Wanderlust Au Pair China Program

Video and Photos


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!

Related Programs

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 33 - 40 of 71
Yes, I recommend this program

3months in Shanghai

Working with wanderlust as an au pair has been a great experience, and I have loved living in this city - Shanghai. I have learnt so many things about Chinese culture and I also think it has helped me to become a more patient and caring person.
I was placed with a family with two girls, aged 10 and 3. Although there was and extreme language barrier between the family and I, the family tried to make sure I was happy. We even went on a family holiday together to Sanya in Hainan Province.
The biggest challenges I faced during this program were trying to find a balance between work and personal time. I found it to be a bit lonely in the beginning but once you get to know the other au pairs it is ok. The cultural activities offered are good, but would be better if there were more to give the au pairs more social interactions.
Overall, a great experience and a good opportunity to learn about Chinese culture.

What would you improve about this program?
Allowing the Au pairs to have more freedom and more social opportunities would make this program even better.
Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Emma,

Thanks for sharing your experience in China with us and we are so glad to hear from you here!

It is great to know that you had a good time with your host family in Shanghai and knew more about Chinese culture.

We feel happy for you that you overcame challenges you had at the begining and fitted yourself well in a new country.

We also would like to thank you for giving that advice for us and that is just we are working on.

All the best to your future adventure!

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My time as a Chongqing au pair!

I’m just over two months into my three month stay in Chongqing. If you’re anything like I was before deciding to become an au pair, this is about the fifty-first website you’ve checked out in your research to find the program for you. Let’s be honest, integrating yourself in a totally new culture, especially one with a language different from your native tongue, is hard. But I can tell you that Wanderlust will help you every step of the way.

Ashley, Hazel, and Ginger have been a pleasure to work with, facilitating the interview process to find my host family, helping me with the (rather complex) visa application process, registering me for my biweekly Mandarin courses, showing me around the city my first week here, and providing a short orientation to help ease the transition into Chinese culture.

My host family has been nothing but kind to the bumbling foreigner that’s stayed with them for the past two months, and though teaching and taking care of a child is no easy feat, it really is wonderful to see her English improve every day.

So, to those of you who are ready to take the plunge and become an au pair in China, I say good luck and have fun! There’s really nothing else quite like it.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Chongqing is well known for its delicious (and spicy!) food, so I've had the chance to try lots of new dishes. One of the most unique and surprisingly tasty ones is a spiced ox's stomach. Sounds pretty gnarly, I know, but if you get the chance, you should try it!
Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Danielle,

It's very nice to hear from you and thanks for sharing your experience with us here.

We are so delighted that you enjoyed your stay with host family as well as food in Chongqing and had some wonderful culture experience!

We are so proud that you helped the little kid improve her English while having a big fun with her.

It is also great to know that you found our team was supportive and it was such a pleasure for us to have you aupairing with us.

We wish you every success in your future adventure!

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

3 months in Beijing

Going to China has always been something I wanted to do. Taking a gap year finally meant I was able to do this. Looking online for the right program so I could stay in China, I ended up with Wanderlust Exhange.
After arriving in my host family, the beginning was quite tough for me. However, the family has been very kind and gave me the time to get used to everything here. After a few days it went better and better.
Connecting with the hostchild was maybe the most challenging part of my experience. After a few weeks our relationship improved: the child was open to learn more English besides just playing with me.
Over the weekends I would join the family in their activities (having lunch outdoors, going to a park, visiting the grandparents, going to a park etc.) and during weekdays I'd have time to see more of the city and attend my Chinese classes.
Besides seeing more of the country and learning a little bit of the language, I also learned more about tutoring a child and finding ways to make learning more fun.
So I would say this program is a chance to experience the best of both worlds and I would recommend this program to anyone who's up for a (learning) adventure!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
To summarize my advice, it would be: go with the flow, allow yourself to adjust and make sure there's a good communication between you and the hostfamily.
By go with the flow I mean that sometimes unforeseen things happen and you just have to accept that instead of resisting it. Things might be very different for you than expected, getting used to your environment might be harder than you thought etc. and that's when you should let it go and stop trying to make it how you want it to be. This brings me to my next point: know that it takes time to adjust. For me this was especially the case in the beginning, for others it might go well at first, but then turn bad once they have stayed longer than a month (culture shock).
Most importantly, keep in mind that there is a hostfamily you can talk with about this besides your program coordinator. Communication is really key since the hostfamily has to get to know you and you them. Without letting them know about your difficulties, whether that is about missing your family or not being able to connect with the host child, they in return cannot help you. Letting know when you will leave the house or other events coming up, seem like simple things but are really crucial to maintain a good relationship between you and the hostfamily.
Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Yan,

Thanks for sharing your experience here. We are so glad that you enjoyed this challenging adventure and had a good time with host family.

We also feel happy as well as proud of having invovled so many family activities and always learn something from them and pick up language by the way.

It was such a pleasure having you aupair with us and our time with you is as great as yours.

We wish you every success in your future adventure!

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

6 months in Ningbo

First I wanted to be in Shanghai but when I discover the host family who wanted to be with me it was a perfect match !

WAC helped me in all my steps to be able to come to China by answering my questions. more the welcome and the approaches to my arrival were warmest. I am happy to have been with this company during my 6 months in China and I thank them very much for finding me the perfect family in China.

followed in approaches for visa, hosted on arrival in Shanghai, filed at the hotel to leave the business and rest with documents the agency more a small card welcome, the next day visit the agency to focus on the progress and operation in China, followed a visit Shanghai and next day take the train to go to the city of destination Ningbo ! where to me I have been received by the mother very warm with a bunch of flower. even if I were stressed in the plane before arriving in China and despite some technical problems staff this experience with the agency and my family home will forever engraved in my memory and is for me the most beautiful it is !

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
So many things with my host family. But maybe more the holidays in Sanya I fed rays.
Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Aurore,

It's a such a delight to hear from you and have your experience shared with us.

We are so glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with your host family in Ningbo. It is also such a pleasure to know that you find our team is supportive. It was a great time for us too having you aupair with us.

Wish you every success in your future and all the best!

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A short but incredible experience

Wow, I can't believe my two months in China as an AU Pair is already coming to an end!

What an experience, not an easy one by any means, but definitely a completely fulfilling one.

Wanderlust has made this journey a very smooth and simple one. From the airport pickup to the constant support no matter what the issue is (including numerous phone calls while I was in Hong Kong to renew my visa, they were with me every step of the way.

The family I have was matched with have been incredible, the 2 kids are great fun and we enjoy playing sports, games and doing homework everyday. The family have been amazing, they have really shown me around this great city and made me feel at home. In addition, we went on a 2 week holiday to Africa and saw amazing things together. It just goes to show if you put yourself in these kinds of situations anything can happen :)

As an Au pair in China, you shouldn't expect an easy ride, but you should expect a new cultural experience with new things to learn and see everyday . Dive right in and you will be able to make the most of it!

To those contemplating going to China as an Au Pair, I can highly recommend Wanderlust, they have made my journey here so great and I haven't once felt as though there was a problem I couldn't overcome, they have been such a great help to me!

Thanks everyone :)


Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Michael,

Thank you so much for sharing your aupairing experience with us! It is such a delight to know it was an enjoyable as well as meaningful journey for you.

It is great to know that you had a wonderful time staying with your host family and had an amazing travel with them.

It is such a great pleasure to have you aupair with us and we enjoy the time being with you as much as you do.

Wish you all the best,

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Experiencing Shanghai

I always knew that I wanted to do something different after I graduate. All my friends kept talking about going to the US or Australia, but somehow that didn't have too much appeal for me. One day I accidentally stumbled upon China and I figured, why not? So I packed all my stuff and went on my adventure in the far east.
I have been living in the beautiful City of Shanghai for nearly 6 months now - with another 6 months to go. Time is flying way too quickly.
From the moment I stepped into the country I was treated like a part of the family. I have a 5 year old host kid that I absolutely adore, she really makes my day brighter. My Hostfamily gave me the amazing opportunity to visit Hangzhou, Tonglu and Beijing with them. Who doesn't want to stand on the Great Wall once in their life? I made so many amazing friends along the way. I even traveled 18 hours in a train with one of them to visit Guilin, in South of China. This year already gave me so many amazing opportunities and it is not even halfway over.
Adjusting to the local 'Lifestyle' and Food had been no problem at all for me. Especially since I like to eat spicy. Seriously, that makes your life a lot easier.
What had been quite of a challenge at first for little ol' german me was the spontaneity of the people here. I tend to stick to plans and if you're like me, that might take some adjustment time.
Now, a few months later, I am proud to say that I got way more spontaneous though.
I also love the fact that we're able to study the language in a local language school. After 6 months I am able to understand quite a lot, but I must admit that speaking is still very hard for me.
Shanghai has quite a lot of English speakers, sometimes you gotta push yourself to speak Chinese in public - to leave your comfort zone.
I am very thankful for everything my Hostfamily did and still does for me. They take me out for amazing activities, and make sure that I always feel comfortable and welcome. They grew so close to my heart and I feel very grateful to be able to stay in such a wonderful family.
Hazel, Ginger and Lisa have been very helpful and are always there for you if you have any questions. I really made the right decision to come to a country with such a diverse culture, amazing food and the nicest people.
I'm looking forward to see what the next 6 months will bring me

Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Antonia,

We are so glad to hear from you and thanks for sharing your experience in China with us too!

It is great to know that you had a wonderful time staying with your host family and had travelled couple of amazing places in China with them and enjoyed Chinese food at the same time :)

We also feel so proud of you for your progress in Chinese!

It is such a great pleasure to have you aupair with us and we enjoy the time being with you as much as you do.

Wish you all the best,

Wanderlust Exchange

Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

6 months as an Au Pair

I love Shanghai and would not trade this experience for the world! It is not for someone who's intentions are to travel the world and not be willing to put in the work. Get ready to have your patience tested and to be put in uncomfortable situations. These things have helped me grow so much as a person. Being an au pair means being able to be spontaneous and sometimes you probably will feel very confused on what you're supposed to do. But don't worry! If you have any questions or ANY concerns Wanderlust helps with all communication barriers you might have with your family. They work very hard to help you settle into Shanghai upon arrival and will try to help you feel comfortable through meeting the other au pairs immediately! I've learned to really care about my host kid and the family, you will definitely create bonds that are unforgettable with the people you meet :)

What would you improve about this program?
Could be clearer about what's expected from an au pair, but it's different for every family! You just have to talk it through before arrival.
Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you so much for sharing your aupairing experience with us! It is such a delight to know it was an enjoyable as well as meaningful journey for you.

It is such a great pleasure to know our team has been supportive during your stay and we enjoy the time being with you as much as you do.

Wish you all the best,

Wanderlust Exchange

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

For those who want to see the world

How many people are out there sharing the same thought: ‚I want to see the world!‘ Maybe they just finished high school and want to spend some time exploring more places before starting university, or they are just looking for a new adventure and want to spend some time abroad, doing something different. I was one of these persons. After finishing high school I just wanted to grab my bags and go see the world.
But with going to see the world there comes a lot of stuff to organize. Where am I going? What am I doing there? Where do I get the money from? What if I get lonely, all by myself? Who has my back there, if anything goes wrong or I need some help? All these questions arise when you plan to go on a big journey by yourself. There is an answer to all these questions.
If you are reading this review, you are probably already considering to go to China. You probably already informed yourself at least a bit about this country. So I will just skip the part of telling you how amazing China is and how many opportunities and beautiful things this country has to offer. I will just skip telling you about the kind people you can meet here, the unbelievable amount of good food and the funny language, definitely worth learning!
In fact I will just skip the question of where you should go, but come to the next point, that will answer all the following questions.

When I thought about what I wanted to do, I asked myself what priorities I have for my big journey. I didn’t just want to see the culture, but experience it. I didn’t just want to listen to the language, but learn it. I didn’t just want to watch the people, but talk to them, get to know them, live with them.
I did some research back then and all my concerns seemed to have a solution with the one thing: being an au pair.
As an au pair you can enjoy and experience the country to the fullest. So in the next step I looked for a suitable program for me and this is how I found out about Wanderlust Exchange China.
With this program I you can have everything at once. I lived with a chinese family in Beijing. My duty was it to take care of their son and help him learn and improve his English which was a lot of fun and a great experience. Combining the work with children with travelling a country is probably one of the best things I could have done. Being a part of a chinese family gives you a whole new vision of China and its culture. There are so many things you can never understand about this country if you don’t take the step to make the decision to actually live here. Besides the normal daily life, the host family also took me on several weekend trips and holidays to show me more of China. And as we all know, travelling a country with locals is always a great thing, as they can tell and show you so many more things, you never would have known, travelling by yourself.
Another unique thing about this program and being an aupair in China was that I could attend Mandarin classes and learn the language myself. It was amazing for me to see myself suddenly understanding what people around me were talking about, if it was just at home or even in the streets.
Moreover there were monthly cultural activities included in the program, like cooking traditional chinese food and stuff. That’s how you got in touch with many other au pairs which- if needed or not- made you not feel lonely. I always enjoyed these meetups as it is always great to have someone to talk to who is experiencing just the same as you are.

To sum up, with this program I had an answer to all my questions. I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to experience China to the fullest and I can recommend it to anyone who is open to something completely new and looking for an adventure out there.

Did you find this review helpful?
Response from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Elisa,

How nice to hear from you and read your sharing about your experience in being an aupair in China!

It is so delightful for us to know that after this program, all your questions have been answered and you find this journey meaningful as much as enjoyable.

We also glad to see that your aupairing experience had been enriched by wonderful trips with host family as well as other family activities.

It's so good to know that you enjoyed monthly cultural activities and most of all, your Mandarin has been improved during your stay as well!

It was also a great time for us having you as one of our aupairs!

We wish you all the best for your future journey!

Wanderlust Exchange