• China
    • Shanghai
    • Beijing
    • Hangzhou
    • Ningbo
    • Shenzhen
52+ weeks
General grants/scholarships, Work exchange

Program Details

Academic Year Fall Spring Summer Winter Year Round
Host Family
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Price Details
You do not pay any program fee, but you will be in charge of your own flights (however, flights stipend will be offered during your stay).

Program time span: 3-12 months
You give: 30 hours of childcare&English tutoring per week
You get: 2000 RMB pocket money/month
You get: Up to 12000 RMB as ticket stipend
You get: 8-10 hours of Mandarin classes/week
You get: Monthly culture activities
You get: 1.5 days off/week
You get: Medical insurance
You get: visa application fee&renewal reimbursement
Program fee: $0
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Meals Tour Guide Travel Insurance Visa Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

* Mandarin classes
* Culture activities
* Medical insurance
* 24/7 support
* Orientation and sightseeing tour
* Airport pick-up

Jan 18, 2024
May 16, 2024
84 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

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 $

Video and Photos


Ethical Impact

This volunteer program gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of deserving children. Additionally, you will also have the opportunity to explore one of the most modern and exciting cities in China - Shanghai. As a volunteer, you will be stationed at an orphanage that is located in a children’s hospital. Children residing in this orphanage often arrive from other orphanages in more rural areas of China to receive better medical treatment. With your commitment, love, and care you have the chance to make a difference in their recovery.

Program 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
  • Scholarship up to 1300 USD for TEFL certified participants!

Program Reviews

4.82 Rating
based on 87 reviews
  • 5 rating 81.61%
  • 4 rating 18.39%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.9
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.55
  • Value 4.75
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 87 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

I did a 3 months experience in China as an au pair for a family in Wuhan. It has been an amazing experience! The family was lovely and the agency gave me a lot of support especially during the first period of the stay.
In the experience is also included a very useful language course that really adapts to everyone needs, personally I used it to prepare some of my university exams.
I would 100% recommend this experience to everyone who is deciding whether to do it or not. I think it is an experience that everyone should try at least once!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most difficult moment I had was in the first weeks of my stay. Since Wuhan is not a popular city among foreigners I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find friends. Fortunately things also to the social media and to my host mom I found a lot of wonderful friends.
  • Language course
  • Lovely family
  • A lot of fun
  • Can feel a little lonely during the first period
8 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Wanderlust Exchange AU Pair experience

After spending 6 months in Shanghai as an AU pair, I have gained lots of experience and interesting stories to tell.
Upon arriving in Shanghai I was greeted by a welcoming family and a comfortable living environment. My host family was extremely generous and kind. I do have to say, there was a huge cultural shock as the values and mindset are very different. I have been to many parts of the world but China gave me the biggest culture shock. On the other hand, if you are an adventure-seeking individual this is for you and could be the experience of your lifetime. After a few weeks, I got used to my new environment and was enjoying most aspects of my stay. Being immersed in the beautiful Mandarin language was the most unique part of the trip. If you have a love for languages I highly recommend this program, as there is no better way to learn Mandarin than to stay with a native family and practice every day.
The staff at Wanderlust Exchange were all very helpful. Any question I had got answered almost immediately. I also found myself writing to them late at night(as most of the day was busy) and they still gave me an answer the same day. Moreover, they organize regular cultural events to help the AU pairs settle in, find friends, and just enjoy their stay in general.
Overall, I highly recommend this program if you are an extroverted and thrill-seeking person looking for an adventure. If you love stepping out of your comfort zone or would like to try for the first time this is a great starting point for you. It all boils down to what you are looking for in life. Nevertheless, I'm sure most people can find many benefits with this program, and hey, what better place to start than China?

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
While visiting the Chinese countryside I ate many unfamiliar things. Some of the most unique things included: Hedgehog, river snail, fish eye, duck blood, turtle.
  • Learning Mandarin
  • Meeting interesting people
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone
  • Culture shock related stress
  • Upset stomach after some meals
  • Home sickness
21 people found this review helpful.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Kris,

Thank you so much for sharing your detailed review of your time in Shanghai with us. We're thrilled to hear that our team at Wanderlust Exchange was able to support you throughout your journey, providing timely assistance and organizing cultural events to enrich your experience further.

Thank you again for sharing your feedback with us. We're delighted that you had such a positive experience, and we wish you all the best in your future adventures!

Warm regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program

I want to say thank you so so much to Wanderlust for running their au pair program and making it possible for me to fulfill my dream of coming to China. More so, I want to thank my amazing host family for making it an unbelievably amazing experience and for all of the lovely times we had together. I am so thankful for their kindness and hospitality. I have had an enriching time here in China. I learned about Chinese culture and cuisine, made so many funny memories together, and had a fun time with my host kids. I would definitely recommend this program if you are interested this type of work/ exchange program!

26 people found this review helpful.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Katherine,

Thank you for your heartfelt review. It's messages like yours that truly make our work fulfilling.
We're thrilled to hear that your dream of coming to China was realized through our au pair program. Thank you for recommending our program to others who may be interested in this type of program!

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Warm regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Fatimoh Ozavize
Yes, I recommend this program


I had so much fun from exploring the aesthetic view of the host family province, to trying different Chinese meals and also having a nice time with the family. The program helped me to gain more knowledge on Chinese language. I explored the Chinese traditional dragon boat festival and how the family gathers and eat different kinds of meal on that period. During the festival I was told Chinese family bonds more at this time. It helped me to be more flexible and making new friends among my Chinese language class colleagues.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The unfamiliar meal I ate was the Chinese zhongzi, dumplings and wonton. As a picky eater I did enjoyed myself.
  • Learning Chinese language
  • Learning Chinese culture and history
  • Interacting better with kids and individuals
  • Adjusting to some certain Chinese culture
  • Adjusting to the meal
  • Getting to know the Childs better. Sometimes kids are had to relate with but the mother was always there to help.
24 people found this review helpful.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Fatimoh,

Thank you for sharing your fantastic experience with us! It sounds like you had an incredible time!
It's wonderful to hear that the program helped you gain more knowledge of the Chinese language and cultures. We appreciate your participation and are delighted to have been part of your journey. We wish you all the best in your future adventures!

Warm regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My journey in Beijing

大家好! I am Sofia and I have spent the last 6 months as an au pair in Beijing. This was one of the best experiences of my life, it helped me grow as a person, I met people from all over the world and I made very good friends. I improved my Chinese skills a lot thanks to the Chinese classes I attended and the school environment was awesome. Living with a Chinese family helped me learn a lot about Chinese culture and I experienced a lot of aspects of the Chinese culture you can only experience if you live in a Chinese environment. I would recommend this experience, because it enriched me a lot!

22 people found this review helpful.
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Sofia,

It's wonderful to hear about your amazing experience as an au pair in Beijing! It sounds like the past six months have been incredibly rewarding and transformative for you.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sofia. We're thrilled to have been a part of your journey, and we wish you continued success and fulfillment in all your future endeavors!

Best regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Au Pair Experience

I would say as an experience goes this is something I would never find elsewhere. Yes they’re were plenty of ups and downs so with everything but I always had help if needed. Being an au pair is different for each person and each presents it’s own issues. True it is not for everyone and this course does not leave a lot of free time but the time is spent is not just work but learning the language. It is something that I did not expect to be the highlight of me trip. Along with the people I have met of course.

28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

"Engaging Cultures: My Teaching Adventure in Hangzhou, China"

My five-month experience with the Wanderlust Culture Home-stay English Teaching Program in Hangzhou, China, was an enriching journey of cultural exchange and personal growth. Living with a welcoming local family, I not only taught English to two enthusiastic children but also delved into the depths of Chinese culture, language, and customs.

The program, while offering flexibility in teaching, could benefit from more structured educational resources. My host family, especially Mr. Lou, provided a warm and genuine insight into Chinese daily life, making me feel like a part of their family.

Exploring Hangzhou's historical sites and natural beauty added to this immersive experience. The program is a fantastic opportunity for those looking to combine educational impact with cultural exploration in China.

What was your funniest moment?
At the dinner table with the family and kids, while sharing stories about how each other’s day went.
  • Fun and exciting
  • Learned a lot in terms of Chinese culture, lifestyle, language and cuisine
  • Earned a new family in China
  • Cultural differences
  • Difference in lifestyle
  • Language differences
35 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great way to experience China on a budget!

I have just finished a three month au pair programme in Shanghai and I am so glad that I went through Wanderlust Exchange. The host family I was matched with was perfect for me; the application process/paperwork was super smooth, and my recruiter (Jiali) was super kind and always available to answer my questions. Once I had arrived in Shanghai, having the agency to turn to made me feel really safe and supported.

And Shanghai as a city was an amazing place to live in. It has everything you'd expect of a big city (amazing nightlife, food, shopping...), and at the same time, there were sooo many cafés, parks, quiet small streets if you want to take it slow.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you want to live in China and study Mandarin but are on a budget, I really really recommend considering the au pair programme. Though I would say, only if you also genuinely enjoy teaching and playing with children because you will be spending a lot of time with your host children — and no matter how sweet they are, they will test your patience at times! I'd also make sure to ask about things like curfew and a rough working schedule during your interviews so you know what to expect & can choose a family that suits you.

If you have any questions feel free to message me on Instagram (@viviannewei) and I'll do my best to answer! :))
  • Free accom and Mandarin classes
  • Costs of living in China relatively low even in big cities when you don't need to pay rent, pocket money is enough to live quite comfortably
  • Taking care of children can get tiring!
41 people found this review helpful.

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...