An au pair is typically a young adult aged approximately 18 to 30 years, who travels to a foreign country for a defined period of time to live with a host family. The au pair is considered as a full member of the family during the entire stay. As such, he or she helps the family with childcare and can be asked to do some light household tasks. In return, the host family provides free room and board, as well as pocket money.
The primary purpose of the au pair placement is a cultural exchange, which gives the the au pair an opportunity to improve his or her language skills, while experiencing the host family’s customs and traditions. The au pair may also attend a language course in the host country. Whether it is the au pair or the host family who pays for the language course depends on the rule and regulations of the host country. This also applies to the cost of travel and insurance expenses.