AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
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.
Child Care Skills
- It is common for Croatian people to take care of their siblings and cousins, and older children in the family will always help to take care of younger siblings.
- Childcare is considered very important in Croatia, which has a very good “University of Teachers” with departments for junior school teachers (7-10) and kindergarten teachers (3-7).
- A lot of Croatian girls attend high schools for midwives where they get qualified to deliver babies at hospitals and to take care of newborns and the mothers.
- Two or more children per family is common.
- Children are taught responsibility by giving them small tasks and duties from an early age such as shopping in a nearby grocery shop or bakery, tidying up their bedrooms, helping to prepare meals and clearing up dishes.
- Croatia is a very family-oriented country, and seeing other family members is important. Parents like to spend time with their children outdoors, and sports are encouraged.
- English is taught at all levels of education, and lessons start in kindergarten. It is a compulsory subject in every kind of school from 1st grade to graduation.
- English classes focus on oral and written skills.
- Croatians have everyday contact with spoken English when watching TV, going to the cinema or using the Internet. Still, a lot of children attend additional English lessons at schools for foreign languages.
- The minimum driving age in Croatia is 18, and most applicants obtain their driving license at this age.
- The process of obtaining the license can take up to 6 months. Completing a full professional driving course is required before the candidate is allowed to take the driving exam.
- Croatian drivers are used to driving in different weather and usually have experience driving in rain, snow and ice.
- Education in Croatia is free and compulsory until the age of 18.
- Higher education is also mostly free because the government funds all public universities and allows them to set quotas for free enrollment, based on students’ prior results.
- Parents put a lot of focus on children’s education from a very young age. Children start to learn foreign languages very early and encourage extracurricular activities such as sports and music.
- Croatia has a universal healthcare system, and the Croatian population is covered by this basic, all-inclusive health insurance system.
- Regular medical check-ups are provided by schools at every stage of education.
- It is common to visit the dentist.
- Croatian people describe themselves as ambitious and resourceful.
- Croatian have very strong ties to their family.
- Croatians are very proud of their heritage and culture, and this sense of pride comes from their long and rich culture, as well as a legacy of foreign invasion and control.
- Croatia is home to the world’s smallest town: the town of Hum, a sleepy place with cobblestone streets…and that’s about it!
- The Croatian currency is the Kuna, which is the Croatian word for the marten, a ferret-like rodent prized for its luxurious fur!
- Croatia is home to the world’s most beautiful sunset…according to Alfred Hitchcock! To find out if you agree, you must visit the city of Zarar.
- How are you? Kako ste?
- Fine, thanks. Dobro, hvala.
- My name is… Zovem se or ime mi je…
- Nice to meet you! Drago mi je da smo se upoznali!
- Thank you. Hvala.
“This will be the best decision of your life if you love working with children because you will grow up a lot as a person!”– Leana – au pair from Croatia
“Being an au pair was a beautiful experience for me. Not that I only met new friends from all around the world but I gained a new family and therefore enriched my life.” – Pavica – au pair from Croatia
“It’s great experience to learn about yourself. Getting out of your comfort zone gives you the chance to develop in ways you were not able to even imagine before. You get good prospective of the world and yourself.” – Andrea – au pair from Croatia
“In the U.S. I did not work for an employer, I was part of a family that would be my family for the rest of my life.”
Naomi, au pair