The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in France. 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 very well established in France.
- Applicants from France are motivated by the opportunity to enhance their career and improve their English.
- An au pair’s job potential is greatly improved upon her return to France.
- Applicants do not have difficulty finding the program fees.
- Young people in France have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
- Curfews are not common.
- Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
- Nudity is practiced in France in dedicated areas.
- The French are known for being friendly, proud and healthy.
- Common discipline techniques, depending on the age and discipline problem, include punishments such as no TV, no pocket money, writing lines, or receiving a slap on the bottom.
- Physical discipline is not common in France.
- Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, babysitting, day care centers, and summer camps.
- Both parents are responsible for the childcare responsibilities.
- It is very common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.
- The driver’s license in is available at age 18 and is not difficult to obtain.
- To obtain a license in France, candidates pay a fee, take lessons. then take a road test.
- The International driving permit is available and is free.
- Generally the parents provide a car in which to practice.
- Most cars have manual transmission.
- English is compulsory in France from ages 11-18.
- Classes focus mainly on written skills.
- Approximately 50% of young women continue their studies at University.
- Others attend technical schools or find a job.
- The academic year starts in October and ends in June.
- The educational opportunities of the program are very important to French au pairs.
- The most common inoculations are Tuberculin, Tetanus, Polio, and Diphtheria.
- Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (Tuberculosis).
- France does not have a free health service.
- Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis, but it is costly.
- “Eating disorders” are not common.
- Most young people France eat meat.
- Vegetarianism is not common.
- The French normally dine at 12pm and 7pm.
- A two-hour lunch break is still very common in France. Usually, the French eat a starter, main dish and dessert.
- The most common religion in France is Catholic.
- Most young people in France do not practice their religion regularly.
- A young person would rarely choose to practice a religion that is different than her family’s religion.
- Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
- Family members will be able to take a message in English from a potential Host Family.
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