HHS Center

HHS Center

About

HHS (Homestay Helping and Study) is the earliest and largest family-based culture exchange company in China with its HHStudents from over 20 countries. HHS and its affluent, well-connected families will make every effort to ensure you have an unforgettable experience.
HHS is offering 2 excellent programs: Paid Au Pair job and HHS University+Paid Internship.
1. Paid Au Pair job is different from the other Au Pair Programs providers in China, because we only focus on upper-class family clients: successful businessmen, movie stars, models etc. Your job just focuses on teaching kid English not daily childcare.
2. HHS University+Paid Internship: How amazing would it be if one program combines both a University classroom education with daily practice in an HHS Chinese host family and you can be granted an HHS Scholarship, which may cover all of your University tuition and accommodation?

The world is waiting for you in China. Are you ready?

Founded
2006
Headquarters

555 Street
Taizhou Shi
Jiangsu Sheng, 544454
China

Reviews

Dan Gilles
Dan
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I'd like to share my experience with HHS in 2012, which was an overall negative. First, the good parts. Living in Beijing was amazing - the food, the culture, everything - and I ended up staying on long after finishing with HHS. Part of my great experience was my host family, which my coordinator Maggie found for me. They were generous and welcoming hosts and made my first 3 months in China a lot easier. On the whole I had an amazing experience in China.

However, I was not impressed with HHS as a company, partly because of my own interests but mainly because of things I witnessed. In my case, I had been promised a 10-day all-expenses-paid vacation to a destination in China of my choice during my stay. However, with the end of my 3 months approaching, I was told that the company was out of money and could not afford to send me somewhere. The only option if I wanted to travel was for me to go to a lesser-known city, Lanzhou, and give a presentation to students at a college there. In return, the company extended my visa. I was disappointed, but, lacking other options, had no choice but to accept this substitute.

For others, the company's failure to uphold its agreements presented more serious problems.

To add on to my negative impressions of the company, when I posted about these experiences in a Wechat (Chinese messaging app) job group in 2015, I was amazed to receive a legal letter from HHS, essentially telling me to shut up about my experiences.

In sum, I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in China to go as an au pair - there's no better way to experience China. But when it comes to choosing an organization to go with, be sure to conduct thorough research.

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Steve
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Steve McAllister. Now I'm 24 and 6 month I had spent in Beijing with HHS Center and my second family there. In UK i graduated from university with a master degree in international relations in 2013. I spent a couple of months in my country trying to find myself, but then decided to go to China and study as much as possible from inside about this colorful country. My foreign experience is not rich, just within Europe, but I still wanted to take this adventure - to a totally different country which is unique and exciting!
After searching online for days for different possibilities that can put me into China easily and safely, I got HHS Center finally and luckily. They replied to me immidiately and patiently. They are not an agency but the right company focusing on introducing foreign aupairs to Chinese families. So, i don't need to pay any service fees, and all the families they provide are affluent, well-connected ones interested in broadening their children's horizons through international exchange. With their help, all procedures went smoothly. And i didn't expect i could come to China so fast after 6 weeks. I was so looking forward to my host family with whom we met via skype interview.
Not until did i arrive at the airport that i felt it would be a great challenge. The local care coordinator (we call them Lcc) and the host mom greeted me at the airport and sent me directly back to my new home in Beijing. I cannot remember the following days, because i had been in half-sleeping status for almost a week. And i got lost couple of times on the way to HHS Center and back home... Beijing is so spreadout! Anyway, everytime i can get almost 24/7 support from HHS.
Though with some difficulties at the very beginning, still i felt i became a real member of this Chinese family. My host-kid now calls me an older brother and i can really be proud because of this. We play and study, and play the piano together. He is 4 and a tutoring is going while we play together. He likes me read him books and stories. There is 1000 and 1 way to play with a child. Everything depends just from imagination. My responsibilites are to play with him, take care when we play outside with or without host parents, and accompany him on the back sit of the car while one of his parents drives the car. Of course, the way of tuoring depends from the age of the child: if it is a baby it should be one way, if it is a teenager the way also should be another. Everything depends from kids' personality.
Thanks to HHS center, i've already experienced a lot. Now i have a second family in China, where i can alway go back anytime and we send wishes to each other like a family. And i made lots of new friends with the staff in HHS center and other participants from all over the world. I'm going to hang out with some of them when they are back to UK, definitely!

What would you improve about this program?
Time schedule should be more elaborated and detailed. Chinese parents have different ways educating and taking care of their kids. Need to aware of this part in advance to avoid future misunderstanding.
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Rene
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Joining HHS progam is nothing short of a journey. I came to the program to study Chinese langauage and get to know more about the Chinese culture. When I learned that this program offers free weekly Chinese classes, i was over the moon! However, the actual experience with Chinese classes wasn't as expected. Granted, the Chinese teachers were all great but at the same time, because the classes were open to all participants, there were always those who attended classes just for fun. The teachers were often distracted by them and it rendered a less desirable experience during the class in return...the good thing for me personally though was that I had learned some Chinese before so after four months being in the low level classes, I was able to move to a higher level class and it was much better!

Overall, this was definitely not a bad experience for me. I learned the language I wanted to learn and the family was great too. Ohhh, don't forget the new friends I met in the program! They are absolutely awesome!

What would you improve about this program?
Like I said, the Chinese classes could use some kind of improvements. Maybe a more catergorized class system would work better.
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Matt
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First of all - It is extremely hard to rate whether or not I would suggest this program to a friend/peer as there are many aspects are subjective/based on the family/au pair's attitude. My family is amazing. Bottom line. I adore them and all that they have done for me. It is, however, at times somewhat easy to feel disconnected or trapped in this situation. For me, it's almost as if I am being held back by my own guilt for wanting to go out more than is reasonable, or not being satisfied personally with the work that I am doing. This is an example of one of those situations which is completely subjective to my own situation. Would I recommend this program to a recent university grad who is in their early/mid twenties and is looking to gain work/worldly experience? No. I would however recommend this program to someone between 17 - 20; someone who is thinking of taking a gap year and is also seeking to gain some cultural/social experience abroad. This program revolves mainly around taking care of host children, obviously, which can be challenging and mentally tiring at times. While we get doted on and live rent/amenity free, the pay is next to nothing. One could easily find experiences similar/more fulfilling abroad which would not only pay more, but also look much better on a resume. Unfortunately, when I go out with my fellow Au-pairs, the majority of the conversation revolves around complaining about our current situation - which is sad. This program needs to be more transparent on both ends of the spectrum (family AND Au pair), when selecting families and applicants. This is not a 6 month vacation in China. Families will not be receiving world-class English tutor's who will turn your children into westernized model citizens. Period. For this program to be successful, a middle ground needs to be established. It should include a desirable amount of freedom/compensation for the Au pair, and also ensure that the families are receiving an Au pair with a certain degree of willingness to nurture and teach their children (Not just any person who is white and does not have a current drug problem). I am glad I did this - I have met many amazing people, and the workers at HHS are amazing, but if it weren't for my desire to learn Chinese, I think that three months would have sufficed. Everyone is different, and maybe this program will be perfect/life-changing for you. Do your research. Talk with people who have done this before. Good luck

What would you improve about this program?
See above.
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Lara
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Being an Au Pair in Beijing is a empowering and awakening experience for me. Being independent in such a large city and having full reign of my life is a new but necessary experience for all young adults. It takes you out of your co;fort zones, throws challenges at you that you have to take up on you own. All around the agency is very helpfull and will try their hardest to assist you with any problem, from minor food poisoning to finding a bed to sleep in for the night. Even though you are gaining independence, you are always offered assistance. It is a great feeling.

I am an Au Pair/Intern here in Beijing. My typical week is the ideal kind. On days were I have class, I am free the whole day to indulge in social mingling and to explore the city etc... On the other days, I have a 9am to 5pm job with a my host parent's law firm as an assistant translator. The additional pay helps a lot (in addition to monthly pocket money) because Beijing is an expensive city in the end if you are exploring it the way you should.

Highlights would be the multiple weekly excursions with my family, food, sight seeing, museums, learning about the culture that you are immersed in. Also the Beijing nightlife is a blast if you know where to party! Dissapointments would include the lack of free time for me in the evening and the traveling hours. Beijing being a large an populated city, getting around is hard and long. I have an hour and a half of subway to get to the center of city for my classes and else. It is an inconvenience. If you have the money to spend on cabs, than good, if not, well you better practice being patient.

An all around enlightening experience!

What would you improve about this program?
The only worthy suggestion that I would make would be to have more social outings for the au pair to bond and engage really early in the au pair life so that they can gain from the others's knowledge.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you decide to au-pair/tutor with HHS China?

My Chinese level was (after a year of studying full-time Chinese) still not really great. So, based on a positive experience living with a host family in the USA, I thought it would be a good idea to live again with a host family.

I think it was a really good decision, as my Chinese definitely has improved a lot. As for HHS, a friend recommended them to me!

What made this au-pair/tutor experience unique and special?

Perhaps that you are truly getting to know the Chinese culture. I am eating 3 meals a day with them, doing activities in my free time with them, and even watching television with them.

I think that this was way better for my language development than taking an intensive Chinese course would be, but obviously it depends on what level your Chinese is currently at. I would recommend an au pair activity to anyone who is already at an intermediate level.

How has this experience impacted your future?

I think the biggest impact being an au pair had is on a personal level as it was my plan to learn Chinese for my career. It is simply a dream come true to finally understand these signs/Chinese characters that I was so curious about when I was a child.

Also, I hope I will stay in contact with my host family and maybe also come back in the future. Of course, there were sometimes also obstacles and misunderstandings throughout the course of this journey but I think you can also grow like this during the programme.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home:

The biggest impression I had was the food, which was completely different to what one would come to expect based on Chinese restaurants in Europe. Sometimes it tastes better, sometimes it is not so great. But still, I am happy I got to know a different style of restaurant and fine dining.

Also, the sights here are obviously something I wouldn't have seen if I didn't come here. My highlight was getting to sleep on the Great Wall.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Monica Li

Job Title
HHS Center Recruiter

What position do you hold at HHS Center? What led you to join their team?

Monica: I am a recruiter for HHS Center. I enjoy practicing my English speaking skills at work and I love meeting people from all over the world.

Most importantly, I want to introduce this amazing program to students globally and provide them with the opportunity to explore China.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Monica: My major job is focusing on Human Resources. I enjoy speaking English with foreigners. My job in Human Resources combines both. I enjoy being the link that connects students to China.

What is your favorite story of a participant's experience with HHS Center?

Monica: One of the participants completed her program successfully and went back home.

One year later, she graduated from her university and came back to China to pursue a great job. She is still in contact with her host family and now they often go out together, like a family.

What do you think most sets HHS Center's programs apart?

Monica: It is not a typical “au pair job," but more of a culture exchange program. Host families treat the participants as part of the family, instead of as workers. Our participants worldwide are all friends with our HHS staff. Sometimes it is not like we are running a business. We are making win-win friendships.

What tips do you have for someone considering a work or study program in China?

Monica: It is really a great adventure to throw yourself into a totally different culture and environment, without knowing their language and staying with a local family to truly experience their daily life! Keep in mind that this is what you get. Adventuring in China is different and fun. HHS program makes it even more unique and fun!

More Interviews