Wanderlust Au Pair China Program

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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 $

  • 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!

Surprise Host Family – Are you ready for your once in a lifetime experience in China?!

This summer, Wanderlust Exchange is launching a new type of Au Pair experience for recent graduates who are adventurous and looking for an off the beaten path experience! The “Surprise Host Family Program” will select three audacious Au Pair applicants who would like to spend 8-12 weeks in China working as an Au Pair in an undisclosed city until just before they depart!

Your round trip flights will be covered!

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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...


9.14 Rating
based on 71 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 80.28%
  • 7-8 rating 19.72%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 9.4
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 8.6
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 17 - 24 of 71
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Yes, I recommend this program

Very good

At first I was worried about how serious this organization is because instead of charging me fees like other aupair agencies around the world they would even give me money for the visa fees. But now I can assure you that this organization and program is not shady at all instead I recieved good support and got placed in a very lovely host family.
Even though they live in a rather small city. I got to see Beijing and Shanghai as well. I also got to attend online classes with a one on one teacher which I thought was very effective.
Whenever I had questions about anything the agents from wanderlust aupair would reply to me very fast (never longer than one day).
Overall I can say that I had a great experience while living 3 months in a chinese family. I made many unforgettable experiences and it was definitely worth it.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I got to try an enormous amount of fruits I haven't had before and vegetables too but besides that I tried some nice snacks with seaweed or food and other than that I tried wierd (well at least I think its wierd) things like ducks tounge chicken legs or cows stomach.
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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Hi Luisa,

Thanks very much for sharing your aupairing experience in China with us and it’s very nice to hear from you here as well.

We are glad that you found our team supportive and enjoyed your stay in China. And it’s also good to know that you found online Chinese classes helpful.

It’s such a pleasure to meet you and have you with us for three months.

We wish you all the best to your future adventure.

Wanderlust Exchange

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Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

2 months in Tianjin

I was looking for an Au Pair job for the summer before my enrolling at University and was deciding between a family in Geneva and a family that was introduced to me by a different Au Pair agency. Then I was, fortunately, contacted by one of the workers from Wanderlust, and within 2 days, they found me the best family I could have ever wished for. As opposed to the other Chinese family and the other agency, Wanderlust and this family were very open-minded, talkative, sympathetic and kind so that I decided for them right on the spot. Wanderlust provided me with assistance every step of the way - gathering all kinds of documents - which was much appreciated since I have not yet traveled outside of Europe and, therefore, never needed a visa.
I was to teach English to a 7-year-old girl and I have to say that the start was a bit rocky because we didn't understand each other's languages at all... But now, after more than a month, she can speak in full sentences and has a truly vast vocabulary, especially of food and animals - we are all so proud of her!
I, on the other hand, am having difficulties speaking Chinese because of its tones but I like it very much! Although Tianjin is a big city, the program there does not have Chinese teachers experienced enough, so I needed to take Skype lessons via Mandarin house while also having lessons with my lovely coordinator and, occasionally, with the family members which was a lot of fun.
I learned how to make Chinese potstickers and dumplings (my new favorite food) and also attended calligraphy lessons - a truly wonderful experience. I visited many amazing places with my family (Beijing Picasso exhibition, The Great Wall) or with my coordinator (Binhai Library and other Tianjin sights). There was always a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and for that, I am very grateful.
I hope that it's obvious how excited this stay has made me, I could go on forever talking about every little detail... But I will not because I would like you to try and go to China with this agency so that you can experience it on your own. It is truly worth it.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would try to learn some Chinese before I went to China.
People all around me were trying to speak English with me from the very beginning and I couldn't meet them halfway with some Chinese phrases.
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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Eva,

Nice to hear from you here and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

We are so delighted to know that you have been enjoying your stay in China and we also feel proud of you that you have helped the host little girl make a such great progress in her English learning!

It is happy to know that you enjoy learning Chinese though find it difficult. We believe you can improve your Chinese through this journey as well 😊

It is amazing that you have already got involved in so many great cultural activities and such a pleasure that you found our team supportive.

We hope you enjoy your stay in China as always and wish you all the best in your future adventure.

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time to spend the gap months

I decided to spend my gap months between high school and university as an Au Pair with Wanderlust. They helped me to find the perfect match family and provided me with a lot of information about the culture. They will help you in each step of your experience. I spend most of the time with the kids and explored with them the chinese culture and traditions. Meanwhile I was learning Chinese language and also explored the city by myself. Especially the food was quit the opposite of what I was used to but if you are brave enough to try some food you can be suprised by the taste. I had a lot of fun and would recommend this program to everyone who is planning to travel abroad and want to get to know a different culture and lifestyle on a normal basis.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready to eat different food and be open to the culture difference.
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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Lara,

It is good to hear from you and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

We are so delighted to know that you have bonded with the family quite well and had some insights of the culture alongside your adventure in China.

It is such a pleasure for us that you found our team supportive and it is absolutely a great time working with you.

We wish you every success in your future adventure.

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Au-Pairing near Shanghai

I´ve been placed in a wonderful family and spent lovely 3 months there.
The insight in the culture, the language, food, life and everything else was amazing. I learned so much more about China in my time there, than I would have any other way.

I´ve been picked up at the airport and me and some other Au-Pairs spent an introduction day in Shanghai. It was great to have this information day before everyone headed off to their families. My new family welcomed me warmly and it was really relaxed as they were already used to Au-Pairs. I had flexible working times and I had lots of fun spending time with the whole family. In my free time I´ve been able to try out Tai Chi and Chinese Painting and Chinese cooking through some Expats I got to know by chance.

Anyway I think this Program is not for everyone. You should really love kids and expect to spend most of your time with them. If that´s what you want this is perfect for you!

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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Pauline,

Nice to hear from you here and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

It is good to know that you had a great time with your host family and had experienced some amazing cultural activities alongside your aupairing.

We are glad that you have learnt some insights of Chinese culture through this journey.

We wish you every success in your future adventure.

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Au pair in China for the summer

I chose this program and I would choose it again because it got me the chance to stay in a foreign country as beautiful as China by living with a lovely chinese family.
I had the chance to explore Shaoxing and Shanghai, eat local food and meet new friends. Chinese culture surprised me and got me to fall in love with this country!
I love spending time with my host family child, I can help her with homework and teach her some English as well as playing sports and doing fun activities together.
Not only Wanderlust got me the chance to participate in this program helping me in every step, but they were there for me during my stay as well.
This was not the first experience of living abroad for me, but it was the most fulfilling and I have to thank Wanderlust team for that!

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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Alessia,

Delighted to hear from you and thank you for sharing your experience with us!

It is good to know that you had some amazing cultural experience alongside your aupairing in China.

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with the host family and built up such a close relationship with them as well as those interesting activities you had and new friends you have met through this journey.

It is always our pleasure to work with you and provide any support you need.

We wish you all the best to your future adventure and a big thank you as well!

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A once in a lifetime opportunity!

I was in a very interesting place in my life where I didn’t know what I wanted to do next, I just knew I wanted to travel. But I wanted there to be purpose to my travel! This program sounded perfect. I was placed with an amazing family, they went out of their way to make me a part of the family, and living with a family is the best way to immerse yourself in a new culture. I think this program is for responsible girls who really want to grow and challenge themselves. This is not a study abroad, not a party abroad, it is working, so be sure to evaluate yourself and your readiness for this experience! I grew a lot and found out a lot about myself, and I got to experience a new culture and find new direction in my life! I was able to travel shanghai, and I recommend everyone to plan on traveling Asia before they head back home!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers is to really evaluate yourself and make sure that you’re ready for this experience! You will be living in someone else’s home, working for the family that you live with, and have a curfew!
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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear McKayla,

It is so great to hear from you here and thanks very much for sharing your experience of aupairing in China.

We are so delighted to know that you found this experience meaningful apart from enjoyable. It is also good to know that you enjoyed your stay with host family and had grown from a different culture.

Your advice on aupairing in China for future travellers is highly appreciated and we wish you every success in your future adventure as well!

Kind regards,

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Au pair in Wuhu

Hi! I am Zoé from France.
I work as an au pair in Wuhu city.
I only have 2 weeks left before going back to my country and I already know it will be so hard to leaving the life I've build last 3 months. Everything was amazing. I loved the girl I was taking care of but I also met so many friends from all around the world. It was a crazy experience and I am already thinking about coming back to study!
I taaake the chance here to thanks Wanderlust exchange program to gave me the chance to make a dream come true but also my amazing Chinese host mother that truly became my friend.
I only have two advices for next au pair : get ready for the food, cause not everyone like it and learn some Chinese because you won't find English speaker very easily!
I hope your experience will be aas good as mine!

What would you improve about this program?
A little less of work because we can be tired sometime! Haha
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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Zoé,

It is so nice to hear from you and thanks for sharing your experience with us here.

We are so glad that you have enjoyed your stay in Wuhu so far and we believe the coming two weeks will be amazing as well. it’s also good to know that you built up such a close friendship both with host kid and the family and meet friends around the world at the same time!

Thanks for the advice you gave to fellow aupairs, really appreciated.

We wish you all the best for your future adventure!

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Au Pair in Shanghai

I've always liked spending time with kids and teaching and thought that the best way to truly get to know a country is by living with a family there, so being an au pair seemed perfect for me. I think that it has definitely lived up to my expectations so far! Becoming part of a Chinese family is pretty much just what I'd hoped for. For my family in particular, I've really enjoyed regularly visiting the grandparents apartment and eating altogether with them. I don't have grandparents, so seeing and being part of that family dynamic is really interesting and fun for me - even if I don't understand most of what's being said.
China is becoming increasingly more important in world affairs today, so I thought it would be good to see firsthand what China is like and how Chinese people think and act in everyday life. Also, Chinese culture is very interesting as it combines thousands of years of civilization with very abrupt changes from modern history. In the news, I've heard many negative things about China relating to political topics, and while I still think these are mostly true and disagree with many policies, I think it's important to see the Chinese perspective and that the system seems to work quite well for most people here.
I settled on Wanderlust as my agency of choice because based on online reviews I found them to be the most trustworthy agency. I read quite a few horror stories about other agencies and was kind of scared about doing this, but all the reviews about Wanderlust gave me the impression that they truly cared about the continual well-being of the families and au pairs that they matched. The fact that they ensure that each family has a member that can at least speak some English is extremely important. They also check in with both au pair and family regularly just in case there are communication issues. The main draw for me was probably the Mandarin lessons. Wanderlust helps you every step of the way in video chatting with potential host families beforehand, assisting with visas, helping with logistics for Mandrin lessons, and even organizing events for the au pairs to help you make new friends while here! Aside from this, I haven't needed much assistance from them, but I'll mention that another au pair I know had trouble with her family and they were very quick in helping her find and move to a new family.
My first impression was that Shanghai is a very busy and fast paced city. If you take the subway during rush hour, you will understand exactly what I mean. There are also countless events happening at any one time and people are here from all over the world. If you're into history I'd recommend checking out the Shanghai Museum. It's definitely worth the wait and it's free! Another nice place is Century Park, which has a small entry fee. There are also plenty of concerts and other performances to go to.
There are definitely a lot of cultural differences in China, but I think with an open mind you can find a lot in common with life at home. Some things I can think of off the top of my head: if you get sick, expect to be forbidden from drinking cold water and perhaps given a bunch of random traditional Chinese medicines or strange dietary restrictions (no meat until your fever is gone!); while you should try to be polite to everyone, be especially polite to elders cause they may judge you hard otherwise; while it's fine not to answer, you may be asked personal questions that make you uncomfortable as there is much less privacy than I'm accustomed to. I think that especially for the first few days, it's worth making it clear to your family that if you do anything offensive they should let you know right away so you can learn social norms here.
I'll quickly introduce my host family, but it's important to emphasize that every family is different. I hope this can give an idea though of what a family might be like. My host family has its quirks, but I quickly grew to like them a lot. Both parents are self-employed (fyi, this generally means fairly well off), and I'm still not 100% sure how their whole income situation works, but I'm not the type to ask for details. The mom speaks decent English and is super chill, the 11 year old boy knows some English and is a lot of fun, and the dad doesn't speak any English but from my interactions with him seems pretty cool and obviously loves his kid. My responsibilities are usually doing the dishes, talking as much as I can in English with the boy, reading with him, exercising with him (his parents want him to lose weight), and accompanying him to a few activities. Since it's his summer vacation right now, my schedule is pretty variable and I have to be flexible about when I spend time with him. A typical day might go something like this: wake up at 6:30 and talk to the boy for a bit, eat breakfast all together, do the dishes, talk some more, go to Mandarin class, come back to find that he's in class and study or relax for the next few hours, when he gets back talk some more and maybe read an English book with him, exercise with him a bit, shower and sleep. If he doesn't have class, we might prepare some food together since he likes cooking, watch a TV show with mom, go play basketball, or just study side by side. For me it's like having a sibling that you always have to be nice to, which honestly I'm enjoying a lot. When I ask if I can go meet friends or disappear for a day, my host mom is super accommodating. During the school year, I bet my schedule would be a lot more fixed with free time clustered more around the school day whereas right now, freetime is unpredictable but plentiful.
The first two days were definitely the hardest. When I first met the kid, I could barely get him to talk which is totally understandable given that he didn't know me and hadn't spoken much English to a native speaker before. I'd ask him questions and talk at him, but for all I could tell he was ignoring me. I honestly felt kind of hurt and I was worried that he would continue to act that way. Eventually, though, with enough smiling and talking, he got the message that I was friendly and started talking. Since then, we've become pretty close and have a lot of fun together!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you get homesick, I can recommend two things: find a restaurant with your home cuisine since Shanghai has pretty much everything; go to a Carrefour supermarket, where you'll probably be able to find something that reminds you of home. Also, try to meet the other au pairs! It can be a breath of fresh air to talk with non Chinese friends every now and then.
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Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Leo,

Great to hear from you here and thanks for sharing your experience with us and it is such a joy to read!

We are glad to know that you had so many great experiences with your host family and bond really well with them. It is also good to know that you have made friends with fellow aupairs alongside your journey in Shanghai.

It is delightful to know that you found Wanderlust team helpful and it was indeed a great pleasure for us to work with you. Meanwhile, many thanks for doing the interview for us, which will soon be available on our blog column!

Thank you again and wish you all the best for your future exploration.

Wanderlust Exchange