Language courses are an important part of au pair programs in any country. In order to experience the country to its fullest, au pairs should learn at least basic skills in the local language so they can navigate their way around and have conversations with local people. Each country has its own regulations regarding taking a language course, but most au pairs take at least one course during their stay.
The responsibility of payment for the language course depends on the country and varies between government-sponsored, host family, and the au pair themselves.
In some countries, the language requirements to become an au pair state that they must have a basic knowledge of the local language and should practice with their host parents to improve. It is also common for both parties to have at least conversational English skills to ensure smooth communication, especially regarding expectations. Some au pairs choose to take an intensive English program during their stay in addition to the local language to improve their skills in this area as well.
At Nina.care, we ask both host parents and au pairs to have at least conversational English skills to work with us so that we can mediate and provide the best support possible and provide a great au pair experience to both parties.
Au pairs should take a suitable course for language learning of the local language which will bring them new and different opportunities in their host country. It is a great way to learn about the culture and gives them the confidence and language skills needed to navigate situations where they are in the supermarket, need directions on public transport, or are ordering food in a restaurant. Plus, these courses are a great way to meet new people who may be on similar paths in their cultural exchange journey.
In contrast, we also recommend au pairs to find and connect with people from their home country so that they can speak the au pair’s language with them. Learning and communicating in different languages consistently can be a great experience but can also be tiring, so speaking in their native tongue is a wonderful way to reconnect with home while abroad.