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Exploring Cultural Differences
Don't Start Your Au Pair Program Without Us!
by Shana Medah, Jamana Intercultural
Shana Medah is the co-founder and Director of Training at Jamana Intercultural. She has over 20 years experience in crossing cultures, and has worked in the au pair industry for many years with people from over 50 different countries.
When you seek to match with an au pair, you look for a number of credentials: driving skills, CPR certification, and educational accomplishments, to name a few. But how often do you stop to think about the cultural skills of your au pair? Although this aspect of the au pair experience is often overlooked, it can have a profound effect on the success of the au pair you choose.
What may seem like small, everyday misunderstandings due to differences in language, culture, communication style and expectations regarding work can add up over time. The resulting problems for host families and au pairs - frustration and disappointment in the program, ineffective childcare, and rematching – are stressful and can also be financially costly.
Jamana Intercultural was founded to bring essential intercultural communication skills to host families and au pairs. A successful year together requires much more than good intentions. Culture runs far deeper than most people think, and intercultural understanding and effective communication are absolutely essential. Au pairs that we’ve trained in managing homesickness have said that they felt better prepared. Wouldn’t you want your au pair to be able to say the same thing?
However, we know that you are busy and the family budget can be tight. That’s why we’ve put together a series of fun, convenient and affordable online seminars that will get you ready for the best year possible. You will learn how to "speak" each other’s cultural language, to help your au pair manage homesickness, and to identify and resolve cultural misunderstandings before they can sabotage your relationship – and even turn them into opportunities for deeper understanding.
To find out more, check out this short video and visit us at www.jamanaintercultural.com. There, you will find more information about our seminars and you can read comments such as this one from Susan Asay, Founder and CEO of Pro Au Pair:
Even with our professional au pairs who are experienced in childcare, understanding and managing cultural differences are key to Au Pair - Host Parent relationships. I loved Shana's live seminar on the topic and I recommend it to all of our Au Pairs and Host Families. Knowing about potential pitfalls will help mitigate or even avoid them. A few hours spent in the beginning of the year will save many hours of stress for parents, children, and au pairs.
While you’re there, sign up for our newsletter, with cultural tips and interviews with notable people in the au pair/host family community, and comment on our blog. We’ve created a community of cultural support for you and your au pair so you’ll never be alone!
See you online!