Getting into Gear: Au Pairs Prepare for Their Year at Orientation

5 minutes

Gustavo and Gunnar enjoying Orientation and Training
Gustavo and Gunnar enjoying Orientation and Training
Image courtesy of Tofunmi Ayanfodun

First Day Jitters

Carrying backpacks and suitcases and tired from their international flights, dozens of au pairs checked into The New Yorker Hotel with excitement brimming over their jet lag. Their eyes took in their surroundings as they mentally, emotionally, and physically adjusted to a new world, a city unlike their own - New York City!


At each Au Pair USA Orientation & Training program, we meet au pairs who arrive with a slight sense of apprehension and depart with a new surge of confidence, ready to tackle the adventures and challenges of their coming au pair year.

To focus the minds of our newly arrived au pairs, we asked them to share their thoughts on:

  1. Why they chose to be an au pair
  2. What they looked forward to
  3. How the orientation has prepared them for their au pair year

Why Am I An Au Pair?

The au pairs answered a similar question during their application process. However, the question really hit home when they realized that they were here in the United States on a yearlong (or even two-year) adventure. These au pairs were in a new place without their family, friends, and everything familiar! Despite their nervousness, the au pairs had upbeat attitudes on their decisions to become au pairs.

What Do I Look Forward To In This Au Pair Year?

Our au pairs were truly looking forward to this new adventure. They were excited about the opportunity to learn about a new culture, see the United States, meet new people, and to build a new relationship with their host family.

How Did I Enjoy My Orientation Experience? How Did It Prepare Me For My Au Pair Year?

By the end of the Orientation & Training Program, I could see that the au pairs were exhausted! Still, they talked about how they enjoyed the orientation and, more importantly, how they felt it was going to prepare them for their au pair experience in America.

Tofunmi Ayanfodun Tofunmi Ayanfodun

Tofunmi is pursuing her Masters degree in Global Communications, and has experience traveling and volunteering abroad. She worked for InterExchange's Work and Travel program for two summers as an Employer Relations Specialist, and then joined the Au Pair USA department as the Summer Program Assistant.

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