LoPair-logo

LoPair Education

About

LoPair, based in Hangzhou, is proud to be the 1st Chinese au pair company that wins the Au Pair of the Year Winner Award at 2017 annual campaign run by International Au Pair Association. We place au pairs from worldwide with host families in 10+ major Chinese cities.

LoPair aims to create extraordinary experiences for au pairs. Our unique services include a 3-day group arrival orientation in Hangzhou, reinforced educational settings such as the weekly mandarin classes, monthly cultural courses as well as Local Coordinator activities. We support our au pairs thru our Local Coordinator, LoPair Mentor and Education Advisor projects, through which au pairs receive individual attention and care throughout the entire program duration.

Website
www.lopair.com
Founded
2011
Headquarters

Room 609, Yinzun Building, Zunbao Mansion No.89 Chengxing Road Hangzhou, China 310020
Hangzhou Shi
Zhejiang Sheng, 310020
China

2017 IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award Winner | 2018 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!

Reviews

Default avatar
Jessica
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Cicely
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Keira
4/10

I completed the Summer Educare programme; an experience which has left me with mixed feelings about the programme. It is an excellent opportunity to truly experience a different culture by being immersed into life in China with a Chinese host family. I was able to gain insight which wouldn't be possible when visiting for a short period of time as a tourist. Everyone's experience will be unique as host families have different interests and can introduce you to different cultural aspects. The mandarin classes are also fantastic as I went out to China with no previous knowledge of the language but came away after 8 weeks being able to communicate with basic mandarin.

I was supposed to be living with a lovely family in Shenzhen. Sadly, they pulled out of the programme last minute after much deliberation regarding other plans for their young son. With less than two weeks before starting the programme, Lopair helped me find new families quickly and really seemed to empathise with my situation. However, the family I ended up with in Beijing turned out to be an unfavourable match and I worry about their suitability for the programme at all. I want to give praise to all of the coordinators in Hangzhou who made me feel so welcome and took our small group (3 au pairs as we arrived earlier than other participants) around Hangzhou after orientation training. Unfortunately, Lopair's support seemed to dissipate.

There were numerous negative occasions with my host family but I will limit these to just a few examples:
- the family did not make me feel welcome or accommodated and I didn't feel like "a member of the family". Many mornings I had to go without breakfast because the parents or one of the three nannies would not set the table or cook for me. I was made to feel very awkward about asking for food and the nanny seemed to resent making me a fried egg (most of the time the only thing which my breakfast consisted of). There were no snacks provided for me (apart from the occasional bit of fruit) and I was not allowed out of the house so I couldn't buy any. One time the family went out for the whole afternoon until evening without telling me and I didn't get any dinner. I politely messaged them asking if they could bring me back some "leftovers" which they did a few hours later. As I sat down to eat, the three year old (who had already been out for a big meal) started to try and take the little bit of food I was bought back. He made a commotion and the family gave a large portion of my food to him! I was also hit on different occasions by the boy for no reason (punched in the nose and face as well as my legs) and the mother didn't even react to tell him off or at least check that I was alright.
- no privacy: the family got annoyed with me for shutting my bedroom door—especially locking it—but this was necessary to keep the three year old out of my room when getting changed or sleeping. I wasn't even allowed to lock the bathroom door sometimes (of which I did not have my own and had to share with the three year old and his nanny) which resulted in the boy catching me in the shower—something the family then blamed me for. Even in my free time I lacked privacy as I got criticised for shutting my bedroom door. This was a strain as I was prevented from recuperating and relaxing which had a damaging effect as the weeks went on.
- during week 7 the family had plans to travel to Tianjin and Jinan but this meant I was yo-yoed from one hot cramped car to the next with lots of travelling, no rest, and I was not always given any water. The trip made me very ill for my final week. As soon as we arrived back in Beijing (after a full day of travelling) my body couldn't take anymore and succumbed to the illness it was desperately suppressing under the constant changing of environments. I was up the whole night and the day after throwing up. I wasn't able to eat for over 4 days and it took a couple of days until I could start stomaching fluids again, meaning I was severely dehydrated (something especially uncomfortable in the heat). The family unfairly blamed me several times for being ill because I "ate too much" on the trip—something which was not even true. After the parents asked if my insurance covered going to hospital (to which I said I just needed rest and to try and get over the illness, unable to take anymore distress after the week of travelling) they lost interest. They did not try and look after me or even check up on me which made me feel incredibly isolated. Luckily, despite the difficult language barrier, the daughter's nanny (a different nanny to the one who usually cooks) started to look out for me and made me small portions of plain rice or noodles: a great relief after being neglected by the rest of the family.

To top this off, I had to plead with the mother for a lift to the airport at the end of my placement as I was still unwell. She refused to get one of their drivers (of which they had a few) to take me and insisted I use the subway. I then had to try and appeal to the father who eventually agreed to get a family friend to take me. Not the tearful sendoff I would've hoped for at the start of the programme.

A friend I made on the programme (who was also in Beijing) had messaged two different coordinators urging them to check on me because he was concerned about how unwell I was and the lack of support from the family. I wasn't aware of this until after completing the programme as I was shown the messages by said friend. Lopair did not bother to get in contact with me which was beyond disappointing, especially as I was experiencing such trauma. Even before this—during a misunderstanding with the family—I found my coordinator would favour the family above me despite assuring me in private beforehand that what I was feeling was completely justified and valid.

That is not to say I never enjoyed my time as an au pair because, despite the hurdles, I did have some memorable times with the children. In fact, I got on with the ten year old daughter very well. However, the family generally did not treat me very well. I completely lacked the freedom that I was entitled to, even on my one day off a week. The family were not flexible on their 9pm curfew (I even received texts demanding I start coming back at 7pm on my day off to ensure I was back way before 9pm). I was always with an au pair friend but they would try and justify their control over me by saying I was unsafe. I was rarely allowed out of the house and I had no front door key to aid any independence (I politely spoke to the parents several times and they refused to give me one).

I had an amazing time in China itself and it has undoubtedly helped me develop as a person and gain invaluable cultural insight. I visited some amazing sites like the Great Wall and my days off were by far the happiest of my time in China. Nonetheless, the positives of my experience are not down to Lopair and I can't imagine how my experience might have suffered further had it not been for the support of other au pairs when Lopair were more than inattentive. To give advice for anyone thinking of doing a programme with Lopair, make sure the family you are matched with are right for you. I believe that if circumstances had been different and I had a more accommodating family my experience would have been even better.

Response from LoPair Education

Dear Keira,

Thank you for your comments regarding LoPair Au Pair China program experience.

We truly value your feedback and the opportunity it brings to make improvements. I am very sorry and disappointed to hear that we did not deliver our usual high standard of assistance.

I can assure you that we have addressed this issue the team to find out what went wrong and take steps to ensure this is not repeated complained issue.

I welcome the opportunity to connect with you to discuss this further. I can be contacted on email [email protected] Thank you once again for your feedback, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Nancy Li
Program Service Manager

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Oscar
6/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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”.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Laura
9/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3