Learn Mandarin and Au Pair in China

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About

General Description:
- Live with a Chinese host family
- Tutor English and help organize activities for Chinese children
- Attend Chinese lessons at China's leading Mandarin school, Mandarin House
- Attend culture activities and plenty of social events
- Travel to your destination of choice during your last week

Entry Qualification:
- Native English speaker
- Current undergraduate
- Good academic background, top university preferred
- Child education major preferred

Cost and Program Components:
This special program will be totally funded by your Chinese host family!! Program components include:
- International airfare
- Comprehensive insurance
- Arrival Orientation
- 6 lessons per week of mandarin taught in well-known Chinese language school
- Flexible cultural or social events
- LoPair local coordinator support
- Completion Certificate

Highlights
  • FREE round-trip airfare, full-board accommodation and travel insurance!
  • 6 lessons per week of mandarin taught in well-known Chinese language school

2017 IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award Winner | 2019 LoPair Scholarship is calling you!

The LoPair Scholarship Fund exists to help high quality applicants fulfill their dreams of living in China by providing reduced program costs. Don't miss your chance; apply now!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

8.25 Rating
based on 20 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 45%
  • 7-8 rating 50%
  • 5-6 rating 5%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 8.2
  • Fun 7.8
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 20
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Mary
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An authentic Chinese experience

Arriving in China from a western country is a big culture shock. LoPair are great in helping you in the first few days. You go though orientation and make firm friends with aupairs! I was unlucky with my first host family and had to leave for another (who were great!). My advice is choose wisely and be picky! Also keep up a constant contact before you fly out.
Once settled, I loved my time there! It's very interesting, living in a chinise home and eating their food and living their life firsthand! LoPair work hard to create a community and I made some great friends out there. We explored the city together and had chinise and cultural classes, this is a huge bonus and stops you feeling isolated. We could share our experiences and bond over how different life was. Overall, I'd recommend thoroughly!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Embrace the food! Atleast try everything once, it might be awful but more likely it will be delicious!
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Tuyen
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

6 week au pair program/summer educare in China

I would say that my personal experience with this program in China was mainly just okay. Living with one host family for 6 weeks can get a little difficult sometimes. My host family had two daughters and the youngest daughter was definitely not easy to live with due to her behavior a lot of the times, which made it hard for me to enjoy being an au pair for the family. Additionally, due to how much time you are required to spend in the home and tutor English (and sometimes for children that are more on the defiant side), it can affect your enthusiasm and how much effort you put into tutoring really quickly. At least that was the case for me. Although, my host parents were very easy going and did not put too much pressure on me to rapidly improve their children's English which made my time in their home a little more bearable. They also covered all of my meals, room and board, etc. whenever I was with them (including when they took me along on their family trips) so I am really appreciative of that. I wasn't able to explore China as much as I had hoped but I'm still thankful for all that I did get to see and do. Overall, my experience with this program was okay although I wouldn't do it again. However, anyone interested in going to China can definitely give this program a try because everyone's experience is different.

Note: the lopair staff are extremely responsive and great at assisting you if you have any questions or concerns. Kerry is really helpful with giving you advice on English tutoring and our group's local coordinator Yvonne always tried her best to help you if you encountered any struggles with the family or anything.

What would you improve about this program?
During my 6 weeks in China, Lopair only offered one cultural activity class which I wasn't able to attend so I hope that they provide more in the future for incoming aupairs.
Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

6 week LoPair Program

Hi, I’m doing the six week au pair program with LoPair and I’m based in Shanghai. I have been an au pair several times previously within Europe and this experience has been very different but amazing due to my wonderful host family and friends I met both with LoPair and various agencies through out my stay.
I found LoPair very approachable and responsive to messages (especially Becky, Ursula and Joey although I’ve never met either or them 😂).

My original local coordinator was good to me as I didn’t have to reach out due to having a good relationship with my host family.
Later the local coordinator changed to being Yvonne and she was lovely💕 She arranged KTV (Chinese karaoke) which was great and nice to meet other people within the agency.

My host family were amazing and treated me like a member of their family. They introduced me to lots of new foods and experiences and I got to join them travelling within China for nine days which was incredible. I choose the family as both parents had great English and seemed really nice when I interviewed and I kept that same impression through out. I can not thanks and recommend my host family enough- the boys were so nice and amazed me daily with how much English they knew although they were only 2 and 4 years old! 💕

Based on my experience I would recommend au pairing in China to anyone who is outgoing and up for an adventure. Sometimes I had to put myself out of my comfort zone but not as often as I had expected as my host family was very westernised. I tried lots of new things, visited lots of new places, fell in love with milk tea and Chinese food in general 🥘

Of course there were some cultural differences but that is why I choose China as I wanted to learn about their language and culture. I didn’t improved my mandarin as much as I had initially thought I would as I missed a lot of classes due to extra plans with my host family, but I didn’t mind- just something to note that if you’re integrating as a family member it can be difficult to attend class sometimes.
I would love to repeat my experience if my future plans allow me.
I’m very grateful and thankful for my host family showing me the modern and fast paced life in shanghai (very different to what I expected) and the boys continuously surprised me with their English language ability. I will miss my host boys and parents a lot and hope that they come to visit me in Ireland at some stage 🇮🇪

**I have lots of photos of me with host family but am unable to upload them as they exceed the maximum file size.

What would you improve about this program?
I really enjoyed my stay. However I lived quite far out as did most other au pairs and I didn’t get assistance by the agency on how to get from my home to the city/language class. I think the local coordinator should bring each student from our new host families house to the language class using public transport for the first time as this can be challenging. I missed my first class as it took a bit of time to get mobile data sorted and a Chinese SIM card so did not know how to get into the city centre.
I also had to request them to add me to group chats which had already been set up with all other LoPair au pairs based in shanghai except me. I think this is due to the fact I was the only person who was doing the 6 week program and I had a slightly different arrival date- however had I not asked I think I would’ve been excluded from the two culture activities.
Default avatar
Jessica
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Whirlwind Experience

I have done a lot of traveling and different types of programs, etc, but never anything quite like an Au Pair. It was definitely new, challenging, rewarding, and a great learning experience. For those who don't know anything about Chinese culture, you should learn some before you come, or at least be prepared to observe it as soon as you arrive and try to adopt some of it while leaving a part of your own culture behind. This is the best way for you to get along well with your host family. Open communication is a must. Also, I think that way you will be able to have a better experience whilst living in the country.
I really enjoyed my time overall, but I did end up feeling a little exhausted at times because there were a lot of high expectations for me and I didn't have any say in choosing my own schedule. The schedule was not flexible either, so I didn't get to participate in basically any social events or do anything I had hoped to do.
I was amazed that I was actually able to learn some Chinese throughout all of this, I thought it would be too hard for me. Be prepared though, I found most Chinese won't act excited if you try speaking to them.
Be open and have a positive attitude and you will have a great experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Have more chances to meet other au pairs and attend social events. I couldn't change my schedule, but I think the host family would have understood and allowed me to go do things if the LoPair company actually had more contact with the families.
There was a lot of confusion between what I should tell Mandarin House and what should be specifically said to the LoPair Company.
Also, the arrival was very confusing, I didn't have much help actually getting to a station where I could meet my host family was something I had to do entirely on my own.
Default avatar
Cicely
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

8 weeks in shenzhen

This was an amazing experience that gave me the opprutunity to learn so much about Chinese culture and the country. The people from the company were really lovely and always helped quickly whenever I had a problem- they also give you loads of advice before you go so you feel prepared. I loved the mandarin classes, they became really useful for going around on your own. The only drawback was that the social scene in shenzhen isn’t great.

What would you improve about this program?
Since the social scene in shenzhen isn’t very good I felt that the company could have arranged more activities for the au pairs to do during their time off
Default avatar
Oscar
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good program but not enough time to experience China

Pros: Nice Family with great accommodation, very attentive and helpful staff who coordinate the visit, efficiently run and I never felt as if I was without help or direction.

Cons: Insufficient guidance for teaching, too much time spent with host family which results in a very limited experiences of China, surrounded by too much English so rare of mandarin progress is not at all what I had expected, teaching philosophy in China different to that in most European countries that often work with the children feels unrewarding or even counter productive; its hard to get enthusiastic about your job when you belive you are being asked to do the wrong thing.

Overall: An enjoyable experience but not what I had expected. I wasn’t able to teach in the way I wanted to and that marred the experience. The most enjoyable aspects are invariably those spent away from the family and the program. I would recommend it to a friend but not without fair warning.

What would you improve about this program?
Parents should realise when employing a western au pair that they should expect a western approach to learning. Additionally, time away from the family experiencing more cultural variety should be encouraged in this “cultural exchange”.
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Laura
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Educare program

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this program! I feel very grateful that I was given the opportunity to travel to China and learn Chinese all for free. My host family was welcoming, friendly and so kind. They went out of their way to make me feel at home and were constantly concerned that I might be homesick or not comfortable (but I never was!). I was very lucky because I enjoyed a lot of free time. I would only have to teach my host child, Vicky (12 years-old), for around 2 hours a day and the rest of the day we would often go out and explore Beijing together. (However, I would like to point out that I was really lucky, I know that some of my friends had to work 5+ hours a day). I also had one and a half days off a week where I could meet up with my friends. My favourite thing about the program was the Chinese lessons. I had an amazing teacher who made the lessons fun and relaxed, I also made great friends with the other au pairs in these classes. I would really recommend this program as I have learnt so much about Chinese culture, but also going to a new country on your own really pushes you out of your comfort zone, making you a more confident and able person! My advice to future au pairs would be to speak up if you have any problems. Don't feel embarrassed or like a burden if you feel homesick or uncomfortable. There is a team of Lo Pair staff who you can talk to and it's their job to support you! If you have any problems with the host family they may be able to advice you on what to do or explain why they be doing something, after all it could simply be a culture clash. Also, I would advice you to be open and communicative with your host family. For example, towards the end of the program my host child, Vicky, began to completely ignore me and didn't want to study with me. This was really shocking and I questioned if I had done something wrong. However, when I spoke to her parents about it they revealed that she was jealous of me and it was nothing to do with anything that I had done. If I hadn't have been open with them about how I felt I would never have known that!

What would you improve about this program?
I only got to take part in one cultural activity whilst I was there, so I would recommend that the Lo Pair representatives organise more activities to give au pairs the opportunity to meet more people outside of their classes.
Default avatar
Georgina
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

6 weeks in China!!

I took part in the Lopair summer program and it was a great six weeks, where I was able to discover the wonders of China. The Lopair team where great helping with any problems anyone may have in the country. My advice for anyone interested in this program, is that you should go for it! However educate yourself on the cultural differences before you go, and on arrival put in a good plan with the family.

What would you improve about this program?
Lopair planned some great trips and cultural experiences, however it would be better if this was done on set dates that everyone had off. Also I feel like all documents concerning the visa and insurance should be sent earlier in a clearer way.