AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in South Korea. 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, or babysitting. Many South Korean girls tutor children in English and Math while attending university.
- The mother is usually responsible for the majority of the childcare responsibilities.
- It is becoming more common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.
Au Pairs in General
- The idea of being an au pair is not common in South Korea.
- Applicants from South Korea are motivated by the opportunity to experience American culture and to improve their English.
- Applicants do not have difficulty affording the program fees.
- Young people in South Korea have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
- Curfews are very common.
- Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
- Nudity is uncommon.
- South Koreans are generous, warm, kind, and extremely hardworking.
- English is compulsory in South Korea.
- English is taught beginning in elementary school through university. English education in South Korea used to focus on written English but this is changing to focus more on spoken English.
- The minimum driving age is age 18. Most applicants obtain their driving license between the ages of 21-22.
- The driving license is not difficult to obtain, but it is relatively expensive.
- It takes approximately two months obtain a license in South Korea.
- The process in order to obtain the driver’s license is:
- Traffic safety training for 5hours
- Physical examination
- Written test
- The 1st practical test in the test area after driving a minimum of 20 hours
- The 2nd practical test in the real road after driving a minimum of 10 hours
- The International driving permit is available.
- Applicants must take formal driving lessons and practice using their parents’ car.
- Most cars are automatic.
- Approximately 20% of young women continue their studies at University.
- Others seek employment or get married.
- The academic year starts in March and ends in November or December.
- South Korean girls are very eager to improve their English.
- The most common inoculations are Tetanus, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Polio, Mumps, Whooping cough, and German measles.
- Most young women are both inoculated and tested for TB (Tuberculosis).
- South Korea has a free health service.
- Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis.
- “Eating disorders” are not common among South Korean girls.
- Most young people in South Korea eat meat.
- Vegetarianism is not common.
- A typical South Korean diet includes rice and kimchi (seasoned cabbage) and lots of vegetables as a traditional meal, but many people like western food such as bread, steaks, pasta and pizza.
- The most common religions in South Korea are Christianity and Buddhism.
- A young person would rarely choose to practice a religion that is different than her family’s religion. It is common for students to attend a religious-affiliated school that is not their own religion.
Telephone & Internet
- Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
- Family members will not be able to take a message in English from a potential host family.
“By inviting a person from another country to join our family, live with us, and learn about our culture, we actually learn so much about ourselves, how our own culture and way of life appear through the lens of someone new.”
Belle, host parent
“The flexibility the program affords us is outstanding. With other child care options, I always felt I was accommodating their schedule instead of my own.”
Jill, host parent