The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Canada. 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.
- The idea of being an au pair is not common, though the fees are not a deterrent to applying to be an au pair.
- Young people in Canada have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
- Curfews are common and city police agencies generally enforce curfews for minors.
- Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores from a young age.
- Nudity is not common.
- Canadians are known across the world to be pleasant and polite and are welcomed as tourists.
- Common discipline techniques include methods of redirecting them or time-outs.
- Physical discipline is not common in Canada.
- Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, babysitting, or working in a childcare centre, after school program, or summer camp.
- The majority of households have both parents working, so parenting responsibilities are shared.
- It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.
- Each province governs the age and fees to obtain a driving license. The minimum age is 16. Many provinces have graduated licensing programs that limit the number of passengers and times of day drivers can drive. It is very common for a young adult to complete driver training to get a driving license.
- Most provinces require a vision test and a written or oral exam assessing the knowledge of laws, signs and rules of the road before the candidate can be assessed on her practical driving skills. It may be two years before an applicant is able to drive without restrictions.
- The International driving permit is available.
- Use of the family car is the most common method of gaining experience, though many teens have their own car.
- Most cars have an automatic transmission.
- Canada has two official languages, English and French, though the majority of Canadians speak, read and write only English.
- The majority of young women continue their studies at University.
- Others attend trade schools or seek employment.
- The academic year of most Universities is late August through early May.
- The most common inoculations are polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicela, diphtheria, tetanus, meningitis, and pneumococcal pneumonia.
- Most young women are not inoculated and tested for TB (Tuberculosis) unless they have worked in the health related professions or have traveled to areas with high prevalence of TB.
- The health care system in Canada is socialized and with few exceptions provides coverage to all Canadian citizens regardless of age, income or medical history. It is publicly funded and administered on a provincial or territorial basis, within guidelines set by the federal government.
- Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis, and it is expensive.
- “Eating disorders” are not common, but do occur.
- Most young people in Canada eat meat as part of a regular diet.
- Vegetarianism is not common.
- A typical Canadian diet is similar to that of the U.S.
- Canada is a diverse country with respect to religion and race. The predominant religions in Canada are Christianity and Judaism.
- Families worship together.
- Homes have telephones and computers with access to the Internet.
- Family members will be able to take a message from a potential Host Family.
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