Culture Quests

Slovakia

Europe
Capital: Bratislava
Languages: Slovak (official), Hungarian, Roma
Useful links: Kids Culture Corner: Slovakia | CIA World Factbook

The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Slovakia. 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.

Au Pairs in General

  • The idea of being an au pair is becoming common in Slovakia.
  • Applicants from Slovakia are motivated by opportunities to travel, experience a new culture and improve their English skills.
  • The job potential of an au pair improves upon her return to Slovakia.
  • Applicants sometimes have difficulty affording the program fees.
  • Young people in Slovakia have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
  • Curfews are not common for applicants older than 18.
  • Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
  • Nudity and sunbathing nude is rare, though culturally acceptable in Slovakia.
  • Au pairs from Slovakia describe themselves as being excited, curious and flexible.

Child Care Practices

  • Common discipline techniques include verbal reprimands and a general expectation to do well and respect their parents.
  • Physical discipline is not common in Slovakia.
  • Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, and practical experience.
  • Usually both parents share the childrearing responsibilities.
  • It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.

Driving Skills

  • The minimum driving age is 18. Most applicants obtain their driving license at age 18.
  • A driving license is not difficult to obtain, but it is expensive.
  • It takes approximately four months to obtain a license in Slovakia.
  • The steps involved in obtaining a driving license in Slovakia include:
    • Theoretical written test with traffic rules and scenarios
    • Practical road test
    • Fees
  • The International driving permit is available and affordable.
  • Applicants typically take formal driving lessons and practice driving using their parents’ car. It is not common for applicants to own their own car.
  • Most cars have manual transmissions.

English Language Skills

  • English is compulsory.
  • Classes focus on both oral and written skills.

Education

  • Approximately 70% of young women continue their studies at university.
  • Those who do not attend university start families or work.
  • The academic year in Slovakia starts in September and ends in June.

Health

  • The most common inoculations are TB, MMR, DPT and Hepatitis B.
  • Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (tuberculosis).
  • Slovakia has a free health service.
  • Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis.
  • “Eating disorders” are not common, but do occur.

Diet

  • Many young people in Slovakia eat meat.
  • Vegetarianism is common as well.
  • A typical diet in Slovakia includes meat, potatoes, vegetables, rice and fruit.

Religion

  • The most common religion in Slovakia is Catholocism.
  • Most young people in Slovakia do not practice their religion regularly.

Telephone & Internet

  • Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
  • Family members may not be able to take a message in English from a potential host family.

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