Can an au pair study abroad
Study abroad USA
Study abroad, improve your English, get to know a new culture and make friends from all over the world. A dream of many pupils and students, which is often clouded or even seems impossible due to financial hurdles. We'll show you how you, as an au pair, can realize your dream of spending a semester abroad in the USA!
Semester abroad in the USA
Who would not like to study abroad for 1-2 semesters, gain experience abroad and, above all, improve their language skills? In today's job market, good English skills are just as important as technical competence. Of course, basic knowledge of the English language is also learned at German schools and universities. But it is not for nothing that it is said: "Adventure is the best way to learn". Because only those who really live a language and immerse themselves in a foreign culture for a long time will ultimately actually master and understand it. Many young people therefore toy with the idea of going abroad before, during or after their studies.
The USA in particular is a popular destination for studying abroad. Countless elite universities, travel options, the English language and above all the unique American college culture that you know from films - ideal conditions for your study abroad. But this very country often brings with it high costs: tuition fees, flights, expensive student dormitories or apartments, insurance.
Even if the high tuition fees are waived through partnerships with your home university and scholarships are available, this often only covers a small part of the total costs. After all, you don't just want to study on site. Travel, do something, experience new things. All of this costs money. Money that is scarce in student life. Earn money on the side? Nothing. Because the (exchange) student visa prohibits part-time jobs. Is that supposed to be the end of your dream of an adventure abroad?
Studying abroad as an au pair
No! Because there are other ways to realize your dream of a semester abroad in the USA: For example, in the form of an au pair stay. One often hears: “Au pairs are just nannies” - this statement is not entirely true. Of course you spend a lot of time with the host children - after all, you are responsible for them full-time. However, attending courses at American universities is an equally important part of the Au Pair program! According to visa regulations, au pairs in the USA must complete at least 6 credits (roughly equivalent to our ECTS points) at an American university!
That doesn't quite correspond to the hours of a classic semester abroad; However, this is also not a normal study abroad, in which you complete 15-30 ECTS per semester at an American university, which you can then (partially) claim at your home university. The Au Pair program offers a lot more and is probably the best (and cheapest) way to travel to the USA, immerse yourself in American culture and learn English fluently - and also collect credits at American universities!
Whether educational courses, business administration, medicine or courses in the field of law - there are no limits to your imagination. Each au pair can freely choose which courses are taken at which university. It is even possible to prepare for and take the TOEFL exam. The only prerequisites: the courses must be attended at publicly recognized institutes and may not take place within working hours. Of course, the universities issue certificates for each completed course - which can later represent important additional qualifications for future BA or MA study applications and jobs and can partly (depending on the course and university guidelines) also be credited to your (future) university here in Germany!
"Study abroad" Au Pair: assumption of costs
The best thing about it: The costs for attending the courses are borne by your host family. With up to $ 500 they support you in gaining your first study experience abroad. This amount is usually sufficient to attend 2-3 courses and thus cover the required 6 credits. If you would like to attend additional courses, you can also attend other (sometimes even free!) Courses at many American colleges in your free time - and thus complete additional courses abroad in addition to the 6 credits that have already been financed. You don't have to worry about insurance either - because all of our au pairs travel to the USA with our extended Erika Insurance in their pockets.
Accommodation and meals are of course also included - so there are no annoying additional costs. Your weekly scholarship of at least $ 195.75 remains for the finer things in life: to go out to dinner with friends, for the cinema, weekend trips, shopping - and of course for your month of travel at the end of the program. And if you still haven't had enough from university, you can of course use parts of it for additional (not free) courses - the only requirement, again, that these are discussed with your host family and do not fall within your working hours.
Don't “just” study
Probably the nicest part of the au pair program is not the weekly scholarship or attendance at college courses - but the friendships and relationships that are made during the au pair stay. Because the possibility of living with a carefully selected host family means that you not only experience American culture up close, but actually become part of it. Family celebrations and holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween or Christmas on the morning of December 25th - it's the little things that really let you participate in a culture. The possibility of sharing exactly this with your host family and, above all, your host children makes the small but fine difference - and all of a sudden you turn from the viewer into the main actor.
But not only the American host family, which becomes the 2nd family for many au pairs, but above all the friendships from all over the world help to immerse yourself in the most diverse cultures from all over the world and thus to become a real globetrotter. Whether in the NYC Training School, at the monthly au pair meetings in your neighborhood or the college courses - as an au pair there are countless opportunities to get to know people from all over the world. The friendships that have arisen often last long after the au pair period and open doors to many countries around the world. The saying “the world is a village” can soon be a reality for you too!
After all, what better way to strengthen friendships than traveling together? 2 weeks of paid vacation and the option to stay up to 1 month longer in the USA at the end of your au pair period offer ideal conditions for discovering as many different places as possible. Of course, you don't work every weekend either - so these are also ideal for short city trips. And the fact that $ 195.75 goes into your account every week doesn't necessarily hurt it either.
What are you waiting for?
University certificates for the courses you have completed, improved language skills, new friends from all over the world and countless experiences that will help you both for your personal development and your professional future. As a Cultural Care Au Pair, you too can experience all this and much more!
- Here you can find out how much your English skills improve and when you start thinking / dreaming in English for the first time
- Find out how exactly you discover America as an au pair and which secret places our au pairs find most beautiful
- A former au pair talks about everyday life as an au pair and the adventures that she experienced during her stay as an au pair
For more detailed program information and personal experience reports, you can simply come to one of our information meetings in your region. You can read here when exactly and which cities are near you. Take the first step today and register for a free and non-binding meeting in your region! We look forward to you!
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