America's First Au Pair Program

Trusted live-in child care - since 1986

Au Pair Culture Quests


Capital: Zagreb
Languages: Croatian, Serbian, Other
Useful links: CIA World Factbook

The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Croatia. 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 common in Croatia.
  • Applicants from Croatia are motivated by opportunities to gain new experiences and a love of children and travel.
  • The job potential of an au pair improves upon her return to Croatia.
  • Applicants do not have difficulty affording the program fees.
  • Young people in Croatia have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
  • Curfews are not common after age 18.
  • Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
  • Croatia has a lot of popular nude beaches.
  • Croats view themselves as being good communicators, having a sense of humor, and being agile.
  • Common discipline techniques include talking with the children, taking away what causes a problem, being grounded, losing TV and computer privileges or the ability to go outside and play.
  • Physical discipline of children (spanking) still occurs in Croatia.
  • Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling and babysitting.
  • Usually both parents share 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 driving license at age 18.
  • A driving license is not difficult to obtain, but it is expensive, which may prevent applicants from obtaining a license.
  • It takes approximately three to six months obtain a license in Croatia.
  • The steps involved in obtaining a driving license in Croatia include:
    • Fees
    • Medical exam – eye exam, psychological test, reflexes, EKG
    • Theory classes – 30 hours of traffic regulations and safety rules
    • Written test
    • First Aid class - 9 hours
    • Practical driving training – minimum 35 hours followed by the exam
  • The International driving permit is available.
  • Applicants typically take formal driving lessons and practice driving using their parents’ car; once they have started working they will save money with the intention of buying a car.
  • Most cars have manual transmissions.
  • English is compulsory from the age of 9 and continues through to high school – for a total of 9 years.
  • Courses are both written and oral; however, the focus is primarily on oral skills.
  • The majority of young women in Croatia continue their studies at university.
  • Those who do not attend university find jobs, travel abroad or get married.
  • The academic year in Croatia starts in October and ends in June.
  • The educational opportunities of the Au Pair in America program are very important to applicants.
  • The most common inoculations are diphtheria, typhus, measles, whooping cough, tetanus, rubella.
  • Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (tuberculosis).
  • Croatia does not have a free health service.
  • Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis.
  • “Eating disorders” are not common.
  • Most young people in Croatia eat meat.
  • Vegetarianism is common.
  • A typical Croat diet includes vegetables, stews, soup with meat and potato or rice, pasta, bread and dairy.
  • The most common religion in Croatia is Roman Catholic.
  • Most young people in Croatia practice their religion regularly.
  • Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
  • Family members will not be able to take a message in English from a potential Host Family.

I really feel like I have a family in America after being an au pair. My host family is going to visit me and my family in Sweden this winter and I cannot wait to see them!
Sandra, au pair