A language course offers your au pair the opportunity to brush up their knowledge of the official language of your country during their time there. In most countries, it is not compulsory for au pairs to attend a language course. However, in other countries, such as France, au pairs must enrol in a language course.
Au pairs usually have a basic knowledge of the language spoken in the host country. Attending a language course will help them improve it, enabling the au pair to communicate more easily with their host family. It will also enable them to integrate into the family much faster, if they are able to speak the family's language well. Paricularly childminding duties can only be optimally fulfilled if the au pair is able to communicate with the children. Furthermore, a language course gives the au pair an opportunity to meet new people and to integrate more easily into life in the host country.
Usually, au pairs pay the fee for their language course by themselves. However, their host families may wish to contribute financially. 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 suitable language course
Both public and private institutions may offer suitable language courses. 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 at a reduced price. Alternatively, universities are also a good place to carry out your search.
Finally, there are plenty of private language centres where you can find a suitable course for you. Check our list of language schools in different countries.
Upon completion of their language course, au pairs may take an exam and receive a certifate if they pass.
More information on this topic:
- Discuss with your au pair or host family when and how often the au pair will participate in a language course.
- Clarify early enough who bears the cost of the language course.