Alumni Spotlight: Soraya Shirin Stuehmer

Soraya is a German girl who finished school in 2019. She always loved to travel around and decided to go to China after finishing school.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I already knew that I want to travel around after finishing school and learn more about different countries. I also love to work with children and teach them. China has always been a country that I am really interested in. So becoming an Au Pair in China was the best option for me. I can work with children and experience the Chinese life.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The Agency really helped me with everything. Before I came here I applied for the visa and filled out a lot of forms but I could always text the company and they always helped me. So even when I needed to organize something on my own they helped me a lot. If I had questions I could always text them and they would answer me very fast. So the Agency helped me with everything and because of that I didn’t have any problems in China.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

You need to be very open minded. China is a different country with a different culture. If you come here and start to live with a Chinese family it’s very different from what you are used to. So try to be open minded for everything. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you do that you will adapt very fast to the Chinese life.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

It depends on your host family. But normally you will have 1 1/2 days off in the week and work for 7 hours a day. If the children go to school you will have more freetime. The families want you to teach the children English. So you will read a Lot of English books with them and talk a lot of English with them. In the freetime you can go out with friends. On the weekends the families go out very often and you can see a lot of things of the city.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was that I don’t like it and that I can’t adapt to the Chinese life. I was afraid that I don’t get along with my hostfamily. In the end everything was just a fear. My family is super nice and could adapt very fast to the Chinese life. I really love it in China and I learned a lot of new things through this experience. This experience really helped me to grow. You can overcome your fears if you just try out everything and don’t be afraid of something new.