Why is it important to attend a language course?
Au pairs usually have a basic knowledge of the language spoken in the host country. Attending a language course will help au pairs improve their language skills, making it easier to communicate with the host family and thus to integrate more effectively into family life. Furthermore, a language course gives au pairs the opportunity to meet new people and make friends. Language schools usually have a cultural programme as well, providing opportunities to learn about many aspects of life in the host country.
Who pays for the language course?
Usually, au pairs pay the fee for their language course by themselves. However, their host families may wish to contribute financially. In some countries, such as Germany, it is compulsory that families help with the financing of the au pair's language course. In any case, host families should allow their au pairs enough time to participate in a language course. They may also help them find a suitable course.
How to find a language school as an au pair
Tatiana attended herself a language school during her au pair stay in Madrid (Spain) and she found it so helpful, that she wanted to share her tips with you.
HOW TO FIND a language school as an au pair | AuPairWorld
Where to find a suitable language course
We highly recommend to ask your host family about language schools in their surroundings. If they do not know either, you can always look in google maps their address and then look for language schools nearby.
In general, there are public institutions such as the Volkshochschule in Germany, the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas in Spain or the Università Popolari and Centri Territoriali Permanenti (CTP) in Italy, which offer courses on an economical basis. Alternatively, universities are also a good place to look for an available course. Finally, there are plenty of private language centres where au pairs can find a suitable course.
Virtual learning with a language app (special offer)
Many au pairs also use a language learning app to help develop their second language skills. An app cannot replace all the different benefits of in-person language instruction, but it does offer great support for getting ready before the au pair stay and for maintaining language skills after returning home.
AuPairWorld partners with the company Babbel so that au pairs get a 30% discount on subscriptions to the highly rated Babbel app.
After finding a language course, talk to your host family about your future schedule and how it matches the language course times. We recommend you to have flexible languages classes as far as possible. Agree as well with your host family what's the plan in case one of the children is ill and who has to stay home.