Our Russian Au Pairs placed in the U.S. have experience with a wide variety of age groups. Over 80 percent of these Au Pairs have experience with infants and with children over the age of 10, but all of our Au Pairs in the U.S. have experience with children 2-10 years old. This comes from many of our Au Pairs from Russia working as teachers prior to their arrival in the U.S.
Russian Au Pairs are motivated to come to the U.S. to improve their English as this will
increase their opportunities back home. The majority of our Au Pairs from Russia were pursuing college degrees prior to their arrival and the education component of the program is typically important to these Au Pairs as well.
It is common for Au Pairs from Russia to drive prior to their arrival in the U.S. In fact, all of our Russian Au Pairs currently in the country already had a driver’s license prior to their arrival.
What do Host Parents say about their Au Pairs from Russia?
Kim has been a Host Mom with Go Au Pair since 2006 and her Au Pair from Russia, Maria, was the fifth Au Pair the family has hosted.
How well did your Au Pair assimilate into your home?
“Maria assimilated very well into our home. From talking with her before she arrived, we learned that her family is similar to ours, meaning that her parent’s parenting-style is similar to how we parent our children. Their household is similar to ours as well, in the sense that they each have chores to do around the house, they attend worship services regularly, they do not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, the parents are a dual-income family and are considered middle-class. We also learned that Russia is fairly Westernized and similar to the U.S., and Russian teenagers and young adults are a bit similar to those here in the U.S.”
What cultural differences did you encounter?
“We have not encountered many cultural differences. We’ve learned that some things are a little different in Russia than here, but not drastically so. For example, in Russia, clothing is very expensive where here, it may seem expensive but it is cheaper than what they would pay. Jobs are more difficult to find in Russia, and the pay is lower than what it is here in the U.S. Housing, in terms of actual single-family homes, is scarce and more expensive, so most people live in apartments. They do not rely on driving automobiles there like we do here in the U.S., they rely more on mass transportation like buses and trains. Education is different there in terms of how many grades they complete before beginning what we would consider to be college or University, and the amount of time spent in college or University is a little different than here.”
Would you ever choose another Au Pair from Russia?
“Yes, we would consider choosing another Au Pair from Russia, based on the following:
1. Maria’s English was very good (although this can vary between each person).
2. Russia in general is fairly Westernized, so there was not a lot of culture shock for her to adjust to.
3. If needing someone who can drive, Russia has similar driving rules as ours, and although they drive on the opposite side of the road, it is not a big adjustment for them to drive here in the U.S. and pass a driver’s exam.”