Οικογένεια υποδοχής στη Νέα Υόρκη
Πιθανόν να αναρωτιέσαι πως είναι να συμμετέχεις στο πρόγραμμα au pair και να μένεις με μια οικογένεια υποδοχής; Να ζεις με ξένους… Δεν είσαι ο μόνος :). Κάθε χρόνο διεξάγεται ο διαγωνισμός “Au Pair of the Year”, όπου οι οικογένειες υποδοχής βραβεύουν τους συμμετέχοντες Παρακάτω μπορείς να διαβάσεις τα γράμματα που στέλνουν για τον διαγωνισμό οι οικογένειες αλλά και οι συμμετέχοντες για την συνεργασία τους. Ελπίζουμε ότι θα σε βοηθήσει να καταλάβεις καλύτερα πως είναι να συμμετέχεις στο πρόγραμμα και να ζεις με μια οικογένεια υποδοχής.
Το γράμμα της οικογένειας για την Έφη
Effie arrived in New York from Greece in September 2013 to work as an au pair with our family and our 3 children.
Effie had never been to the United States before, so we were initially prepared to allow for a necessary transition period as life here and especially in New York is very different than in Europe and can be very demanding, if not hectic at times. But from the moment she arrived, we felt like she was part of the family. She felt immediately comfortable at our house and started developing a relationship with our children as if she had been a part of our family from before.
Her warm demeanor and attitude had a reassuring and inviting effect for our kids who immediately bonded with her. She would talk to them exhibiting sincere interest for their activities and would play with them in a fun and inclusive way. The mix of different age kids with 2 boys and a girl can be often challenging as each child might be interested in different activities, however, Effie was able to bridge their interests and engage them in play where they were all having fun.
Moreover, knowing the bilingual status of our family, she would engage in Greek conversations with the kids during play and as a result our kids have been speaking Greek more than ever before because she has made it a fun aspect of their play and their day-to-day life. All this comes natural to her. She also respectfully communicates in English to all kids while in play dates, either in our house or outside of our house.
Effie is a university graduate with a concentration in Child Education and was capable to identify the needs as well as the idiosyncrasies in the behavior of our kids in different circumstances. This can be particularly difficult in practice since many of the principles and study aspects of an education are hard to implement in a real world environment. Moreover, working in a house with its specific dynamics and managing 3 kids is not as easy as working in a class environment. But Effie was able to separate play from work, as well as draw the line when needed in order to achieve the goals we set as a family and for the further improvement of our kids. She would take the initiative to ask and also suggest ways to get things done more efficiently while being patient and supportive but firm with the kids when they would fall out of schedule.
But the most important aspect of Effie’s personality is her great attitude and her “common sense”. She is positive, she appreciates the individuality of all of our 3 children and interacts with each of them beautifully. She has a knack of getting them to do what is needed, whether it’s homework, cleaning-up their rooms, or play and what’s more, she has great time managing skills, especially when she has to drive our kids to their different activities that interfere with their daily schedule. She tracks their homework on a daily basis and has all their work readily available for our review. In addition to her supervision of the kids’ homework and play, Effie prepares their meals and does their laundry. When she doesn’t work, she always steps in to help in any way she sees necessary, otherwise she offers to help.
We feel fortunate as parents to have Effie in our family, especially in our busy lives when being away from home and the children during the day can often be very stressful. She makes our life easier, giving us the confidence that our kids are safe, in good hands and with the right direction. She has been delightful from the beginning and she always exhibits a willingness to offer more and help. One wouldn’t easily expect someone of her age to be able to contribute so many things and in such a constructive way to a family. Effie deserves to be Au Pair of the Year. She is every parent’s dream with her positive attitude, strong work ethic, consistent attention to our 3 kids and respect to our family’s needs. She is the epitome of a child caretaker, especially with her natural ability to not only follow a rigorous schedule efficiently, but also offer solutions to our family.
Το γράμμα της Έφης
USA: The states of diversity. I have the honor to live for the last four months in New York. I am from Greece, a “small” country in the map, but with great history and culture. Before I came here, I thought that it would be so difficult for me to live here, especially with a family that I didn’t know. But from the first moment, the host family, this greek-american family embraced me.
Personally, I don’t have a father and it was a new feeling for me to live with a family with two parents. The Kotronis family is my “family idol”. One day, I would like to have a family like this one. Not only they do respect me, but they also count on me and they believe that I am a member of their family: The oldest sister for the kids, the second daughter for the parents.
Life in New York is fast and demanding. As an au pair with the host family, I have a hectic schedule, because I have to take care of three kids, three gifted and blessed kids. As being a teacher, it is in my “blood” to be with kids. They give me power, they make me feel young and strong. But these kids are not just simple kids. They are kind and smart with a great heart. Not only do I take care of the kids, but I also help them with their homework. The kids’ homework is not just English, but Greek too, because they are bilingual and they attend two schools. I am kind of tutor for them and I really love it. Not only do I help them with their homework, but I drive them to their activities and I prepare meals for them. Their schedule is really hectic, because they play piano, soccer, saxophone and they do gymnastics and dancing. As you can see, it’s not a simple situation, because I have to be really organized and focus on their needs. When one of the kids needs to be driven to an activity, I have to take care of the other two kids who should be safe. Many times I have to be patient because someone is nagging and I have to maintain a calm environment. All this could have turned into a very stressful situation for the kids and for the family as a whole, however, I do realize that having an effective daily and weekly schedule, as well as handling things the right way with the appropriate communication with the kids and the parents has its merits. The kids love to be treated fairly as they appreciate the guidance they have from their parents and I hope the help from my part.
As far as I am concerned, I have a bachelor in pedagogics (teacher of elementary school 1st to 6th grade) and I really believe that every young teacher from Greece should have the experience of being an “au pair”. Being an “au pair” helped me a lot as a teacher, because I can see how both the American curriculum and the Greek school work 5000 miles away from my home country. This is a unique experience which I could never have had if I didn’t take the decision to be an “au pair” in the US. The parents are really patient and they try to help me in every difficult moment. We are a family and we try so hard and jealously to instill to our young kids the gift of being bilingual, especially Greek with such a big heritage as a background. As the old saying goes: “hard work pays off at the end” and the kids will be so grateful later in their lives for being Greek-American. The parents do their best to inspire me. I couldn’t ask a better host-family to live with here in the US.
I could also say that my life here is great. I have personal life and this host-family helped me a lot to build this life. I help them whenever they need me and they respect me as an odd, as a young lady, who wants to have friends and to stay with them or to visit them. Moreover, in the US, I have the opportunity to have qualified studies in known universities and colleges. This program gives me whatever I want: broadening my horizon and opening paths for my future.
Last but not least, I thank God and all the universe, because I have everything here in New York: a real family, who cares for me and I can sleep peacefully every night, without having the feeling that I miss Greece or my relatives. I hope for every girl in the world to be as privileged as I am and one day to seize this opportunity to explore this new magic world which is opened to me and to every au pair here in US. Living in New York with this family, I’ve started to obtain the feeling that I want to make a family one day as good as my host family.
Επικοινώνησε μαζί μας για να κανονίσουμε μια συνάντηση ενημέρωσης για το πρόγραμμα au pair.
Σου στέλνουμε με email τα έγγραφα της αίτησης και τα συμπληρώνεις στον υπολογιστή σου, πανεύκολο!
Στέλνουμε την αίτησή σου στους συνεργάτες μας και ξεκινάς την επικοινωνία με οικογένειες.
Άφιξη! Μία από τις πιο συναρπαστικές περιόδους της ζωής σου έχει αρχίσει!