AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
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.
Child Care Skills
- It is common for Slovak people to take care of their siblings. It is considered natural that older children in the family take care of younger siblings.
- Preparing meals from scratch for children is very common.
- Slovak families believe in the value of positive motivation.
- The family is the centre of the social structure. It, together with close friends, forms the basis of financial and emotional support. Obligation to the family is a person’s number one priority.
- Children are taught responsibility by giving them light but regular tasks and duties from an early age.
- Slovakia is a very family-oriented country. It is common to visit other family members over holidays or weekends.
- English is taught at all levels of education, starting in kindergarten. It is a compulsory subject in every kind of school from 4th grade to graduation.
- English-language movies and TV series are mostly dubbed in Slovakia.
- The opportunity to improve their language skills during the Au Pair in America program is one of the reasons Slovak applicants join the program
- The minimum driving age in Slovakia is 18. Sometimes an exception can be made and they can start driving from 17 with an adult who has a valid driving license for at least 10 years. Most applicants obtain their driving license between 18 and 20 years old.
- The process of obtaining the license usually takes 2-3 months. Completing a full professional driving course is required before the candidate is allowed to take the exam.
- It is also mandatory to attend a First Aid course and to take a First Aid exam at the driving school.
- Primary education in Slovakia lasts for 10 years and it is compulsory. Children start attending school at the age of 6 until the age of 16.
- The majority of Slovaks complete secondary education at least.
- Parents put a lot of focus on children’s education from a very young age. Children start to learn foreign languages very early and take various additional courses.
- The healthcare system is based on an all-inclusive insurance system.
- State-subsidized healthcare is available to all Slovak citizens who are covered by a general health insurance program.
- It is common to visit the dentist on a regular basis, usually once a year.
- Slovak people describe themselves as friendly, open and talkative.
- Slovaks are very hospitable, modest and sincere.
- Slovaks have strong family ties.
- Slovakia has the world´s highest number of castles and chateaus per capita.
- Slovakia has more than 6,000 caves.
- Slovakia has more than 1,300 mineral springs.
- How are you? Ako sa máš?
- Fine, thanks. Dobre, ďakujem.
- My name is… Volám sa…
- Nice to meet you! Rada ťa spoznávam!
- Thank you. Ďakujem.
“I have found many new friends here, gained many experiences and what is the most important, I do not regret my decision and I would definitely come back again.”– Natalia, au pair from Slovakia
“Go for it and you will not regret it!”– Kinga, au pair from Slovakia
“A great experience, it is very important to gain a new view on your life and the USA is exactly made for this! The best of luck to all au pairs!”– Michaela, au pair from Slovakia
“The most important thing is that, like my host mum said…, I am part of the team. I share their daily routine and I am lucky to be with my host family.”
Verena, au pair