AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Hungary. 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
- Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, caring for family members/neighbors and babysitting.
- The idea of being an au pair is common in Hungary. Candidates often have previous au pair experience before applying to the Au Pair in America program.
- Common motivational techniques include verbal warnings and a general expectation to do well and respect their parents.
- Most households consist of a married or unmarried couple and their children. Even when a couple lives in separate households, great value is placed on having the help of a grandmother or grandfather.
- Young people in Hungary have the freedom to socialize and date.
- Hungarian applicants are used to helping with household chores and cooking.
- Studying a foreign language at school is compulsory. Those who choose English start classes at the age of 6-7 with 1-5 lessons a week. There are many possibilities to attend language schools or to take private lessons.
- Most Hungarians choose English as their first foreign language.
- Au pair candidates usually apply with a good or at least intermediate level of English. They are assessed by personal interview.
- The minimum age to drive a car in Hungary is 17 years old.
- Driving courses consist of theoretical lessons as well as practical lessons. Candidates have to pass the theoretical exam first before being able to start the practical lessons. The practical exam consists of two exams: a vehicle handling exam and a traffic exam. A first aid course is also part of the driving course.
- Most cars in Hungary have manual transmission.
- The academic year in Hungary starts in September and ends in June.
- Hungarian higher education has a dual system consisting of colleges and universities. The duration of training at college level is a minimum 3 years and a maximum of 4 years. The duration of education at university level is a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 5 years (with the exception of medical universities, where it is 6 years).
- The majority of young Hungarians continue their studies at university. Those who do not attend university study at other educational institutions or seek employment.
- Healthcare in Hungary is financed by health insurance contributions and is free to all who are insured via the National Health Insurance Fund.
- Life expectancy is rapidly increasing in Hungary.
- Most state-employed doctors and specialists also have private practices, which many Hungarians choose in order to receive a better and more comfortable treatment, especially in the case of dental treatment, gynecology and childbirth.
- Around two-thirds of the Hungarian people are Roman Catholic; around a quarter are Calvinist; and the rest of the population either belongs to the Lutheran, Jewish, or Greek Orthodox faith.
- It is common for friends, family members and close acquaintances that have not seen one another for a while to greet each other/say goodbye with pecks on both cheeks.
- Hungarians are resourceful, helpful, intelligent and hard working. They have a good sense of humor, good accommodation skills and a strong sense of identity.
- The Hungarian language is known as Magyar and is the direct descendent of the language spoken by the “Huns.” It is not an Indo-European language and has only two related languages in Europe: Finnish and Estonian.
- Hungarians have invented many important items over the years including the electric motor, the Telephone Exchange, and BASIC programming language. Laszlo Biro invented the ballpoint pen and Erno Rubik invented the Rubik’s Cube.
- Hungarians are very good at sports. The most successful sports in Hungary’s Olympic history are fencing, water polo, swimming, kayak-canoe and wrestling.
- How are you? Hogy vagy?
- Fine, thanks.: Köszönöm jól.
- My name is…: A nevem ….
- Nice to meet you.: Örülök hogy megismerhetem.
- Thank you.: Köszönöm.
“It is an amazing experience, I learned so much about other cultures and myself. I met great people and made friendships that I know will last forever.”– Ivette – au pair from Hungary
“For someone coming from a small town, it is a life changing experience. It broadens your horizons and makes you more confident in your abilities.” – Judit – au pair from Hungary
“For me it was the best decision in my life and I would recommend this to every young person. It’s a great opportunity to learn English, to travel and to be part of an American family.” – Piroska – au pair from Hungary
“You can not beat the flexibility of the Au Pair program. My au pairs have been so great that my friends want to steal them and take them home!”
Catherine , host parent