AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Thailand. 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
- Extended family is very common in Thailand. Everyone in the family helps to take care of the younger members.
- Many Thai people grow up caring for their younger family members or neighbours’ children. There is also a saying that the older siblings must take care of and give to the younger ones first.
- Many older siblings are very familiar with helping their younger siblings with their homework or school projects.
- A close relationship within the family is very important for Thai families. It is very common for children to live with their parents even after they graduate from university or when they get their first job.
- Most Thai families have 2-3 children, and many Thai people have a positive attitude towards having an extended family because everyone is able to help out.
- Thai people teach their children to respect and obey older people, and light household chores are commonly taught/assigned to the children in the family at a young age.
- English is taught from kindergarten up to high school. At university, it is common for the non-English related majors to involve some English courses for the first two years of the degree.
- English classes in schools often focus on grammar, reading and speaking. Usually, speaking classes are conducted by at least one native-speaking English teacher.
- Private English schools are very easily found around town; they provide all types of English courses taught by native speakers.
- The minimum driving age is 18, and candidates have to either learn through a driving school or with a personal instructor.
- The driving test consists of two full days of training and testing at the Department of Transport Office.
- A candidate who fails any part of the driving test requirements will have to repeat the section(s) they have failed in order to obtain their license.
- Most students have access to a formal education system. This is divided into early year education, basic education, vocational education and higher education.
- The Thai education system consists of 12 years of free basic education: 6 years of “Prathom” (primary education) and 6 years of “Mattayom” (secondary education). Enrollment in the basic education system begins at the age of 6.
- Parents put high priority on their children’s education, and school selection requires serious consideration.
- Universal healthcare is provided through three programs: the civil service welfare system for civil servants and their families, Social Security for private employees, and the Universal Coverage scheme theoretically available to all other Thai nationals.
- Thailand is the world leader for medical tourism in total volume, and in both high-end and low-end procedures.
- Thailand follows general standards recommended by the Paediatric Society of Thailand when it comes to vaccinations.
- The Thai Smile, a unique characteristic of Thais. Thais smile at other people easily even when they do not know them.
- Thai Tolerance – Thais are very patient. When they are stuck in traffic for hours, they still smile. It is unlikely to hear the honk of the car in the street. People just stay calm.
- Friendliness – if you are lost, you can ask anyone for directions. Even if those you ask are not able to communicate with you in your language, they will do everything they can to help you in a friendly and warm manner.
- Bangkok’s real name is “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.”
- Thailand’s coastline is 3,219km long and has 1,430 islands, the most famous of which is Koh Phi Phi Lee, which was featured in Danny Boyle’s film “The Beach.”
- Thailand was home to the first internationally-known conjoined twins, who were given the informal name of “Siamese Twins.” Eng and Chang were born in 1811 and moved to the U.S. where they both married, had children and lived to the age of 62.
- How are you? Khun Pen Yang Rai?
- Fine, thanks. Sabai dee, Kob Khun.
- My name is… Chan Chue…
- Nice to meet you! Yin Dee Tee Dai Phob Khun.
- Thank you. Kob Khun Krub (m) / Ka (f).
“I love Au Pair in America! It gave me the opportunity to live with my wonderful host family and lovely kids, travel, go to school and meet new friends from other countries.” – Areewan – au pair from Thailand
“It’s a great opportunity for everyone to learn and see new things!”– Emmika – au pair from Thailand
“The au pair program is an amazing program for everyone who loves to learn more about culture and about other people around the world.” – Somranchana – au pair from Thailand
“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