I am so thankful to them for being so accommodating and amazingly friendly to me.

The only small problem with my host family stemmed from me not knowing if I was doing a good job; my host family was not always very communicative. I did ask them on different occasions if I was doing ok, and they told me yes and that they would tell me directly if something was wrong.

Still in some moments I felt like the family was unhappy with me, and I could understand some of the Chinese they were saying and it seemed like sometimes they were talking about me, but not including me in the conversation. Although personally, I also could have been more proactive in finding out if something was wrong as well.

The Lopair orientation in Hangzhou was only a little helpful for me because my host family did not follow the lopair guidelines very strictly, and many of the issues mentioned never came up during my stay. I did enjoy the sightseeing aspect though. Joey is very friendly. Also it is worth mentioning that in Futian district in Shenzhen you cannot use your metro card to rent a bike, which I was told at the orientation.

My Chinese Teacher Rena was very nice. She helped us get around Shenzhen and find things to do. I wish there was a more official guide to being a foreigner in Shenzhen though. Me and the other au pairs had to find most things ourselves using websites like shenzhenparty and meetup.com. I think instead of having to ask old au pairs and finding things out ourselves, there should already be a list of fun things to do on the Lopair site. Like how to rent bikes for example, or when/where foreigner meet ups happen. And the best parks, hikes, and bars etc.

There was not frequent checking in from Lopair staff, which was not a problem for me, but it could have for others who were struggling more. Shenzhen only had 2 other au pairs, and I feel like because of that it was lonely sometimes. Having the other au pairs from Guangzhou come for culture class was not a good experience though. They really wanted their long trip to be "worth it" and were let down because they did not have a good time. They thought we were being rude, but in reality we were just tired and did not have much in common with them.

I do like how it feels like a family here. Me and the two other au pairs and Rena had a special bond and it was nice. Being friends with them was a highlight of my experience.

One other challenge of my experience was my 12 year old host sister. She would never speak to me in English and only in Chinese, even though her English was pretty good when she did speak. I found it a little rude when she would always say "你猜啊” when I did not understand her. But she is a 12 year old girl so this is probably just normal behavior for that age. Overall this was not a big problem, but a small one that was sometimes a little frustrating.

All in all it was a good time here in SZ and I feel like I have grown into a more independent person. I feel more confident being thrown into a completely new situation than I did before I came here, and I have learned about myself and China tremendously. I have also met some really cool people and hopefully also made some life-long friends.

How can this program be improved?
I think the Chinese lessons could be less textbook based and more based on actual conversation practice and daily life activity. This would be better to supplement our experience. The culture classes could be more language based--scavenger hunts where you have to converse with locals etc. Also I've heard the travel insurance does not cover as much as it should, so maybe fix that as well.
Frances
Female
23 years old
Kent, UK

Amazing Experience

Overall 10

I have learnt so much being an Au Pair in China. It's an unbelievable experience if you're open to it. Sometimes the language barrier is hard when you're on your own exploring, but it helps you to grow and learn to think on your feet. The cultural differences are also a challenge to get used to, and can become a little bit grating at times, but you get the most amazing pay off, you get to join amazing families, and watch/help the kids learn and grow in spectacular ways.

How can this program be improved?
More cultural activities, or general activities organised by the local co-coordinator.
Micah
Male
18 years old
Hangzhou, China

A Wonderful Experience

Overall 9

This program is a truly fascinating and unique experience! You get to experience how people in China actually live and get first-hand experience with the language and the culture. Everyone that I have met has been very nice and supportive, when asking for directions or when I try to speak Chinese. As long as you put the effort into the program it turns out well. Of course there are challenges with language barriers etc... but they can be managed and never get to be to much of a problem.

How can this program be improved?
Every month we have culture class but it is only for 3 hours or so. My suggestion would be to make the time longer so that we have more time to bond with the other au pairs.
Joshua
Male
23 years old
Bedford UK
University of Leicester

My time as an Aupair In Hangzhou

Overall 9

Facing an entirely different culture, particularly one as different as the Chinese, requires a total change of perspectives. The help and guidance by Lopair in this setting was fantastic and with the language lessons it was possible to quickly adapt to the culture.

Most days followed a similar format with the first part of the day free and then spending the afternoon with the children. This allowed exploration of the city I was in and to enjoy what China had to offer. I had a fantastic time getting to know people and also getting to know the family I was with. Meeting other people when out with the children was a wonderful experience. Also being accepted as one of the family and travelling to places with them was a fantastic thing to do.

Provider Response

You did a great job adapting to Chinese culture and family life. Your host family keep commenting that you are one of the best and they love you being around. Miss those time when we seeing you hanging in Hangzhou. Hope your Mandarin is still improving. Looking forward to seeing you again in China!

Sarah
Female
23 years old
Ottawa, Canada
University of Ottawa

An Experience of a Lifetime!

Overall 9

My experience as an Au Pair in China has completely changed my life in terms of academics and personal growth. The full immersion into Chinese culture cannot be understood until it is experienced and has provided me with the insight useful for my career goals. As an international business student, the Chinese economy is extremely appealing at the moment and now I have the extra knowledge most of my fellow peers do not. I spent most of my days teaching the children basic words and action words, playing games and creating games that would help them learn English without realizing they were learning. The mandarin classes were very helpful in getting around the country when traveling on my own. I got the chance to travel all over the country and my host family even took me to Malaysia. Since doing this exchange I have returned to Hong Kong to study and I have kept in touch with my host family. I will go and visit them very soon and I know I have made friends for life. I did go through culture shock, but I learned to embrace it and learn from it. Many people struggle with the overwhelming amount of culture shock associated with the au pairing experience, however, it is important to continue on because it gets much better and you end up with an experience that changes the way you see the world. I would recommend and exchange like this to any student looking to learn more about asian culture and seeking a character building experience.

How can this program be improved?
It would have been much more helpful for the organization to stimulate the communication between myself and the host family. When we encountered problems half way through my stay due to issues that had been ongoing, I was unaware there were any issues until it was too late. The organization could have taken more initiative to ensure that both the family and I were happy with everything. In Chinese culture they wait until it is too late to speak out about issues. With proper mediation from the organization, communication could have been facilitated more effectively. Other than this one issue, I was extremely happy with everything LoPair did for me.
Provider Response

Sarah is the first au pair in this host family who had activate the family's adventure with the au pair program. Although Sarah just stayed for three month during the summer time, the life-long friendship has been lasting ever since. Can't forget the moment when Sarah came back to Hangzhou and met her host family after 18 months at 2014 LoPair X'mas party. They both broke to tear and hug just like a real family! At that point, every LoPair team members are happy that we are really doing something meaningful!

Gyorgy
Male
31 years old
Hangzhou

My experience

Overall 9

One thing is sure: you will encounter difficulties. Cultural shock, communication problems with the family or the kids will hate you. But if you have prepared for anything than you will have a great time here, because you will realize these problems will be just daily challenges that will make you days even more interesting. The food is great, nothing like what you would find in Europe. And it is a life-changing experience to discover the modern Far East.

How can this program be improved?
More organized activities / traveling.
Provider Response

LoPair provides Chinese culture class once a month based on different specif topics. As for travelling, it's a time-consuming organizing concerning duty hour changes on family side. It's unlikely for us to work on every family schedule and find time out a time works for all au pairs. We need to respect family schedules and needs above all. Therefore, we don't proactively organize travelling for au pair as, in general, it's an au pair program, not a travelling program. Plus, many host families on our program are spontaneously taking au pairs out on family trip from time to time when au pairs can travel and have family life at the same time which we think is the best option.

Katharina
Female
23 years old
Achern, Germany

China - an unforgetable experience

Overall 9

The Au Pair programme is a really good opportunity to experience another culture; the good and the bad. It has given me a good chance to learn chinese, we have a great teacher and get assigned homework which helps us progress with our language skills. It is good that the families have a high living standard, but sometimes there can be some communication problems within the family which can cause some problems. The children have different upbringings and can come across as spoilt due to this, also they have very different values to ones that you are used to; which can be a shock to some. Lopair are always there for you if there are any issues with the family.
The situation when you arrive in China is good and easy for making friends, as we all added eachother on Wechat and met up whenever possible. Although what could make it easier would be if the families all gave the Au pairs the same day off when it is possible. Also for the weekends off, it would be good if the families were already aware of the Au pairs wanting to have the same day off, and just how it works (48 hours from friday evening to Sunday evening) as me and my friends all had some misunderstandings with the host families when asking for this off.
The programme is good for personal growth, the experiences that I have gained in China are unique and would not be experienced any where else. The mix of traditional culture and modern lifestyle is something that can only be found in China.

How can this program be improved?
With the schedule and with the off days, they should be more clear so au pairs can plan what to do on these days. Au pairs could be more prepared for how disrespectful the children can be, and how the parents raise their children in certain well-off families. Discipline is limited for certain things that in other countries would be very shocking to parents.
Michela
Female
23 years old
Italy
Other

China as an insider

Overall 9

Lopair's program is a great way to experience real China and not just see it through the eyes of a westerner coming to visit as a tourist. Being an aupair gives you the possibility to share the everyday life of a typical Chinese family.
Your main tasks will be to teach English to the host kid(s) and take care of them, playing with them, taking them to school or other activities or helping them with homework. Some people aply for this program thinking they'll be going to China just to have fun and visit new places. It's not just that! Remember that you are going to be working (yes, you do get paid!) and you will have to follow a working schedule of up to 30 hours/week. Don't worry though, you will still have time to go out and explore with friends. The Mandarin classes you will have generally twice a week are a good way not only to learn some Chinese, but also to meet new people and make friends, both with locals and westerners.
A big plus is that Chinese families are very warmhearted, they will immediately make you feel welcome and treat you as a family member - which means you will have your duties too - but they will also spoil you as a special guest.
During my stay in Shanghai I was placed with a wonderful host family. Everything went smoothly and I've never had any problem with them. In fact we are still in touch even now that I'm back home and I am going back to visit them next year.
I know other aupairs who, on the other hand, had some issues mainly due to cultural differences, so my advice to Lopair's staff would be that of making it more clear to aupairs as what to expect from the program before they apply, and give a little more support in case of problems or misunderstandings with the family. Other than that, you're all doing a great job planning get-togethers with aupairs and making us feel very welcome in this beautiful country. Keep it up!

How can this program be improved?
Make sure that aupair applicants are very open-minded, patient and really love children, as they will be spending most of the day with them.
Provider Response

Thank you, Michela, for your detailed comments and great suggestion. We are keen on giving all LoPair best support throughout the program duration. We have 24/7 local coordinator service, LoPair mentor assistance and most friendly all team members ready for help all the time. We will make sure we strengthen the culture difference part before au pair's departure and until the end of the program to ensure a great program experience for all LoPair au pairs!

Eleanor
Female
23 years old
England

china

Overall 9

I love being an Au pair, I really enjoy staying with my host family in Beijing and teaching the kids English-even if they aren't always as keen to learn as I am to teach them. The Mandarin classes have been very good, but be prepared to travel quite far to get to them. Overall, I'm really happy with how my China experience has turned out.

Hannah
Female
23 years old
Hangzhou, China
Liverpool Hope University

So far so good...

Overall 8

Where to begin?! I am two months into my 6 month program here with lopair and so far I cannot fault the support they have provided. Every member of staff makes you feel welcome, and are available 24/7 if you need help - even when they're not technically on working hours they will always respond if you need them.

Included in the lopair program are language and culture classes, both of which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. Me and my classmates often have lunch with our teacher (also helpful for reading menus for us, thank you Jora!) and she always listens if we have suggestions or ideas about what we want to learn.

Not only this, but at lopair support is offered for after the program, whether it's to provide references for future careers elsewhere or even assist in helping au pairs search for further work in China. I would recommend this program to anybody who is considering working abroad, as you have the knowledge that a reliable support network is there for you no matter what.

How can this program be improved?
My host mum suggested that the au pairs get ¥50 per month on their travel cards, not just a one-off payment at the beginning of the program!
Sam
Male
23 years old
China, Beijing.
University of Chester

Lopair Review.

Overall 10

As soon as I arrived the Lopair staff were so welcoming and friendly towards me. I am very pleased that their support is available 24/7 if I ever need anything and how they are always looking for way for my stay to be more comfortable.

How can this program be improved?
More organisation towards the cultural activities.
Provider Response

LoPair organize Chinese language class twice a week (120 class hour for six month in total) and Chinese culture class once a month, each time based on one specific Chinese traditional culture, eg. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese food, Chinese calligraphy, etc.

Hayley
Female
31 years old
Jiashan, Zhejiang, China
University of Newcastle

My experience so far (2 months in)

Overall 10

I couldn't have been placed with a better family - they are perfect for me. I like the area I live in, the only thing that could be improved is if there was another au pair living nearby.

The tasks I have to do are taking my child to and from school, then playing games with them after school (in English), talking with them, reading to them, or listening to them read, and making sure she practises piano and does her homework. We also go swimming at weekends.

My highlights are spending time with the child I look after, as she makes me laugh so much and we get on very well. I love it when she runs up to me when I wait for her after school, and sometimes she holds me hand which I think is very sweet. She also says she wants to keep in touch via Skype when I'm gone.

I get on very well with my host parents. My host mum can speak English and she never gives up speaking in English even though it would be easier for her to speak in Chinese and have her child translate. My host dad doesn't speak English, but we still get along just fine. They look after me and they care for me, and I care about them and I care about their child. I'm so happy that I will hopefully be a good memory for them once I leave.

NB - I am yet to complete my 6 month program. I will complete it in March 2015.

How can this program be improved?
Have another au pair living in the same area, or help finding a social event or activity local to me where I may meet people my own age.
Rebecca
Female
23 years old
England
Open University

China: A World Of It's Own

Overall 9

I signed up to the Lo Pair programme looking for a change, and it's exactly what I got. Chinese culture is so vastly different from the western world that everyday is a new adventure. Staying with a host family, as opposed to in a school, or hostel, means that you really get to experience the everyday life here, which is why I enjoy this programme.
The arrangement is fairly simple, you stay with a host family, helping with basic childcare, and introducing them to the English language, and western culture. In return you get bed, board, pocket money, and an unique opportunity to discover China. Which is rapidly overtaking America as the world's biggest superpower. Therefore it's a win win situation for all of the programmes participants.
There is a also good opportunity to travel on this programme. In my free time I've explored both Ningbo and Beijing, whilst my host family have taken me to visit Shanghai, Haikou and Sanya. I find it very interesting how your perspective of a place changes depending on who you go with. I certainly would have never been able to afford the luxury my host family treated me to on our travels. For me a seven star hotel was as alien a concept as China was, so I've certainly had my fair share of experiences here.
One of my favourite, and most surreal, experience was taking part in a Chinese television programme. Through Lo Pair, my host family and I were invited a show called Afternoon tea. It was a long, and bizarre day, but ultimately incredible, getting to be on a TV set. I've never had the opportunity in England, and no body I know can say they've been on Chinese TV. Getting to share that experience with my host siblings was the cherry on the cake. It's something I doubt they'll ever forget.
During my stay I've found the Lo Pair staff helpful and supportive. Due to the language barrier I've had a few communication problems, however they were quickly resolved by the Local co-ordinator. I'm lucky to be placed in the same city as the main office, and whenever I visit there is a friendly welcoming atmosphere. There is always someone to talk to regardless of what issue you may have.
Despite the three day ordination period, which is very insightful and gives you time to get to know other au pairs, I feel more could be down in regards to the culture clash. Many issues that arise from living so close with other people, can be rooted in simply not understanding the other culture. In my mind more culture training should be given to both parties so that they know what to expect. Often Au Pairs expect this programme is like au pairing in the western world, and they need to understand before they start that the Chinese hold very different values. I also feel the host families to be encouraged to communicate more directly what they expect of their Au Pair.
I would strongly advise you read the programmes recommendation for what to pack, as it is very helpful. Personally I'm kicking myself for not bringing a debit card for booking hostels. Other than that though I've always had what I've needed, or been able to find it easily. All placements are in big cities, or close by to them, so finding what you've forgotten is not a problem.
All in all I would certainly recommend this programme for fellow school leavers, or gap year takers. My confidence has boosted by coming here, being able to navigate a strange new place, where I don't know the language has left me feeling ready to take on anything. The educational part of the programme is also effective. I really enjoy my mandarin lessons, and despite the difficulty of the language have made faster progress than I have done with any other language. Plus with China being so up and coming, it's a vital skill to put on your CV.

How can this program be improved?
As mentioned in my review above, the culture clash betwen au pairs and their families requires more preparation for both parties. So that they share the same idea of what they shall recieve from the programme.
Provider Response

You can never be too well prepared for being an au pair in China. What you can get from it is also vast. Becky also contributed a few blogs on LoPair website after returning to England, hopefully, this would be helpful to all future au pairs who determine to set off to an adventure in China!

Julian
Male
23 years old
Zhuji, Zhejiang Province, China

I love LoPair especially Farrah ,

Overall 10

The Au-Pair program is great to finally grow up and become independent. You learn how to deal with a new culture and also language.
The local coordinator also helps with problems, not only with the family. For example one day I missed my bus back to my hometown and it was my second week in China. Fortunately I could call LoPair for help and they booked a new ticket for me.
Of course it is difficult to get use to a new culture especially the chinese culture, but after a time if you keep learning and observe the culture you will start to like it.
I never regret my decision to go to China and if I had more time I would stay longer.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe change the offday of all Au-Pairs on one day so they can meet each other.
Provider Response

Thank you Julian for you comment! Still remember the first day you arrived here. You have to come back, both your family and LoPair team miss you so much!

About The Provider

LoPair, based in Hangzhou, is proud to be the 1st Chinese au pair company that wins the Au Pair of the Year Runner-up Award at 2014 annual campaign run by International Au Pair Association. We place au pairs from worldwide with host families in 10+ major Chinese cities.

LoPair aims to create extraordinary experiences for au pairs. Our unique services include a 3-day group arrival orientation in Hangzhou, reinforced educational settings such as the weekly mandarin classes, monthly cultural courses as well as Local Coordinator activities. We support our au pairs thru our Local Coordinator, LoPair Mentor and Education Advisor projects, through which au pairs receive individual attention and care throughout the entire program duration.

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LoPair Au Pair China Cultural Exchange Program

Staff Interviews