The au pair program is well established in Germany, and many of our au pairs hail from this central European country. Germany is a country rich with local traditions, literature, and music, and one which champions achievement and learning. Let's explore German skills and attributes that are common with many German au pairs.
Country Facts: Germany has a population of 82,490,000 people, making it the second most populous country in Europe behind Russia. The official language is German and the country's capital is the city of Berlin.
Driving:While public transit is reliable in Germany, all of our au pairs have a driver's license. In Germany, it is both difficult and expensive to get a license, so au pairs have committed a lot to gaining their driving privileges. Germans tend to transition well to driving in the U.S. due to its similar infrastructure and the importance of obeying traffic rules in their culture.
English:Germany au pairs tend to have strong English skills as students begin to learn English in 4th grade and continue through secondary school, if not beyond.
Cooking:In Germany, lunch is often the heartiest meal of the day, and dinner is most often light, following an afternoon tea time with a snack. While we may think of bratwurst when we think of German food, sandwiches and salads are common in daily cuisine, and dishes vary regionally. In the Southwest, a noodle dish called Spätzle is common, and up north in Berlin, a dish called currywurst, now a cultural icon, was born of local and Turkish influences.
Communication Style:German communication tends to be direct and succinct. Since German culture places high value on individual achievements rather than on the collective, young people coming from Germany tend to take their personal responsibilities seriously. While Germans may be more reserved initially than Americans, once the relationship has been established, you can expect more warmth and sharing.
Highlight:In German speaking countries, the pre-Lenten activities of Fasching/Karneval may remind us of our own Halloween festivities kids dress up and walk the streets in scary and fun costumes, and often, the getups are home-crafted. Ask your au pair candidate if she's made a costume before!