The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Bulgaria. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.
- Bulgarians nod their heads to mean no versus American nodding which means acceptance and agreement.
- The idea of being an au pair is a new concept in Bulgaria.
- Applicants from Bulgaria are motivated by travel opportunities.
- The job potential of an au pair improves upon her return to Bulgaria.
- Applicants sometimes have difficulty affording the program fees.
- Young people in Bulgaria have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
- Curfews are not common.
- Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
- Sunbathing in the nude is not tolerated, and nudity in the home is not common.
- Bulgarians are ambitious, skillful, and disciplined.
- Common discipline techniques include verbal reprimands and loss of privileges.
- Physical discipline is not common in Bulgaria.
- Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, babysitting, and tutoring.
- Usually both parents share the childcare responsibilities.
- It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.
- The minimum driving age is age 18. Most applicants obtain their license at age 18.
- A driving license is not difficult or expensive to obtain.
- It takes approximately two months obtain a license in Bulgaria.
- The steps involved in obtaining a driving license in Bulgaria include:
- Driving lessons
- Theoretical written test
- Practical test
- The International driving permit is available.
- Applicants typically take formal driving lessons and practice driving using their parents’ car.
- Most cars have manual transmissions.
- English is compulsory in Bulgaria beginning at age 10.
- Classes focus on written skills and have high standards.
- Approximately 60% of young women continue their studies at university.
- Those who do not attend university seek employment.
- The academic year in Bulgaria starts in October and ends in July.
- The educational opportunities of the Au Pair in America program are important to applicants.
- The most common inoculations are against chicken pox and tuberculosis.
- Bulgaria has a combination of free health services and private health insurance.
- Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis.
- “Eating disorders” are not common, but do occur.
- Most young people in Bulgaria eat meat.
- Vegetarianism is not common.
- Bulgarians enjoy meals of meat, potatoes and beans, and salads. Lunch is the main meal of the day. Dinner is eaten late at night.
- The most common religion in Bulgaria is Orthodox Christianity.
- Most young people in Bulgaria do not practice their religion regularly.
- Most homes have a telephone and applicants have access to the Internet.
- Family members will not be able to take a message in English from a potential host family.
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