WELCOME TO YOUR MOVE CULTURAL EXCHANGES

Language enthusiasts, express yourselves, travel and enjoy a great adventure !

With your baccalaureate or equivalent (high school diploma or A levels) under your belt, do you dream of taking a breath of fresh air before entering higher education or your first job ? A foreign language course abroad is the right combination to discover a new culture, improve language skills and develop an open-minded approach while enjoying a unique experience !

Good reasons to study a language abroad

Take a break from routine or before starting university ? Learn something new ? Enjoy a memorable experience ? Improve language skills in order to enhance your CV and job prospects ? These are all good reasons to follow a language course abroad as it opens up many different opportunities.

Leaving your comfort zone to go abroad will allow you to experience new cultures and new customs. You will develop your imagination and your ability to develop new ideas.

You will be confronted with new situations, very different from the usual routine and which are both unpredictable and surprising. This will make you more resourceful, courageous and increase your self-confidence.

Boldness and a thirst for challenge will help you identify risks, manage projects effectively and learn from your mistakes.

How to become an au pair ?

Requirements

You are a young man or woman between 18 and 29 years old, single and without children.
You have an intermediate level in the language of the host country.
You have a baccalaureate or equivalent (high school diploma or A levels).
You are available and you can commit to a minimum period of 9 months, usually at the beginning of the school year.
You have experience in child care. In this case, you will be asked to provide references from other families.
You have a driving license (not mandatory).
You are a non-smoker.
Being responsible, tolerant and knowing how to adapt to family life and life in the country are essential.

Why be an au pair abroad ?

Au pair cultural exchange

« Au pair » literally means « on a par », that is to say « on equal terms » : in return for their work an au pair receives room and board.

The term « au pair » has now become part of everyday language used to refer to an au pair in the context of a cultural exchange.

If you like children, an au pair stay is the best opportunity to be fully immerse in the culture of the country, actively practice a foreign language and self-finance your « break ».

The principle of the cultural exchange: you look after the children and some light housework and in exchange you receive pocket money and the opportunity to take lessons to learn or improve your skills in the language of the host country. The au pair is usually a young adult (male or female), who receives free accommodation with full board in a host family, where he / she has their own, comfortable room, where they can study and relax.

To make the stay convivial and make the most of the linguistic exchange, the family must be receptive and open to conversation, and share meals and some of their free time with you. You should feel like part of the family.

Work

The au pair is considered « an extra pair of hands » to help the parents in a family, and never as an employee.

The au pair looks after the children for around 30 hours a week and participates in the light daily household chores.

Two evenings of babysitting per week may be requested.

The family must provide a schedule of the domestic chores and childcare required.

The time the au pair dedicates to the family does not exceed 6 hours per day, preferably in the early morning or early afternoon in order to have a half day off.

Pay

The host family regularly pays the au pair with the pocket money that is set by the legislation in force : on average € 90 per week, but this varies according to the host country.

Language lessons

The au pair is expected to take language classes, the family must ensure that they are available to attend them.

The au pair pays for the lessons, in general the family contributes by paying the registration fee.

Make the most of your stay to obtain a foreign language diploma, in this case your language school and the family will be able to give you more information.

Depending on the country : TOEFL and IELTS certificates in English, DELF and DALF certificates in French, DELI, DILI and DALI certificates in Italian, DELE and CELU certificates in Spanish, GOETHE ZERTIFIKAT certificate in German.

Time off

You are entitled to one or two days off per week that the host family are obliged to give you. You can use your free time for sightseeing, hobbies, etc.

For a stay of 6 to 9 months during the school year, you can agree in advance with the host family to be away for the Christmas or Easter holidays to return to your home country.

Costs payable by the au pair

Return plane or train tickets, language lessons and insurance.

Do not overlook travel insurance, it can be useful in case of medical expenses incurred abroad, hospitalization or repatriation.

If you wish, I can provide you with the contact details of insurance companies specialized in travel and cultural exchanges.

Medical Assistance

Medical care is guaranteed to all citizens of an EU member state with the introduction of the EHIC – European Health Insurance Card.

In the US and Canada medical expenses cost a lot of money. It is recommended to take out an insurance policy, which covers medical expenses and repatriation in the case if illness when abroad.  Find out more.

Useful information

An au pair placement is a specific category which differs from that of student and worker. The programmes are considered as cultural exchange projects to learn and / or improve a foreign language. Au pair stays are governed by a convention: Decree No. 71-797 of 20 September 1971 promulgated in the European Agreement on Au Pair placements, made in Strasbourg on 24 November 1969.

Tips and advice

« The most beautiful journey is the one we have not yet made. » Loïck Peyron – Yachtsman
Let the adventure begin !

How to manage the language barrier ?

Speaking a foreign language gives access to a culture and a way of thinking that are simply fascinating.

Take time to acclimatise, then immerse yourself in your new environment and in everyday life. Listen to the radio, watch TV, movies and series in the language of the country. Leaf through magazines, read short books, brochures and even product labels are useful in the beginning !

Do not isolate yourself, spend as much time as possible in the company of your host family and chat with them.

Some libraries offer conversation classes: it is an exchange between your mother tongue and the language of the host country.

You can also find associations that offer « Walk & Talk », a good way to combine walking or exploring the city with practicing the language (Generally the Tourist Office provides information about this).

You can also start an activity or indulge in a passion that you have not had time to practice before and learn the language at the same time.

Tips for finding the cheapest tickets

Adapt the dates to pay less.
The airplane ticket represents the most significant part of the budget for a traveller. It is therefore possible to save money and find a cheaper ticket by modifying the date of departure and / or return by one or two days, and by avoiding the peak departure dates such as school holidays and weekends.

Select your destination according to your budget.
Find out about the cost of living in the country you are interested in, to make sure you have the budget necessary for leisure and entertainment.

Create happy memories

Make the most of your time abroad for sightseeing and visiting the country. Travel, it is an opportunity to meet so many different people that you would not have had the chance to meet in your everyday life.

This is an opportunity to delve into the country’s culture and traditions, go away for weekends to visit new places, learn more about the country’s history and enjoy its charms.

Enjoy the cuisine and many regional specialties, share festive moments and conviviality.

Bring lots of memories, photographs and new friendships back from your trip.

Safety advice to avoid being pickpocketed

In some cities, pickpockets target tourists and foreigners, so make sure that your valuable objects are not too visible.

Pickpockets often use diversions to steal your wallet. So be wary of any unusual behaviour; children are particularly good at diverting your attention, as they play on people’s soft side.

Useful links

Look on YouTube : you will find many video testimonials about au pair stays.

Sara Sirdalmi has written a book called « La Bible de la fille au pair heureuse » (currently only in French version), which is also available for Kindle.

The European Youth Card is issued to people under 26 and offers a large number of discounts and benefits on culture, recreation, travel, services, etc. The card can be used in the European countries participating in the initiative.

The IYTC International Youth Travel Card was established to enable young people under 30 who are no longer students to travel for less. It opens doors to many discounts and benefits worldwide, similarly to a student card.

Preparing your expatriation: entry and residence, social security, employment and placement, daily living.

Create your European CV.

And finally, « male au pairs » also exist : please, gentlemen, there is a place for you too.

I look forward to meeting you soon,
Cristina

Our services and fees

The language study abroad must be productive and match your personality and your expectations

While surfing the web, you came across my site and you are intrigued by the concept ?
You are at the right place ! Do not hesitate to contact me.

I will share my expertise to guide you in this new adventure. I will provide you all the training and tools you need to find the right host family.

Step 1

During a first meeting we will discuss your motivations and expectations.

Then we will define together your wishes in terms of your stay : the host country, the length of the stay, characteristics of the host family and accommodation.

I would advise you to start planning well enough in advance to have time to target your application and organize your departure (obtaining a passport or a visa can take several weeks).

If you want to start your stay in September for the beginning of the new school year, I would invite you to contact me in May / June.

You will have my support to prepare the application, write or proofread the cover letter to the host family « Dear Family » and your CV, a mock interview and/or conversation in French, English and Italian.

Step 2

Together we will analyse the characteristics of the proposed family, if the proposal meets your expectations, we will finalize the language stay with the confirmation of accommodation with the host family.

Before your departure you will receive intercultural coaching to facilitate your integration and to help you to familiarise yourself with your new environment.

Throughout your stay, I will be at your disposal to give you advice and to answer any questions you might have.

All you will have left to do is purchase your airline tickets in order to enjoy a great experience abroad.

Recommendations

Ask to meet all the host family members and conduct an interview via Skype, Whatsapp or Facetime.

It is essential to agree, prior to arrival, with the host family, all aspects of the au pair stay (working hours, household chores, childcare, free time, pay, leave etc.)

Get your parents or friends involved in your selection process. It’s always helpful to get a second or third opinion.

Rates

Rates vary depending on the programme.

DestinationsRegistration feesSupport fees
Europe50€150€
United States50€250€
Canada50€250€

*Not refundable

EUROPE

The old continent is full of towns rich in history and tradition, a true architectural and culinary heritage to explore without moderation!

Admire the beautiful landscape of the hills, the seafront and unique picturesque villages, or head off and discover European cities :
London, Berlin, Lisbon, Rome… which intrigues you the most ?

Conditions

The length of stay is between 9 and 12 months and usually commences at the beginning of the new school year in September. The stay can also last between 2 and 3 months during the summer holidays
The required age is 18 to 30 years old, except in Germany (25) and Britain (27)
The child care is on average 30 hours per week
The required language level is « advanced beginner »
• You must have obtained a baccalaureate or other equivalent qualification
A driving license is preferred but not mandatory
Host families prefer non-smokers
• You must have a responsible and tolerant attitude towards children

Documents required
The application form duly completed, signed and dated
2 passport photos
A medical certificate of good health issued within the past 3 months
2 references from babysitting written in the foreign language
A letter in the foreign language for the host family, in which you provide more information about yourself (expectations, future projects, hobbies, entertainment, allergies, etc.), some photos with your friends, with children you have looked after and a few trips or memories
A 2 minute video, in the language of the country, to explain very simply who you are
A criminal record extract

Paperwork required

As a citizen of the European Union, you can stay in another EU country without formalities. Your national identity card or valid passport is sufficient.

Charges at your expense

Round trip plane or train tickets
The medical certificate issued by your doctor
• The travel insurance (medical expenses, hospitalisation and repatriation)
Language classes

Benefits

Accommodation in a private room, meals during your stay are provided by the family
Pocket money in exchange for your services is on average €90 per week
• The opportunity to improve your language skills and enhance your CV

Holidays
1 day per week
1 full weekend per month
One week of paid holiday every 6 months (in Britain one week per quarter if the stay is longer than 6 months)

UNITED STATES

The USA or the land of Uncle Sam : cross the Atlantic to experience the mythical American dream, take the Route 66 for a Coast to Coast trip from LA to New York.

« The Big Apple » symbolises America in all its excess with its skyscrapers and energy, a lively and constantly changing city, where ethnicities and cultures mix. A country full of great national parks, ancient forests and wild landscapes.

Conditions

• The length of stay is a minimum of 12 months (between 12 and 24 months)
• The required age is 18 to 26 years old
• The child care is on average 45 hours per week
• You must provide proof of a minimum of 200 hours of childcare experience
• The language level required is « Intermediate »
• You must have obtained a baccalaureate or other equivalent qualification (compulsory)
• A driving license is recommended
• Employers prefer non-smokers

Documents required
The application form duly completed, signed and dated
2 passport photos
A medical certificate of good health issued within the past 3 months
A photocopy of your driving license
2 references from babysitting written in the foreign language
The character reference letter in a foreign language, written by someone who knows you (an English teacher or an employer) that certifies your skills and highlights your character and personality
A letter in the foreign language for the host family, in which you provide more information about yourself (expectations, future projects, hobbies, entertainment, allergies, etc.), some photos with your friends, with children you have looked after and a few trips or memories
A 2 minute video, in the language of the country, to explain very simply who you are
A criminal record extract

Paperwork required

temporary visa in the category au pair (j-1 visa) through an approved exchange programme.

Charges at your expense

• The cost of the visa application around €128
• The medical certificate issued by your doctor
Travel insurance (medical expenses, hospitalisation and repatriation)

Benefits

Accommodation in a private room, meals during your stay are provided by family
• The airfare for the round trip is taken care of
• Part of the cost of the language classes is funded with a grant of $500 (€370)
• Pocket money in exchange for your services is on average $200 per week (approximately €150)
• The opportunity to improve your language skills and enhance your CV

Holidays
1 ½ days per week
1 full weekend per month
2 weeks paid vacation
1 month travelling at the end of the programme to be able to visit this beautiful country and continue the adventure

CANADA

Would you like to see the Canadian « Foliage », the magical landscapes of the vast forests, snowy mountains and discover the French influence across the Atlantic?

Canada : a dynamic country with a very recent past, close to Europe through its culture and traditions. Discover Montreal, a city with a French touch and very proud, the old Quebec with its quaint streets, the Great Lakes Region and Vancouver, voted the most liveable city in the world and the most cosmopolitan of Canada.

Au Pair

International Experience Canada – Travel and Work in Canada

The visa IEC International Experience Canada is the easiest and fastest way to go to Canada. It offers young people the opportunity to travel and see the country, working as an au pair as it is the means by which you will fund and support your journey.

Online Application Process

Conditions

• The length of stay is a minimum of 12 months (between 12 and 24 months)
• The required age is 18 to 29 years old
• The child care is between 40 and 48 hours per week
• You must have obtained a baccalaureate or other equivalent qualification (compulsory)
• Have access to C$2 500 (approximately €1 685) to cover expenses at the beginning of your stay
• A driving license is recommended
• Employers prefer non-smokers

Documents required
The application form duly completed, signed and dated
2 passport photos
A medical certificate of good health issued within the past 3 months
2 references from babysitting written in the foreign language
A letter in the foreign language for the host family, in which you provide more information about yourself (expectations, future projects, hobbies, entertainment, allergies, etc.), some photos with your friends, with children you have looked after and a few trips or memories
A 2 minute video, in the language of the country, to explain very simply who you are
A criminal record extract

Charges at your expense

The round trip plane tickets
• The Visa
• The medical certificate from your doctor attesting to your health
• The travel insurance (medical expenses, hospitalisation and repatriation)
Language classes

Benefits

Accommodation in a private room, meals during your stay are provided by family
• The pocket money in return for your services is an average of C$200 per week (around €136)
The opportunity to improve your language skills and enhance your CV

Holidays
Minimum 1 day per week
2 weeks paid leave for a minimum stay of 6 months

Caregiver « home help »

These are people who are qualified to work without supervision in a private household providing care for children.
In this position, it is necessary to find an employer through the Canada Human Resources Centre.

Determine eligibility – Live-in caregiver

Conditions

• The length of stay is a minimum of 12 months (between 12 and 24 months)
• The required age is 18 to 29 years old
• The child care is on average between 40 and 48 hours per week
• You must have obtained a baccalaureate or other equivalent qualification (compulsory) and have successfully completed the first year of university
• Have 6 months minimum training or have 1 year experience in child care full time in the past three years
• Ability to speak French or English
• Have an International English Language Testing System IELTS certificate and have a minimum average score of 5 to qualify for the program
• A work permit is required, it takes around 6 months to obtain. The temporary resident visa « Live-in Caregiver » must be requested from the Embassy of Canada in your country (once your placement has been confirmed by the employer)
• The law requires that you and your future employer sign a written employment contract. You must submit the contract with your application for a work permit
• A driving license is recommended
• Employers prefer non-smokers

Documents required
The application form duly completed, signed and dated
2 passport photos
A medical certificate of good health issued within the past 3 months
2 references from babysitting written in the foreign language
A letter in the foreign language for the host family, in which you provide more information about yourself (expectations, future projects, hobbies, entertainment, allergies, etc.), some photos with your friends, with children you have looked after and a few trips or memories
A 2 minute video, in the language of the country, to explain very simply who you are
A criminal record extract

Charges at your expense

The round trip plane tickets
• The Visa
• The medical certificate from your doctor attesting to your health
• The travel insurance (medical expenses, hospitalisation and repatriation)
Language classes

Benefits

Accommodation in a private room, meals during your stay are provided by family
Salary is determined according to age and experience, on average C$ 1 000 per month (about €685)
•The opportunity to travelto discover the country
•The opportunity to improve yourlanguage skills and enhance your CV

Holidays
9 days of paid leave for one-year stay
(2 weeks off for a stay of over one year)

Who am I?

Italian, unbelievably curious, total perfectionist, always optimistic and a vivid dreamer.

A few years ago…

Attracted by foreign languages, after my studies in Italy, I wanted to discover new horizons, travel and broaden my perspectives.

With a language stay abroad, as an au pair in Paris, I discovered the French way of life, I improved my French and I discovered new interests. Following this unforgettable experience, the year after I left for the young and lively Dublin, where I was able to follow a similar path and improve my English.

Back in Paris in 2006, I worked in various sales positions in major international groups. My 15 years of professional experience in different countries, have allowed me to take up varied and rewarding challenges.

And so now?

Passionate about human interactions, today I accompany young people who want to learn a foreign language and bring added value to their university studies, while sharing my experience of life abroad.

Make the world a better connected place by sharing the culture.

Cristina Arduino

Contact

Address

YOUR MOVE CULTURAL EXCHANGES
Paris-France

Telephone

+33 6 67 42 76 67

Contact me to arrange an appointment.