AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Ukraine. 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
- Common discipline techniques include verbal reprimands and examples of good behavior.
- Physical discipline is not common in the Ukraine, but it happens.
- Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, babysitting, and working in summer camps or in kindergartens.
- Usually both parents share the childcare responsibilities.
- It is 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 in the U.S. is becoming common in the Ukraine. It has been an option in other countries for several years.
- Applicants from Ukraine are motivated by a desire to improve their English and to experiencing living in America.
- An au pair’s job potential is improved upon her return to Ukraine. Her experience will help to maintain good international relationships in the future.
- Applicants generally do not have difficulty finding the program fees.
- Young people in Ukraine have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
- Curfews are common until age 18.
- Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
- It is not common to sunbathe in the nude.
- Ukrainians have a different perception of everyday dress than Americans. Young ladies are often dressed in t-shirts with slogans that they do not understand. Their style of dress is not always modest, which may be different to the American sporty style.
- Ukrainians are cheerful, enthusiastic, and optimistic.
- English is now compulsory in schools.
- Classes focus on oral skills at a young age, then the intensity increases in high school.
- English is a compulsory subject in most schools.
- British English is mainly taught, therefore grammar is a huge part of learning English.
- Children usually start learning from the age of 7 and have 12 years of schooling. If it is their second language, they will have to study English from the age of 11 until graduation.
- The driver’s license in is available at age 18, and is not commonly held by applicants.
- To obtain a license in the Ukraine, candidates study for a month for the practical test and a month for the theoretical part. For 2 weeks they study for the road test.
- There are two types of Driving Licenses in the Ukraine, and both of them are international. The more expensive one has more privileges associated with it, such as renting a car.
- The International driving permit is available.
- Generally the driving school provides a car in which to practice.
- Most cars have a manual transmission.
- Higher Education is very common in Ukraine. Approximately 70% of young women continue their studies at University.
- The academic year starts in September and ends in June.
- The educational opportunities of the program are very important because they have heard a lot about American Colleges.
- The most common inoculations are Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough, Polio, Measles, German Measles, and Mumps.
- Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (Tuberculosis).
- Health services are free in the Ukraine.
- Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis, but it is expensive.
- Ukrainian women are generally slender by nature. They do not generally have any problems with eating disorders.
- Most young people in Ukraine eat meat.
- Vegetarianism is not common.
- A typical Ukrainian diet includes milk products, soups, fruits and vegetables.
- The most common religion in Ukraine is Christian Orthodox.
- Most young people in Ukraine do not practice their religion regularly.
- A young person would rarely choose to practice a religion that is different than her family’s religion.
Telephone & Internet
- Most Ukrainian homes have a telephone.
- Family members will not be able to take a message from a potential Host Family.
- Access to the Internet is readily available.
“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 Massachusetts
“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 New Jersey