Asian au pairs are a fantastic way to expose your children to rich cultures, heritages, and languages, especially if they have never had the opportunity to leave the United States. Asia is home to many unique places, each one filled with rich cultures, languages, and ways of life. Host families are often very interested in the possibility that au pairs from China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand will share their language and culture with the family, especially the children.
As a parent, it can be overwhelming trying to teach your children about cultures and languages from all around the world. But, it is important to take time out of our busy lives to explore different cultures and countries so we can better understand them—especially for Asian American children. By hiring an Asian au pair, you can open up a new world of understanding in your home, allowing your child to appreciate another culturally rich heritage or even their own heritage in a way they may not have been able to before.
Another great benefit of Asian au pairs is the chance for your children to learn or strengthen a second language. Being bilingual is an extraordinary skill, especially knowing a language like Mandarin, which is the second most spoken language in the world. Being bilingual can help your children with future job positions, and give them greater cultural awareness. Early exposure is one of the quickest ways to learn a second language, and by having an Asian au pair, your children may have the opportunity to practice their second language skills more often.
Au pairs from Asia are highly motivated to experience life in the United States with a host family. They are generally very respectful and often have good formal experience in preschool and educational settings. If you or your family have ties to Asian heritage, hiring an Asian au pair is a fantastic way to expose your children to a rich heritage and culture. AuPairCare offers excellent Asian au pairs from China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.
Au Pair China
“Fengxi speaks Chinese to our children who had a Mandarin background before she arrived. Since she has gotten here, their Mandarin has improved drastically. She even spends time teaching my 5-year-old daughter to write Chinese as well. My kids have both started to love the Chinese food and loved the food she cooks for them.” —Host Mom Li
Incorporating a Chinese au pair into your household to share in day-to-day activities is both beneficial to your family and an educational experience for everyone involved. From interactive language lessons to cultural exploration opportunities, adding a Chinese au pair into your home can enrich you and your children’s lives.
Language: Mandarin is the second most spoken language in the world with about 1 billion speakers. The U.S. Department of State has placed Mandarin as a Category IV Language, meaning that it’s very difficult to learn and takes about 88 weeks or 2200 hours to master. This is largely due to the fact that it is not written in the Latin alphabet and it has tricky pronunciation for English speakers.
English: In China, English is a requirement beginning in primary school and continuing through secondary school. Many students have impressive reading and listening comprehension despite not having the same level of confidence when it comes to speaking or writing. When your Chinese au pair joins your family, they may initially be shy about their language abilities, however, as they spend time bonding with your family and being immersed in an English-speaking environment, their confidence and English will improve.
Communication: Chinese au pairs usually tend to be considerate and hesitant in voicing their opinions. To close the divide, you should invite them to provide feedback on tasks, so you can develop an understanding and clear expectations.
Driving: Obtaining a driver’s license in China is a difficult process—it can take up to three months and can be expensive. All AuPairCare’s au pair’s possess international licenses, however, be sure to be clear about how much driving will be involved and what type of conditions they may encounter.
Cooking: ManyChinese people cook with a lot of fruits and vegetables, many of which are unfamiliar to Westerners.Vegetarianism is very rare in China, and most Chinese young people eat meals consisting of meat, vegetables, and rice/noodles. The type of cuisine varies in different regions of China. Wheat foods such as noodles and dumplings are more common in the north, while rice dishes are more common in the south, as is more spicy food.
Au Pair Japan
“Our family relies on our au pair Asako with our son’s Japanese education. Our son goes to a Japanese weekend school on Saturdays and gets a lot of work. Asako plans everything weekly to get the work done. Our son has been able to keep up with his Japanese thanks to her. We also celebrate Japanese holidays like girls' day, children’s days, and eat plenty of Japanese meals together.” —The Hashimoto Family
Japan is not only home to centuries-old culture, but it is also modern, dynamic, and vibrant in its atmosphere. Japan has a family-oriented culture rich with long-standing customs in theater, literature, and design. From colorful cultures to renowned education systems, if you hire a Japanese au pair, you could bring a world of possibilities into your home - both educational and fun!
Language: Japanese is the thirteenth most spoken language with over one hundred million speakers. Ranked as a category IV language by the U.S. Department of State, Japanese is thought to be among one of the hardest languages to learn needing about 88 weeks or 2200 hours to fully learn although spoken Japanese is thought to be easier than writing.
English: In Japan, English education begins in middle school with a focus on reading and writing. If you encounter a communication gap, try written communication. You might be surprised at how much easier it is to communicate with your Japanese au pair!
Communication Styles: Au pairs from Japan are renowned for their politeness and patience which they often express through conscientious and concerted communication. They are less likely to share personal information about themselves because they view that as boasting.
Driving: An au pair in Japan will have varying degrees of driving experiences depending on where they grew up. Due to Japan’s busy metropolitan cities and their extensive public transportation systems, au pairs from the city will most likely have less exposure than their rural counterparts. Nonetheless, all AuPairCare’s au pairs possess international driver’s licenses and are ready to take the wheel!
Cooking: Japanese cuisine is based around rice, noodles, vegetables, fish, and tofu, though international cuisine is quite popular. During mealtime in Japan, you are encouraged to 'eat with your eyes' and this is reflected in elegant (and often adorable!) food presentation. Most young people learn cooking from their mothers, and first dishes often include curry rice, Nikujaga (beef and potato stew), and miso soup. Japanese cuisine is also renowned for three major dishes: ramen, sushi, and teriyaki.
Fun fact: AuPairCare’s founder, Takeshi Yokota comes from Japan!
Au Pair South Korea
“The common language in the home is English, but we really value the girls being able to speak our native language so [we choose] a Korean au pair. Sally reads to them and teaches them a lot of Korean songs. Our girls’ Korean is better and maintained through her.” —The Park Family
Korean au pairs have many benefits from their seasoned childcare experience, cultural background, linguistic abilities, and more!
Language: Korean is spoken by 75 million people. The U.S. Department of State has placed Korean as a Category IV Language, meaning that it’s very difficult for native English speakers to learn and takes about 88 weeks or 2200 hours on average to learn.
English: In South Korea, English is mandatory. Typically children start learning in elementary school and continue their English education well into university. South Korean schools used to focus on written English but have since shifted focus to spoken English.
Communication Styles: Korean au pairs tend to rely more on indirect communication, meaning they pay close attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice rather than words. South Koreans are also known to value politeness which can lead to them understating their opinions or not saying no. Make sure to encourage open conversations with your Korean au pair to make you are both on the same page.
Driving: The minimum driving age in Korea is 18 but most get their driver’s license when they are 21 to 22. It’s not too challenging to get but it can be expensive.
Cooking: Most Koreans eat meat as vegetarianism is not common in Korea. Traditional meals typically include rice, kimchi (seasoned cabbage), and lots of vegetables. Many Korean au pairs are open to and like Western foods such as bread, steak, pizza, and pasta.
Thai Au Pairs
“Ae shares her culture with us through her cooking and love of Thai food. Whenever Ae talks to her friends or family, we’ll say ‘Sawasdee Ka’ and I tell my youngest to go say hi to his Thai grandma (Ae’s mom). Ae also brought traditional Thai clothing for the whole family when she arrived.” —The Fang Family
Au pairs from Thailand often come with many advantages including their heavy emphasis on respect, humility, kindness, and education––important traits to instill in young minds. Our au pair agency Thailand has some best Thai au pairs.
Language: A total of 39.8 million speak Thai as their mother tongue. Thai is ranked as a Category III Language by the U.S. Department of State, meaning that there are significant differences and challenges to learning Thai, and it requires approximately 44 weeks or 1100 hours to learn.
English: Thai children learn English from kindergarten to high school, though it is not uncommon for university students to continue with English classes. Schools focus on grammar, reading, and speaking skills, with speaking classes usually taught by a non-native teacher.
Communication Styles: Thai people are extremely friendly, often smiling at strangers. They are eager to help others. They are also very patient.
Driving: The minimum driving age in Thailand is 18. It’s a requirement to learn with either a driving school or a driving instructor.
Cooking: When it comes to Thai cuisine, the five primary flavors—salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy—are highly valued. Each dish is typically a blend of all these distinct tastes coupled with rice and the local vegetables from Thailand such as garlic and pepper. Thai food is heavily influenced by Indian spices but has an overall unique flavor profile reflective of its culture. Dessert usually consists of tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya, or guava, perfect for ending any meal on a high note!
No matter where you go, whether it is China, Japan, Korea, or Thailand, you will find different customs, habits, and beliefs that can help you better understand and appreciate cultures beyond our own. AuPairCare offers access to a variety of Asian au pairs who can not only create language learning opportunities but also give you insight into the cultures they come from by showing you how they live their day-to-day lives. Begin your cultural exchange journey by searching for an Asian au pair with AuPairCare today!
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