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 57 - 64 of 71
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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
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Yes, I recommend this program

My adventure in China

Are you adventurous, brave and looking for something completely different to everything you’ve ever experienced before?
Then China is the place to go!
Here are some notes I want to share about my Au Pair stay in China:

First of all I want to mention again what incredible place this country is. I am staying in Shanghai and fell in love with the city as there is always something to explore and you never get bored here. With a working time of only 6 hours per day I have lots of time to visit the various spots of the city and meet many new friends from all over the world.

Another thing that makes being an Au Pair so special is that you are living with a hostfamily. This is gives you the opportunity to learn about the Chinese way of living, culture and food. However, most importantly for me is that I made new friends who welcomed to their home so warmly, took me to beautiful places and made me feel like a member of their family.
Even though I really enjoy living with host families you have to consider this not always as very easy: As you’re home is at the same time your working place it might lead to working some overtime and you have to adapt to your families way of living which could for example include not staying out in the evening or washing you’re clothes by hand.

Also wanderlust is a good Au Pair agency I can recommand because they always give their best to support me and stay in touch with the Au Pairs during their whole stay.

All in all can I would recommand this Programm for so many reasons: experiencing an interesting culture, learning a new language, making many new friends, get teaching and childcare experience, having fun an so much more...

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Yes, I recommend this program

Time Flies When Your Having Fun

I remember sitting on the plane to China thinking, "In 14 hours, you are going to be in a new country. Halfway across the world, and living with a family you barely know, and you don't speak the language. Everything will be fine". I was trying not to freak out. And here I am 6 months later wanting to stay in China.

During my time, I have had the pleasure of serving two very different families in Shanghai. While this cultural experience has been amazing, it is important to remember that it is also a job. A job that is 100% about supporting your host families child(ern) in improving their English. And with any job, you will have highs and lows. Luckily, Wanderlust has been very supportive and helps you get through any issues that you may find yourself in. But seriously, if you don't like kids, you may want to rethink this program.

Besides that, China is an amazing place to explore. Shanghai is an amazing city to explore. It is almost like a playground. There are many things to do, but once you find what you like to do, you can stick to that! The best part about doing a cultural experience like this, is that after awhile, you stop feeling like a tourist and get to know the China at a very personal level. For me, I had my favorite lunch spots, drink shops, best metro stations, etc. Everything becomes familiar, and yet if you are looking to explore something new, just hop on the nearest metro station and you can find yourself in a new part of the city.

Overall, this experience has truly been eyeopening. I'm grateful of Wanderlust, the families that opened their homes for me, and the people that I have met during my time here.

What would you improve about this program?
The Visa Process: The process could be made more clear about acquiring a visa and the different kinds of visas you are able to get. Additionally, what the process will look like for visa renewal once in the country (if it applies to you). I understand that every country is different, however having more information provided by Wanderlust at the beginning of this process could have made getting that initial visa easier, less stressful, and less confusing.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Safe and reliable, Highly attentive and Informative support system. Excellent experience in every way possible!

When I decided to leave my country for a cultural adventure; never had I imagined that I would have such a great time at such little expense. The team at Wanderlust Au Pair was extremely supportive and overall great in every way! My host family had such a benevolent spirit, they were truly God-sent. They were extremely kind, honest and good-willed people. They took me many placed, ensure that I had a good time and was always well taken cared of and well fed. They helped me physically and emotionally through difficult times and helped me to adapt to the change in environment. I got a lot of teaching practice with their son while also broadening my horizon by learning Chinese! They treated me like family and I will never forget my experience with them and this program!

What would you improve about this program?
It's already perfect!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Moving to China and working as an au pair is not something to be taken lightly. You are moving to a new part of the world, immersing yourself in a foreign culture, and adopting a second family. If you can't speak Mandarin, there will likely be some problem with the language barrier, but the program's staff is very helpful and will aid in any conflicts between you and your host family. If you don't like rice or are vegan, you might be in the wrong country, but there are ways to work around this issue (mainly by cooking for yourself). One thing that you might be concerned about that was not an issue in China was the concern for personal safety. At most, you should be protective of your belongings against pickpockets, but this was never an issue for me, and I never felt in danger in China.
By leaving your comfort zone, you are able to immerse yourself and better understand a different part of the world. Things in China are very different from the west, but that is a good thing. The constant feeling of discomfort and slight anxiety can also help you grow as a person. My experience in the Wanderlust program was a fun one. Our cultural events included a calligraphy class and a martial arts lesson, both of which were very enjoyable. And if you think you might feel a little homesick of western society and interaction, I met a lot of westerners in my Chinese language classes, and we would always get lunch together after every class. I recommend the au pair program to anyone interested in it.

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Yes, I recommend this program

上海/绍兴 Experience

Au Pairing has helped me grow as a person. I believe it is very important to learn about other cultures that are different from your own and that's exactly what this program allows you to do. Staying with and being so close with a Chinese family has really opened my eyes in a very positive way. I felt very comfortable around my family and the bond you create with your family is very genuine. I also thought it was very rewarding to see my younger Chinese brother progress in English. I could see that he was understanding what I was teaching him each day. China is a terrific place and I cannot wait to come back soon.

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Yes, I recommend this program

In the middle of the Middle Kingdom

10 days from now I will be sitting on a plane. Again. I have been to China for almost 9 months now. Looking back, it doesn’t feel that long. Back then, when I made the decision to go to a completely different part of the world and challenge myself with one of the most difficult languages on earth. Well, it was both different and challenging for sure.
First of all the biggest issue is the language; if you are unable to use language to communicate it’s obviously tricky. Well, everyone who has been to a foreign country knows the struggle, you eventually get used to it. Learning Chinese is a bit more of a struggle than Spanish though. I have spent 9 months here while continously attending Chinese classes and I am OK with my Chinese. I am able to talk pretty fluenty, although not on every topic. I get what people are talking about, even though I am far from understanding every word. Reading and writing are the parts I struggle with most. I find the Chinese language quite interesting and it often makes use of logical concepts but their characters require lots and lots of practice and I have been a little lazy for that. But I am quite satisfied with my improvement over 9 months.
Apart from the language, then there are still the cultural differences. And China certainly has many aspects that Americans and Europeans are not used to and that extend beyond social etiquette differences. You might be too hungry to notice during your first week, because you havent figured out how to hold the two big toothpicks next to your plate in order to put food in your mouth. If the hunger is not keeping you up you all night you might want to take a nap on the floor, it’s about as comfortable as the bed. Because their mattresses feel like they are stuffed with wood pellets anyway, the only comfort you’d miss on the floor is the sandsack of a pillow you get to sleep on. I am not sure if it’s actually sand but that’s what it sounds and feels like. As one would say, it’s not an easy start, but pull yourself together, lift your sore back, ignore your growling stomach and get set to start your Chinese classes, things are going to get better!
I am staying in Baotou, a city in the north of China. The winters are cold and dry here, the summers are very hot. Baotou is a rather ordinary Chinese city, sometimes a little boring, however, not as crowded as the big cities though. People love taking pictures of foreigners here, which I could sort of understand because there are hardly any non-Chinese people here. It wasn’t until I had gone to Beijing that I realized it’s not a small city thing, they like to do that everywhere. So if you come to China, prepare to feel famous!
I have a great host family here in Baotou. They have been very welcoming and helpful all the time. But family here works different than I was used to. I grew up with 4 siblings and my parents took care of us. Here, me included, we are 5 adults taking care of 2 children and that’s not including the grandparents who are often strongly involved in childcare in China. Due to this constellation, children are often very overprotected and not independent. As soon as children start school, their whole focus is on academic education, which often causes a lack of simple behavioral means and personal interests. I don’t want to make this about the Chinese school system, I just want to point out that the educational system here works significantly different and it’s something to be aware of. Growing up I always believed that Chinese children are super disciplined, robot-like. Well, was I wrong! They are as crazy as we were as kids.
Now, I know better. I have seen the 3 main cities of China. I’ve lived in Baotou for nine months. Throughout my stay I have learned many things, as has my host family. I showed them Christmas and Easter for the first time in their life, I cooked them food they had never eaten before, I told them things about my country and what it’s like. And as I taught them, they taught me. They showed me holidays I had never heard of, they gave me food I had never tried or even seen before, they taught me what China is like. Of course, we also taught our languages to each other. My little Chinese friend (4 years) is making especially great progress, but it’s even better to see how his mother is filled with joy every time he says something new in English.
I want to be honest here, China is not my favorite country, there are certain things that I don’t like here. But there is a beauty in this country that is well worth experiencing. I certainly do not regret coming here. I want to point out for future visitors though that it is not an easy place to adapt to, especially in the long term. The one thing I do want to recommend, is to keep a really open mind here, you need it to properly get along with this country and to leave space to fall in love with it.

PS: For people who plan on staying in Beijing or Shanghai, some of my experiences might not apply, since these cities are far more international than the city I stayed in.

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