LoPair Education: Au Pair Cultural Exchange Program in China

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2017 IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award Winner | 2019 LoPair Scholarship is calling you!

The LoPair Scholarship Fund exists to help high quality applicants fulfill their dreams of living in China by providing reduced program costs. Don't miss your chance; apply now!

About

Nǐ hǎo! LoPair offers an award-winning cultural exchange program which enables you to become fully immersed in Chinese culture, learn Mandarin, make fantastic friends from across the globe. We'll provide you with a 3-12 month placement in a major Chinese city living in a homestay with a lovely Chinese or Expat family.

Your adventure starts with a three-day group orientation, training and sight-seeing tour in the beautiful city of Hangzhou! You'll get 60 Mandarin class hours per 3 months, fascinating Chinese cultural courses etc. You will become a real family member and assist them with live-in educational childcare and some light household chores up to 30 hours a week — you'll get a room of your own, meals, insurance and international round way flight tickets! On top of this, you will have plenty of chances to explore on your own, with other au pairs and with your family while receiving 1500 RMB pocket money per month and a Completion Bonus for all programs exceeding 6 months!

Questions & Answers

Hi Karlie, I agree with Clara that asking directly Lopair ([email protected]) is the best idea. I am 99% sure it's impossible to have two au pairs in the same family, but I think you guys can manage to be placed in the same city! The matching process might just take a little bit longer, because you have to make sure you both find your families in the same city. Hope this helped, and let me know if...

Reviews

86%
based on 73 reviews
  • Housing 9.2
  • Support 8.2
  • Fun 8.5
  • Value 8.4
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 73
Default avatar
Tim
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AuPair in China

After the first 6 months I feel so excited to extent four more months. The time being here us great as we make new friends, learn the Chinese culture and finally the language.
For everyone who us looking for an adventure, for something new and an unforgettable life experience...
I'd definitely recommend China as your gap year destination...
This great great great life exper3inc is for everyone who wants to have a great great great life experience.
So don't hesitate to apply for this great great great life experience programme and extent your own horizon. Becaue if there is something I can tell you then the following which I will mention in the following one or two paragraphs...(Maybe just one):
This opportunity going abroad and enriching oneself with a lot of different experiences won't be available in ones whole life. Bring young and free means enjoying ones life the best we can.
So apply now and safe even some money for applying in advance...who knows

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
That's a difficult question...but so far I ate a lot of weird things. Maybe it will be even more strange in future..
Default avatar
Jonathan
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I gained in character and probably size (China has some great food!!)

I certainly got a lot of value out of 6 months in the Lopair Au Pair Programme and would certainly recommend it to any young person who excels but more importantly enjoys working with children.

As an 18 year old, coming to China has been my first adventure as a fully fledged adult and for that is has been perfect. You are still very much dependant for food and living and have to follow a strict schedule that may impact your social life but there is also a gain in responsibilities as you care for and mentor a child. I found living with my host family nothing like a work contract but instead I was very much integrated as one of them. Granted, living in a foreign country does involve certain obsticales but the family and my local coordinator were very caring in helping to overcome anything.

Before coming to Beijing, I was wondering how hard it would be to meet people. Turns out, five minutes after saying goodbye to my parents at the airport, I met another British boy headed for China with LoPair and since then we've become good friends despite the fact that we've been in different cities. I've made some friends for life while I've been in China and now it gives me an excuse to book a holiday and visit them some day.

To any person considering this opportunity, I believe the three most important characteristics you need to show in order to gain the most as an au pair is patience, open-mindedness and friendliness. In the end, your time spent here is a luck of the draw when you are matching with a host family so I can't emphasize enough to consider carefully when choosing. Some au pairs really hit it off with their families, some can be left a little in the rain. Luckily, I was one of the fortunate ones and got on very well with my host family. I look forward to keeping in touch as I go on to other adventures!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Choose your host family wisely and try to balance Au pairing with meeting friends.
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CELIA
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity to experience China and their culture

I am going to finish my 6 months program and I am so happy to feel how much my host kids have learnt during these months but also so sad to say goobye to my host family. I am very lucky to call them family now because they really make me feel part of them.

Hangzhou is an amazing city with a lot of history and nature. If you really take avantage of your days-off you can travel a lot around China and discover their amazing culture.

You also go twice a week to chinese course, the teachers are awesome and it is the best way to improve your chinese, but if you really want to learn you must study by yourself.

Finally you will meet a lot of people that will become a big support for you and make your time more enjoyable!

Now that is almost over I am so happy I went through the bad days but also through amazing moments that I will keep forever. I feel grateful for this opportunity.

If you decide to come to China do your best and enjoy every second here. Good luck!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be really sure about this program. And if you just want to try new culture you may start with 3 months and extend later if you are happy in China!
Default avatar
Isabelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Advice for future au pairs!

This program is a great way of experiencing China! You will see parts of China that you would never see as a tourist. Hangzhou’s local coordinator is AWESOME!! She helps with everything and is always there for you!! Come to Hangzhou!! Here is beautiful landscape, lake, temples, tea fields and also super convinient to travel from!! I strongly recommend to come first for only 3 months and then extend if you would like. I have seen too many cases where au pairs were going to stay for longer (6-9 months) but had to/wanted to go home earlier and therefor had to cancel the program and pay a lot of money... also, don’t go through an agency in your own country because they will charge you a lot of money! If you go through lopair directly you pay so little it’s rediciolous. So don’t make the same mistake like I did! Good luck!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Cold inside and food manners! Very diffenrent from what I’m used to
Default avatar
Emma
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Three months in Hangzhou

I think the enjoyment of your programme will definitely come down to the family you are matched with as this is where you will spend the majority of your time. From my own personal experience whilst my original family was somewhat welcoming the language barrier was extremely difficult at times and from hearing stories of other au pairs family I felt like this family lacked the cultural exchange aspect and the sense of being part of their family. Luckily though for the last month of my stay I was able to swap families which I was so thankful for. My second host family was so amazing and the host father was fluent in English so this much communication between the family so much easier. I will genuinely miss my second host family.

By far my favourite part of the programme was making friends from all over the world. Honestly it made the time in China so much more enjoyable. The chinese lessons twice a week were also excellent. My chinese teacher Mango at the language school was an excellent teacher!

As for the staff at Lopair everyone is so friendly! I cannot thank my local coordinator Yvonne enough. No matter what time of the day it was I was able to message Yvonne for help and she would reply straight away and was always happy to help!

Although this experience was challenging at times I am so thankful I decided to partake in this programme. You will definetly gain invaluable skills of independence and personal growth from your time in China.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel that the pocket money is not enough for your time in China especially if you want to do more activities and travel. You will definetly need to subside some of your living costs with your own personal savings!
Default avatar
Felizia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful experience

I am about to finish my six month program in Hangzhou in a few days.

I was lucky to get a wonderful and welcoming family with two lovely children. Compared to a lot of the other aupairs I had a big advantage, because my family was able to speak both English and German, which made the communication very easy.

Hangzhou is a beautiful city if you are looking for something completely different. It isn’t as crowded as Shanghai or Beijing and there is still plenty of nature surrounding the city center.

The best part of the whole experience was meeting all the other aupairs and getting to know so many people from all around the world. I made a lot of new friends and I am even going to visit some after my stay in China is over. I would definitely recommend the program.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
There were plenty of dishes where I wasn’t even sure what I was eating but the weirdest ones were for sure pig feet and duck tongue.
Nora
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A chance worth taking

During my 6 months in China I’ve been able to experience so much, some things bad but overall good.

I’ve been living in Beijing but also gotten the chance to visit Sanya, Harbin and Shanghai.
I’ve got to try all kinds of food, some I didn’t even know you could eat.
I’ve made friends from all over the world.
I’ve seen amazing things, such as the Great Wall (but don’t walk up, that’ll hurt the next morning...)

There are two things that will make your experience in China great, your family and yourself. Choose your family wisely and make sure you can communicate well. Families in China are different so being able to adapt will make it easier for both of you. Talk about how they like to educate and take care of children and how you like to do it and come to an agreement on how to do it.

There’s a lot of things I can say but most importantly: if you come with and open mind and give and take you’ll probably have a great experience like me.

Default avatar
Antonia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable experience

The past 6 month that I got to spend in Beijing were some of the best in my life. I experienced a strange culture with their ancient traditions and odd manners. Although I can’t speak Chinese it was easy to make new friend, get around and discover new places.

If you like working with kids and enjoy discovering a new culture then this Programm is probably one of the best options to choose from. The agency and of course your future host family will take good care of you and help you in every situation. Therefore you should be communicative and outgoing.

The agency also offers culture classes and family activities to make it easier for you to find new friends. And the mandarin classes you will attend are fun too. Besides learning the language it is another opportunity for you to hang out with your mates.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Thanks to my host family I got to try a lot of new food and I started to eat food I never liked before. They showed me as many different styles as possible and I enjoyed most of them. I even tried frogs, worms and chicken feet.
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Lennart
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One of my best decisions

I was comming to China to challenge myself and as a gap-year before university (also learning the language isn't to bad).
But what I found was not a challenge at all.

I was always very welcome in my host family and got treated as a member of the family.
I got a connection to the kids quite fast and could communicate to my host parents very easily, due to their good English, which made my stay alot easier.

I think the biggest problems for aupairs is, that they have to little time going out (Curfew/working time) and that sometimes they are being viewed more as a worker than as a family member.

I count myself as very lucky and my time here was definitely worth it.
I had a great experience in china and would recommend it for people that look for something different.

Default avatar
Phillip
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenge yourself

Coming from the rather quiet Germany I prepared myself for an adventure including, incredible crowds, skyscrapers, weird food, different mentalities and a ridiculous language. I definitely was not disappointed, China is different in nearly every aspect of life which makes a (little) culture shock inevitable. Besides travelling and all the nice parts of being in a foreign country there are also some challenging parts, on which I want to focus in my review.

First of all I want to clarify that this program is neither about you nor does LoPair have presents to give away. They are not a welfare organization but a business organization with their focus on the host families (who pay insane amounts of money to have us as their private teacher/family member). If you decide to come to China as an Au Pair you decide to work in China for more than 35hours a week and absolute minimum wage. It is not travelling in China and having loads of free time as a lot of Au Pairs like to hope when they first come here. I've seen a lot of Au Pairs leaving China after just a few days/weeks because they misinterpreted the program description. Second I want to stress that dealing with high expectations not only for your host child to learn the foreign language but also regarding you as a person can be extremely intimidating. Most Chinese families still think of foreigners as being hardworking academics who manage their time in the most efficient way, whereas in reality, and I think I can speak for all of us, we also like to watch Netflix, laugh at memes, spend nights out and procrastinate in terms of studying and work. Be prepared to feel the foreign implied urge to outgrow yourself.
Furthermore you as an Au Pair are not living an independent life, which can be quite annoying if you in your personal development are already an independent person. You as an Au Pair are living for another family, meaning your sleep schedule, freetime and vacation plans, studying schedule etc. but also wether they see you as a family member or employee depends on your family's plans and moods which change from day to day. Flexibility and adaptability are key. If your hostchild only sleeps 15 hours on a whole weekend because it's going through a phase then don't expect to sleep more than that (of course the next nights he/she will sleep more again, but still). In a lot of families you are indeed not only a language teacher but more of an educator who spends more time with the children and has therefore more influence on the children's behavioural education than the parents themselves. In the time that you are their Au Pair you are responsible for their children's development which on it's own is a very big challenge. In addition, you not only have to be a good teacher you also have to ensure that the children are interested in you as a person and want to be around you (want to be influenced by you).
Besides all that you also want to make sure to take care of yourself by studying Chinese (which you should see as freetime not as a duty), meeting friends and exploring your area. This is where your host family comes into play, if they grant you regular off days, understand the program guidelines and respect your needs and interests your freetime will make up for what you have to go through every week (was luckily the case for me). If not seek help at LoPair. Since you work for the family, let LoPair work for you and your needs, don't work for both parties and try to make out everything on your own or you want to leave China quicker than your host child can say ”不要“ (a stubborn way to express their resentment).

As a conclusion I want to tell you about how all Au Pairs (including me) always complain about how exhausting, suppressing and toxic being an Au Pair in China is and that I don't think that that's a lie or an over exaggeration.
But I also think that exactly these challenges and unsolvable seeming problems that you will face are the fact why you WILL outgrow yourself, why you will develop a stronger personality and why you will gain key qualifications that you wouldn't have gained in your average 9-5 job or uni.
We don't grow when we are comfortable, but when we have to leave our comfort zone.
Don't come as an Au Pair if you want to travel, but come as an Au Pair if you want to face new challenges, because that's what being an Au Pair in China is, a challenge.

Special thanks to my Mandarin teacher Scarlette and my local coordinator Yvonne without who I wouldn't have been able to complete the 6 months.

*mic drop*

What would you improve about this program?
More pocket money for the Au Pairs and Lo Pair not talking about the families as if they don't make mistakes. Also LoPair shouldn't make the families expect so much from their au pair to create a more loving and familiar atmosphere. Au Pair and host child won't function through pressure and expectations but through a loving environment and feeling well valued.
Default avatar
Diana
7/10
No, I don't recommend this program

3 months in China

I have mixed feelings about my Au Pair time in China.

On one side I got to know lots of amazing people, that I’ll definetly miss. We had lots of fun together, even though our tight schedules didn’t give us that much time to meet up. The other Au Pairs were people, who understood me when I was talking about problems with my host family or cultural differences, when others didn’t.
My host family was also one of the better ones, compared to horror stories I heard from others. Of course there were some misunderstandings from time to time but what I really appreciate is that my host mum supported me at studying Chinese and getting to know Chinese culture better. After the kids were in bed, we sometimes had short practice sessions where she would test my vocabulary, practices things I learnt in class or tried to teach me new things.

On the other side I need to say that there are lots of things I did not expected in this parogram. I knew, that there are lots of cultural differences between western countries and Asia, but sometimes it was tough because my host family did not understood how important certain things are for me (e.g. Christmas). What I also realized is, that I never felt like a part of the family. The focus of our program lays on teaching, so we are live-in teachers - not the big sister. I felt very pressured because I was afraid the kids don’t make enough progress.
Furthermore, the reason I came to China was to travel and become more independent, but in the end I couldn’t really leave Shanghai because there was no time (most Au pairs have their off day on a day where they have chinese class). So if your intention is to travel I would not suggest to this program.

What would you improve about this program?
More time off, working schedules that the Au Pair and Host family follow (checked by LC)
Response from LoPair Education

Dear Diana,

Thank you for your comments regarding LoPair Au Pair China program experience.

We truly value your feedback and the opportunity it brings to make improvements. I am very sorry and disappointed to hear that we did not deliver our usual high standard of assistance when you feel pressured. We also highly recommend when you feel tough, do not hesitate to contact our Mentor. They will assist you professionally. And also, we get some feedback from your host family. Due to the cultural differences, some Chinese families are not good at expressing their emotions with words. But I believe you can feel they do help you a lot in your daily life and also support your every decision.

If you have more questions or advice. I welcome the opportunity to connect with you. I can be contacted on email [email protected] Thank you once again for your feedback, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Nancy Li
Program Service Manager

Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

3 months in Beijing

I spent three months as an aupair in Beijing and got the chance to become part of a lovely family. I loved spending time with my host kid and my host family always tried to show me as much of their culture as possible. They took me on trips within Beijing at least once per week and we also got to spent a few days at the ocean together etc. Even though being an aupair and teaching children English can be quite challenging from time to time and requires a lot of effort and energy as well as commitment for children, my host family always made sure that I got enough free time to discover the city and spend time with friends. So I got the chance to camp and hike with friends on the Great Wall...
Also the cultural classes offered by Lopair, like a Kung Fu class or a traditional tea ceremony, were very interesting and the Chinese classes by Mandarin House were an excellent opportunity to study Chinese.

All in all, this program is an amazing opportunity to get to know China and its culture, to become part of a lovely family and to learn Chinese. I am incredibly grateful for my host family and hope to visit them in Beijing again soon!

Default avatar
Birgit
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

China

It was an amazing experience. But try to take things not personal because the culture is different and mostly the people don't mean it how they say it. Through the chinese class, I could learn some basic skills in Mandarin and I also got a lot of new friends there. Friends make China much better. You can visit a lot of new places. I have been to a lot of different parks as well as in a lot of temple. That are so pretty places. It is nice to see the Buddha figures. They are all unique. Moreover I enjoyed to go to watertown because you can escape from the busy life in the city. To go around I would recommend to download Shanghai metro app and to use google maps. Glogle maps was my best friend in China. The metro system is very easy so you could also manage it without an app. But why should you make your life harder than it has to be.

What would you improve about this program?
More support during the program would be good and that you get not enough information or the wrong one. Always double check how it really is.
Default avatar
Luisa
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

China was a good experience

I really liked this cultural experience here in China! The first month was quite hard as a lot of things are different than where I come from. I would not recommend this program to somebody who has problems with communication issues or homesickness!
Especially the Language barrier was quite a big deal here for me.. of course I am not able to speak Chinese and I can‘t expect everyone in China to speak English but most of the people here do not Even understand a single word.. I was shocked at the beginning. I really liked my family, but as an au pair in China you should be prepared for difficult kids! Collect as much experience with children as possible! Having a good relationship with the child was the hardest challenge for me in China, and until the end ist stayed dificult.. I feel like Chinese kids are completely different from European ones!!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe more international families and not only chinese families should be in the program! There live so many international families in Beijing !
Lucien
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was great!

I enjoyed being an au pair to a lovely family in Beijing for three months. I am sure I will miss them and cannot believe how fast the three months went. The Mandarin classes were also really good! It is focused on communication but I am very satisfied with it. We also had cultural classes such as making fans and traditional calligraphy which were very interesting. I would probably do it again if I could and whole heartedly recommend it

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About LoPair Education

LoPair, based in Hangzhou, is proud to be the 1st Chinese au pair company that wins the Au Pair of the Year Winner Award at 2017 annual campaign run by International Au Pair Association. We place au pairs from worldwide with host families in 10+...
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