Wanderlust Au Pair China Program

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About

Wanderlust Au Pair China Program integrates educational travel, Mandarin learning, childcare and English tutoring together for overseas youngsters to experience China with an authentic touch by staying with Chinese host families.

By offering 30 hours of live-in childcare and English teaching per week, you have an opportunity to explore Chinese culture through weekly Mandarin classes, culture immersion activities held by Wanderlust and your day-to-day colorful life with your host family.

We are culture enthusiasts, we love different languages, we love the tenderness in your eyes when you see children's smile. Fundamentally, we love what we do: helping you go through an off-beat experience that could potentially change your life.

Find your second home in China!

Program fee: 0 $

Highlights
  • Experience authentic Chinese culture through living with a host family!
  • Flight stipend up to 1800 USD
  • Mandarin course paid by your host family
  • Monthly culture activities
  • Find your second home in China!

Questions & Answers

Hello Joanna, Thank you for your question and interest in Wanderlust Au Pair China Program. I would like to answer your questions in three aspects: how au pairs can get ready for their trip to China; what support they will have from Wanderlust; what's to be expected of your daily life with the host family. In regards to how au pairs can get themselves prepared for the trip to China, here are some...

Reviews

91%
based on 28 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.6
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 28
Default avatar
Cheng
9/10

3 Months in Beijing

In my final weeks as an Au Pair, I now look back and realize how quickly 3 months has went by and how much I have experienced during my time in Beijing. It is true when they say time passes quickly when you are having fun, and I felt that was the case here.

I enrolled in this program with the intention of improving my Chinese while gaining more experience teaching English, and I can say I have accomplished both of these tasks.I found the Mandarin classes to be extremely helpful in navigating through daily tasks, as the textbook introduced many practical situations that were relevant to the outside world. For me my class was one on one with my teacher who was very informative in teaching me about the Chinese culture and clarifying how to say phrases or words that I was curious about in Chinese.

The highlight of the program would have to be the opportunity to live with a host family, who made me feel at home, provided me with my own room and the most delicious three meals of Chinese food every single day. I was always hesitant of eating outside because I was afraid of missing out on the delicious homemade dishes from the host chefs. After three months, I can confidently say the names of many food ingredients, sauces, and dishes in Chinese, where if I were to go buy ingredients in a supermarket I would be able to communicate what I need in Chinese.

Living under the same roof as the host kids does create a more intimate relationship, as I felt more like an older brother rather than an English tutor. My three host kids, a 5 year old girl, 3 year old boy, and 1.5 year old boy are absolutely adorable, each with their own distinct personalities and traits. Although initially trying to get the kids to focus and follow directions is an incredibly big challenge, once they warmed up to me, then it becomes all fun and games! Everyday was a new learning opportunity, as I often found myself experimenting with different activities to keep the kids motivated and engaged. I actually thought the learning experience was mutual, where even though I taught the kids English, I also learned a lot of Chinese just from the daily interactions with the kids.

As far as support goes, the WAC staff is incredibly helpful in offering their support in any problems you may encounter, whether it is with renewing visas or adding additional Mandarin classes. The cultural activities they plan were extremely enjoyable, as it gives an opportunity to meet other Au Pairs and introduce another aspect of Chinese culture!

Overall, this has been an enjoyable and eye opening experience and I highly recommend it if you enjoy working with kids and are looking for an opportunity to learn more about the Chinese culture while living with a host family!

How can this program be improved?
More opportunities to connect with other Au Pairs like possibly additional cultural activities each month.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Cheng,

Thank you so much for sharing your story here! It is such a delight to know that you enjoyed a great time in China and most importantly, both of your intentions have been accomplished through this adventure. We are also so proud of you for your great progress in Mandarin learning and feel happy for you for your lovely time with the host family too.

You have done such a wonderful work both for yourself and the Chinese family. It is also a great pleasure for us to have you au paired with us and the days being with you means as much to us as it does to you.
Thanks again for choosing Wanderlust Exchange! We wish you all the best!

Best regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Yes, I recommend this program
Sheridan
10/10

An INCREDIBLE three months!

I've spent 3 months as an au pair with a lovely family in Shanghai.
From the moment I arrived I was treated like family and made to feel extremely welcome.
My family were very flexible and I had an abundance of free time to relax or venture into the city centre, however I frequently chose to spend my free time with them as I enjoyed their company. My two host boys, 4 and 9 years old, were gorgeous. Playing with them was no trouble at all, but getting them interested in practicing their English wasn't an easy task. My living standards throughout were incredible, my host family's house was beautiful and I had my own room and bathroom. They also took me on holiday with them for 1 month in Northern China, which was of course incredible. Living with a host family is definitely the best way to truly immerse in the culture, as you simply can't escape it- the food, language, mannerisms, traditions. Hazel and Lisa from Wanderlust were always fast and effective to respond anytime I needed assistance. Their monthly cultural activities were great, and offered a great platform to meet the other au pairs. I chose to take my mandarin classes online as we went on holiday for so long, so I can't vouch for the quality of the used language school, but I can certainly say that if you want to learn Chinese this is a fantastic way to do it. After learning Chinese for only 3 months in China, I can now have conversations with locals. Overall, my experience au pairing with Wanderlust has been impeccable. I have learnt so much, more than I could ever have learnt in a classroom. It has felt like one big family holiday. I'm grateful beyond words for these 3 months I've had in China!

How can this program be improved?
The cultural activities were great, would love to have had even more!
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Sheridan,

We are SO delighted to hear from you here, knowing that you enjoyed a wonderful time in China! We feel happy for you having so much fabulous adventure with your host family and It is also good to know that you have made such a great progress in Chinese.

It is such a pleasure for us to have you as one of our au pairs. We wish you all the best on your future adventure!

Best regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Massimo
9/10

Baby's home teaching experience.

I had a priceless experience with Daisy, Min and the amazing kids of Shanghai's Baby Home. I will never forget the amazing people I met. More than anything I feel extremely grateful to have gotten the chance to meet these children and the staff. This experience will definitely shape my future life and has made me eternally grateful for everything I had growing up. I had a lot of fun with the kids and other volunteers while I was there and I would definitely recommend this experience.

Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Massimo,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. We are so delighted that you had a great time volunteering in Shanghai’s Baby Home. We believe children there enjoyed the time with you as much as you do. Your efforts have lit up their life.

It is a great pleasure to have you as one of our volunteers!

All the best,

Wanderlust Exchange

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Ed
10/10

Very rewarding and challenging (in a good way!)

Picking my bag up from the bag carousel in Pudong airport and heading towards the arrivals hall, I was very much unsure what to expect about my 3 months in China with Wanderlust Exchange. It was my first time in mainland China – and the first day of my new life in China. A new job, family, language, city, country and culture awaited me the other side of the sliding doors.

With my time in Shanghai nearly finished, it is only now that I realise how much I have experienced and seen in the last few months. In my first few days, I saw much of Shanghai with Lisa, Wanderlust’s brilliant and very lovely intern, on the orientation course. Seeing many of the major sights (the Bund, Peoples’ Square, and the Pudong skyline) and the inner city with someone a bit more native to the place than myself helped me feel far more comfortable with the sheer scale of the city. Even though I have visited many of the world’s most influential cities (London, Paris, New York), none of them could quite prepare me for the size of Shanghai, which has roughly 3 times more people than London! Therefore being able to explore with someone who spoke the local language and could explain many of the customs and traditions was invaluable – and the continued support of Wanderlust has meant that slowly but surely I have begun to understand more and more of this huge city and this historic country, although I will be the first to admit I have only scraped the surface.

The monthly cultural activities arranged by the agency for all the au-pairs have also been great for discovering more of China – we have all had a great time bonding over our various abortive attempts at the venerable art of Chinese calligraphy, as well as our unique contributions to the Shanghai paper cutting tradition. These activities have not only been great for learning about Chinese culture, but also for bonding with the other au-pairs from around the world over our shared experiences and challenges of life in China – in the process not only learning about China, but about places all over the world. Both during these cultural activities and in our spare time it has been great to meet so many of the au-pairs and form such a close community with them. Sometimes it’s good just to be able to talk to someone with a Western accent!

Not only have Wanderlust and the other au-pairs been very good and supportive throughout my whole stay, I have also been very lucky to have been matched with such a great host family. My host family are a family of 5 (two parents, two children, and Grandma), and they have been brilliant to me – treating me as if I was one of their family and including me in a plethora of family activities. We have visited historic sites across China, including an unforgettable week in Guizhou Province on the western side of China seeing how different inland China is to Shanghai and the coastal cities. They have introduced me to many of their friends, classmates, and extended family members at many outings, and it has been great to be able to meet so many people and discover all about Chinese culture and society in this way – over many delicious meals and glasses of Chinese firewater. My favourite memories of my time with them include visiting a traditional Chinese spa in the heart of Shanghai, going to a family birthday party for one of their 1 year old nephews, singing karaoke together after a family barbecue, and celebrating the eldest daughter’s admission into university over a meal with many of the parents’ friends and classmates. These occasions have all been great fun, and are very good for seeing “living” Chinese culture. My host family have really gone out of their way to make me feel part of the family and to show me all parts of Chinese culture, and I am sure I have formed relationships with them that will last far longer than the remaining weeks I have here.

Teaching the 2 children English has been incredibly rewarding, a lot of fun as well as a good challenge. We have covered all sorts of things, from helping coach the eldest daughter successfully through the IELTS test for university admission to a top Western university to discussing British history and sports with the younger child. The variety of things that we have talked about has been really interesting, and has definitely kept me on my toes! The proudest moment of it all was seeing the daughter leave for university in the West, having achieved the IELTS grade needed and being far more confident in her English and understanding of Western culture as a result of all that we had discussed.

As her English improved, so did my Chinese! Twice weekly lessons at the Mandarin Garden School have been an integral part of my time in Shanghai, and they have been really useful for helping me develop some basic Chinese skills. Mandarin is as different to English as could be imagined, but it has been great fun trying to tackle it as a result. I am still very much a novice, but the Chinese lessons have been something that has really made my time in China as fun as it has been, and I definitely feel a lot more confident interacting with locals and going about the city as a result. The lessons are only a small part of your life as an au-pair in terms of time spent, but they have really made my time in Shanghai many times more enjoyable, and they have given me knowledge and skills that will be helpful in the future.

All in all, it has been a really rewarding experience to spend 3 months in China with Wanderlust Exchange. It has not been easy, and at times has required a lot of determination and mental strength - as is to be expected when moving to a new country to start a demanding job like an au-pair – but I am definitely very glad that I have persevered. This is definitely not a holiday program though - it is extremely rewarding but you you have to work hard! If you are looking for something relaxed I'd say go sit on the beach in Bali, but if you're looking for something a bit more fulfilling this is definitely for you I have a great time and although I will be ready to return home and see my family when the time comes, I will certainly miss Shanghai and think of my 3 months here with fondness for a long time to come. Thank you Wanderlust Exchange!

Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Ed,

Thank you so much for sharing your story here!

We are so glad to know that you enjoyed your 3 months in China and more importantly, it was a meaningful journey for you to explore China and its culture. As you said, there can be challenges but we do see what a wonderful work you had done and such an achievement you made to improve the elder sister’s English. It is also glad to know that your Chinese has progressed at the same time.

It is also a great pleasure for us to have you au paired with us and the days being with you means as much to us as it does to you.

We would like to thank you as well and wish you all the best!

Best regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Aleksander
9/10

Great company with massive help. Highly reccomend

Great company with massive help. Highly reccomend. Always provided help when needed within couple of minutes or hours. Very friendly stuff and great host families. Allowed me to get insight into the real China and meet a myriad of wonderfull people. Very unique experience with a big impact on my life. Useful tip: research places you want to visit before actually flying here and maybe even learn some basic Mandarin

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Joanna
9/10

Where have the past two months gone?

I am just about to complete two out of my three-month stay here in Beijing. Where has time honestly gone? So far, I have felt welcomed into a family with cultures far different from my own. I am teaching three kids who at the beginning were very shy, however now are so talkative and full of ideas that our lessons usually tend to overrun. One major difficulty I found was the language barrier, as many people here don't speak much English however with an adequate translator app, it was no longer a problem. Another was taxi fares - they can easily sniff out a foreigner and when they do, they'll triple your fair (I was charged 200 yuan for a 30 yuan fair). At times, I felt uncomfortable around taxi drivers so make sure to download Didi, which is the trustworthy Chinese equivalent to Uber.

My host family have been so wonderful and have even taken me on holiday to Guiyang, Xishuangbanna and Kunming. This programme is truly the cheapest way to experience the authentic taste of Chinese culture and living with a family speaking predominantly mandarin helps pick up the language a little easier too. However, while other au pairs weren't set one, I was given a curfew of 9pm, which I felt was quite restricting especially when trying to experience the nightlife here, so it's best to deliberate this if you're given one. The support given by the WAC team has been great too, more specifically from my coordinator Lizzie who has helped me out with countless of things - they are great to rely on when you need a rapid response or someone to talk you through the ins and outs of Beijing.

Before considering this programme, it's best to decide which age you'd prefer to tutor as kids of various ages learn at different speeds so decide beforehand which is best suited for you. It is also best to know that your working hours will be incredibly flexible so if you’re good at adapting to constantly changing routines then this is great for you. I would with no doubt suggest sending over an application if you’re willing to experience authentic Chinese culture at relatively low costs.

How can this program be improved?
more cultural activities - perhaps twice a month.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Joanna
10/10

Where have the past two months gone?

I am just about to complete two out of my three-month stay here in Beijing. Where has time honestly gone? So far, I have felt welcomed into a family with cultures far different from my own. I am teaching three kids who at the beginning were very shy, however now are so talkative and full of ideas that our lessons usually tend to overrun. One major difficulty I found was the language barrier, as many people here don't speak much English however with an adequate translator app, it was no longer a problem. Another was taxi fares - they can easily sniff out a foreigner and when they do, they'll triple your fair (I was charged 200 yuan for a 30 yuan fair). At times, I felt uncomfortable around taxi drivers so make sure to download Didi, which is the trustworthy Chinese equivalent to Uber.

My host family have been so wonderful and have even taken me on holiday to Guiyang, Xishuangbanna and Kunming. This programme is truly the cheapest way to experience the authentic taste of Chinese culture and living with a family speaking predominantly mandarin helps pick up the language a little easier too. However, while other au pairs weren't set one, I was given a curfew of 9pm, which I felt was quite restricting especially when trying to experience the nightlife here, so it's best to deliberate this if you're given one. The support given by the WAC team has been great too, more specifically from my coordinator Lizzie who has helped me out with countless of things - they are great to rely on when you need a rapid response or someone to talk you through the ins and outs of Beijing.

Before considering this programme, it's best to decide which age you'd prefer to tutor as kids of various ages learn at different speeds so decide beforehand which is best suited for you. It is also best to know that your working hours will be incredibly flexible so if you’re good at adapting to constantly changing routines then this is great for you. I would with no doubt suggest sending over an application if you’re willing to experience authentic Chinese culture at relatively low costs.

How can this program be improved?
more cultural activities could be set - perhaps twice a month rather than one.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Joanna,

It is such an enjoyment to read your story here. We are glad that you have been doing well for the last two months. And thanks for telling us the difficulties you have confronted, which is invaluable for us to make improvement for this program. We are also appreciated the suggestions you mentioned for potential applicants.

Hope you will enjoy the rest of your time in China. Any time you need help, you are always welcomed to reach out to us, as we are always here to help.

Best regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Liam
9/10

Au pairing Review 6 months

I have spent the past 4 months au pairing in Shanghai with a family with two boys, age 12 and 1, there has been some challenges during my time here but the experience is one that I am happy I have decided to take. From the moment I landed in Shanghai my family made me feel at home and nothing changed about that. Although I had my own room this is not a private space, as the children would often come in as they pleased but this was more out of curiosity in what I was doing rather than an invasion.
Even with a great welcoming the word overwhelming is the best way to describe my first few weeks. Facing crowds of people and a language I do not understand every day, it was difficult to find my place in this large city. Once I started going to mandarin classes and meeting new people I began finding my way around the city better, even though it took a while to get use to the amount people it did not change my outlook on this wonderful city and how much there is to do and see.
The Chinese culture is one of the oldest and most unique in the world and there is no way to better experience it than living with a family. I’ve learnt so much of the Chinese culture and how it has changed from when the parents were younger until now, and what my child’s views on it are. Learning about the culture has been one of the most interesting parts about my stay here in Shanghai as it has opened my mind to my own culture back home and what I can do to improve it and better my own future.
When it comes to teaching English and helping to improve the language being flexible is definitely important. I found myself trying to teach and practise English at many different times and not sticking to a usual schedule, as my child does a lot of extra activities that take up his time. Whether it is in the car, at the dinner table or out doing activities always take the opportunity to try and practise or teach English as it important to show them how they can use the language anywhere if they need to. The challenging moments were trying to get their attention and making it interesting for them because if they feel like they can’t take part they do not focus and take in all the information. Building a relationship that is more like an older sibling than teacher has had its advantages, it makes it easier to communicate and develop the language.
Being an Au pair has also given me the chance to explore Shanghai, and it is clear to see why it is one most popular cities in the world. With the monthly spending money I receive it was easy to see most of what this city has to offer, from the Chinese street markets to the many different shopping malls. The city metro is very trustworthy and safe, although at times it can get overcrowded it is the best and cheapest way to get around. Shanghai is the most western Chinese city but is still unlike any other western city and is a great way to be introduced to the Chinese lifestyle and can lead you to wanting to see more Chinese cities like Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou or Xi’an. I am happy that I got to see some part of the large country that is China in my short time here and it has left me wanting to see more as it is defiantly a country worth traveling.
My time here has been unforgettable and I am very fortunate that I have had the opportunity, which most people won’t get, to come and see this beautiful country and be able to help a family improve their English, and in exchange they made me feel part of their own family, that is completely different from my own, but still felt like a home away from home.

How can this program be improved?
Suggestive visiting locations and activities to do in spare time.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Liam,

Thank you so much for sharing your story here! We are so glad to know that you enjoyed a great time in China and most importantly, this cultural adventure is meaningful to you. As you said, it can be challenging at the beginning, but we do see what a wonderful work you had done and the friendship you have with the Chinese host family is just the proof of your effort.

It is also a great pleasure for us to have you au paired with us and the days being with you means as much to us as it does to you.

Thanks again for au pairing with Wanderlust Exchange! We wish you all the best!

Best regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Nick
10/10

Fantastic Au Pair Experience in China

If you're interested in au pairing in China, I this is a program you need to seriously consider. All of my expectations have been exceeded and it has been an amazing experience all round.
From my first contact with anyone from Wanderlust Au Pair China I have been impressed by friendly staff that is always willing to help and answer the many, many, many questions you are sure to have about a program that takes you overseas. The continued support throughout the program is great, from the airport pickup to answering questions about places to go, anything really, you have someone you can ask. The cultural activities have given me a further insight into the culture and traditions of China and I have enjoyed them thoroughly. The Mandarin lessons have helped me to communicate with people in China, albeit a challenge, and have given me a deeper understanding of the spoken language you will hear all around you. Wanderlust Au Pair China is dedicated to filling your needs and finding a family that matches you well for a better experience for both you and the family you will be staying with. Overall, a fantastic program.
Au pairing in a foreign country will give you life experience, no doubt - but the agency you use is what improves the experience practically. Wanderlust Au Pair China has not disappointed me once and I am sure if you chose this program, you will have the same wonderful experience.

Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Nick,

It is a great pleasure to know that you enjoyed au pairing with Wanderlust Exchange! We are so glad to know that this journey in China had been a meaningful experience to you.

Thanks for au pairing with us and we wish you all the best!

Best regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Megan
9/10

A great experience

The decision to up and go to China for these past months was as difficult as it was easy. I can honestly say that I do not regret it, and would recommend others to take the leap into a different culture.I had some initial anxieties about trusting a program I had found online, but the WAC team turned out not only to be legitimate, but very friendly and helpful. I had a great experience, complete with ups and downs, and a lot of learning!

How can this program be improved?
More cultural activities would be wonderful, as I enjoyed getting together with the other au pairs and doing something I may not have been able to organize myself.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Peggy
8/10

Shanghai Au Pairing Experience Review

I have been lucky enough to get exactly what I wanted from my Au Pair experience. For me this was a family living centrally in a large, vibrant city that I could explore, and living with a welcoming, friendly Chinese host family. I had hoped to find in Shanghai a city brimming with Chinese culture that also managed to be ‘tourist-friendly’ – I haven’t been disappointed. I’m lucky enough to live 3 metro stations from the city center, so it’s incredibly easy to explore whenever I have a free moment. I’ve also managed to have a lot of fun with the children I look after, whilst still (I hope) improving their spoken English. The host family I was matched with have been wonderfully kind and hospitable. Whilst I can’t guarantee every family would show every Au Pair the same warmth, if you take the necessary time to find one suited to you, you should get along just fine.

Of course, there were some rough patches as I adjusted to a new lifestyle and culture. When I arrived I had never been to Asia at all, and found some of the cultural norms very strange – for example the constant spitting in the streets. It also took time for me to adjust to spoken Chinese, which can come across as aggressive or impolite when you’re not used to its sound. I recognized the familiar symptoms of culture shock in my first few weeks. At first I was delighted with everything new, and was in a constant state of excitement and adrenaline. When this wore off after a few weeks I felt homesick and craved something from familiar; I bought anything I recognized in the supermarkets (which was very little) and called my family as much as I could. However, this melancholy stage passed as I grew accustomed to the culture and my host family and routine.

The Wanderlust Exchange agency have been a great source of support, simply knowing there is someone in your corner in case things go wrong is very comforting. It was brilliant to have a personal tour guide when I arrived, and the company representative took me sight-seeing. This also meant I had at least one friend when I got here. Additionally, for many Au Pairs who have issues they feel they can’t raise directly with their host parents, the agency acts as a go between and helps to smooth things over.

In terms of my personal experience with a Chinese family, I’ve been welcomed into a bustling and affectionate household where I do really feel a part of things. The family’s domestic lives have given me a glimpse of Chinese values, and the importance that’s placed on relationships and looking out for each other here. Living with a Chinese family shows you so much more than you would learn simply as a voyeur, viewing the sights. Additionally, it feels more worthwhile to be part of a cultural exchange; by teaching the children English and sharing a different culture with them you give something back, rather than simply harvesting what cultural knowledge you can from the country.

I have accompanied the family on many day trips and activities and have been taken to countless exciting restaurants where my host parent taught me about local cuisine. Perhaps my favorite part of this experience has been experiencing the multitude of new foods this country has to offer. I eat delicious, homemade meals that are different every day. Even the act of eating dinner with a Chinese family has taught me about the culture here; the communal, sharing dishes emphasize the importance of collectivity. This differs significantly to the Western tradition of having your own plate.

As for Shanghai itself, the city is a brilliant patchwork of the extremely modern and the traditional. It contains enough quintessentially ‘Chinese’ architecture to satisfy the romantic tourist, whilst remaining a fast-paced and convenient city. It has a thrilling and infectious energy. I think Shanghai was a perfect starting point for me, and I feel brave enough to now explore an older and more traditional part of China.

I would whole heartedly recommend the Shanghai Au pairing experience, for me it has given me an environment where I can be both comfortable, safe and well looked after, whilst simultaneously being immersed in a new and vastly different culture to my own. I don’t deny that I have been lucky with my family. I’d urge future au pairs to take their time and search for a family that you will get along with and that will help you have your desired experience. As long as you choose a match carefully you’ll have an incredible time.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sarah
10/10

Trustworthy Company

REVIEW FOR WANDERLUST
I chose to au pair with Wanderlust because of the great reviews it has, and the company did not disappoint me. Wanderlust deserves a 10/10 for its great support. It is intimidating and a little frightening to fly to a country all alone, but Hazel greeted me at the airport and made sure all of my needs were met. She always replied to messages on Wechat and truly wanted to help me have the best experience possible. If you are unsure if you can put your faith in Wanderlust, I will tell you that you wholeheartedly can. Some things Hazel did to help me feel comfortable during my stay:
- answered logistical questions about living in China (using the subway, visa questions, etc.)
- checked in on how I was personally feeling
- was always responsive and timely
- acted as a translator between me and my host family to clarify some initial concerns
- gave me the contacts of other au pairs with whom I could talk

REVIEW OF AND TIPS FOR AU PAIRING
I could write a ten-page essay about au pairing. Instead, I will tell you some questions it is important to ask your host family before committing to them, so you can get a sense of what au pairing is like.
- what time does your kid go to bed?
Kids who do not sleep enough are cranky, and a late bedtime, especially for a young kid, could be an indication that your host family likes to overwork their child. (hint: this means you will be overworked too if you au pair for them)
- how much TV does your kid watch?
A lot of TV can be a bad sign, although some families are just very relaxed and let their kids watch TV when they want. Use your intuition.
- how do you discipline your kid?
Every kid misbehaves. Every single kid. Therefore, every parent must discipline.
- what activities is your kid involved in?
- what time does your kid wake up?
- what do you do on a normal weekend?
- who is currently living at the house with you?
Some au pairs arrive in China to find a completely different family dynamic and living situation than what was represented.
- is your kid a BOY or a GIRL?
No, don't actually ask this question to the family. This is a question for you. I will not get into a nature vs. nurture argument about differences between the sexes. What matters is that boys and girls act differently, especially in China with stricter gender roles than in the west. Boys tend to be more out of control and held less accountable for their actions. This is not a hard and fast rule, but please be aware of it!
There are a lot more questions to ask, but this is just a start! Good luck with your au pairing experience!

How can this program be improved?
Group Chinese classes in Beijing instead of private online classes. I took a private online Chinese course. My host family did not really respect the time I needed to be home to log onto Chinese class, so I missed a lot of lessons as well as the chance to meet other students and form a closer relationship with my Chinese teacher.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Sarah,

It's great to know that you consider receiving sufficient support from Wanderlust! We always think that we could do better and provide the best support possible!

Thank you so much for your suggestions for applicants when they conduct family interviews, which are very helpful and we could write a guide about that.

About Mandarin classes, yes, the online classes arrangement are mostly because of some host families live really far away from the city center. However, offline small group class is indeed the best option and we have this arrangement for our au pairs from now on.

Thank you so much for your kind review. It's been a great pleasure to see you in China and hear those amazing moments you had with your host family and in Beijing!

Warm regards,
Wanderlust Team

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Pam
9/10

Wanderlust Au Pair China Program

I decided to become an au pair in China because I wanted to experience Chinese culture in the most authentic way I knew. The program most definitely did not disappoint and I’m glad I took it on. Living with a host family was a fantastic way of gaining in-depth insight into Chinese traditions and the society as a whole.

I received great hospitality from the host family. They were incredibly generous, making sure I was fed properly and gave me whatever I needed. The host family made sure I felt at home and comfortable at all times. I felt like I was a part of their family as they included me in their weekend excursions and holidays.
One highlight was Chinese New Year where we flew to their hometown. From the food, fireworks and extended family gatherings… it was just amazing!

No one day was the same, it definitely was no easy sailing. There will be highs and lows with your host child which I believe is totally normal as it is in a child’s nature to act in such way.
Attempting to discipline host child was one of the most difficult tasks I had to face, so do prepare yourself for behavioural challenges. Despite the challenges, the good most definitely out-weighed the bad. Spending time with my host child was fun and heart-warming at most times.

As time went by, transitioning into Shanghai life got easier. It is a very Western city where most amenities are accessible and many things made convenient. Not long since arriving, I had a familiarized daily routine and settled in well.

The language barrier was the toughest challenge of all. Although, the language classes eased off those worries and I was lucky enough to store in the basics. Chinese is not an easy language to learn. But it is incredibly rewarding knowing the basics.
Another point I want to make, as difficult as language class was, I still enjoyed attending them. I made wonderful friends with the other students as well as the teacher. They made the class so much more vibrant and animated!

I want to mention my full appreciation to the Wanderlust team for their extremely helpful service and support. All queries and requests were met in the appropriate manner. I would also like to mention how I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural activities organized by Wanderlust for the au pairs to engage in.

To wrap up, au pairing is more than just a job, it takes a lot of emotional strength as it requires the au pair to truly care for the child. Au pairing is rewarding because you learn from the host child as much as they learn from you. Au pairing is a life-changing experience not only for the au pair but also for the host child – you will have a massive impact on their life, they will remember you not as someone who taught or played with them in English, you will be remembered as their friend. Au pairing will leave you with many memories and moments. Most importantly, the experience will gain you a life-long friend.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ria
9/10

Being an au pair in Shanghai

I still remember the day, when I arrived in Shanghai, tired and nervous about meeting my new host family. But even before I entered their flat, I heard a young girl jumping around inside, saying that she ‚likes teacher‘, this was the beginning of a wonderful experience in Shanghai.
During my time with them, I made more memories like these, memories, that make me smile, whenever I think of them.
My host family was truly welcoming, they showed me around and included me in family activities. I really enjoyed my time with them and it was great to see my host kid’s English improving every day.

Sure, being an au pair is not always easy, even with a great family there are ups and downs. My host child and I regularly got in small quarrels with each other, but that’s normal, isn’t it? Even with your own family, you’ll get in quarrels from time to time and you still like each other.

In my opinion Wanderlust is a reliable agency, that will support you during your time as an au pair.
When you arrive in China, you’ll have orientation days, which helps a lot as you’ll learn about the host family’s expectations, cultural differences and you’ll go Sightseeing.

I’m truly thankful, that I had the chance to come to Shanghai and to live with a wonderful host family.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Madison
8/10

China Au Pair program

I had a great time as an au pair in Shanghai! This program is a great opportunity to see and experience Chinese culture. I stayed for 6 months in Shanghai with 2 different host families. Both families were very kind and welcoming, and understanding to are cultural differences and helped with the ease into life in China. The majority of my work with the family revolved around playing with the kids and speaking to them in English, mainly focusing on immersing the kids into an english environment while occasionally giving structured english lessons. All families are different though and may hold different expectations of the au pair. Hazel is a great friendly person, always ready to help if it's needed. Throughout my experience I felt very supported by wanderlust and new I could message Hazel at any moment if anything was to go wrong. Overall, being an au pair in China is definitely a challenging situation with a big shock in culture and sometimes having tricky kids but the experience is definitely worth it!

How can this program be improved?
better communication of what the family expects before the au pair arrives to the family. both the au pair and family should be on the same page of what is expected when they join the household
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Wanderlust Exchange

Wanderlust Exchange programs integrate educational travel, Mandarin learning, childcare and English tutoring together for overseas youngsters to experience China with an authentic touch by staying with Chinese host families.

We love culture exchange,...