May 22, 2013

Host an au pair from Germany!

3 minutes
Cultural exchange

Thinking about hosting an au pair from Germany? With its rich culture and kind people, it’s no surprise that many amazing au pairs are from this country. Remember: the best au pair for your needs can represent any nationality. Nonetheless, whether you’re in the matching process or have an au pair on the way, learning about another country is always worthwhile! 

German au pairs are great because… 

They love to travel! It’s common for Germans to start traveling without their family from the time they’re 16. Therefore, many of our au pairs have already gained a sense of independence, maturity, cultural exchange. Germans are also known for being diligent and reliable—not to mention punctual!  


The official language of Germany is German. Here are some words a German au pair may teach your kids:  


Most German au pairs go abroad between high school and university, so the average German au pair is around 19 years old.

English level 

Germans start English lessons when they are around 10 years old, so the average German au pair is comfortable with the language. Education is very important in Germany, and English is required at most universities. In fact, many Germans take a gap year before starting university to improve their English skills, visit the U.S., and gain international work experience.  

To see how Germany compares to other countries, check out the EF English Proficiency Index. Remember, however, that this index doesn’t represent everyone in any country. As part of our screening process, our au pair recruiting teams will assess candidate’s basic English skills. 

Childcare experience 

Because of the good social benefits in Germany, most young parents go on maternity leave for at least 1-2 years—sometimes up to 3 years! This means they don’t tend to need a nanny or babysitter until their child is older. Instead, German au pairs gain their childcare experience primarily through internships, summer camps, or tutoring. Infant hours are usually collected within the family. There are also schools for professional childcare training which some of our au pairs have attended. 

Driving experience 

Receiving a driver’s license in Germany is a long and difficult process. Between written and practice lessons and tests, it usually takes between half a year to a year to get a license. Most Germans therefore have significant practice driving with a teacher and/or their parents. Because of this, Germans are usually very strong drivers—and even though some of them might have only had their license for a month or two, they have lots of experience already. Depending on what part of the country they’re from, they’re also used to driving in different weather conditions.

Important holidays and traditions 

In Germany, Christmas is one of the biggest holidays. Starting in early December, each German city builds a Christmas Market with food huts, “glühwein” (mulled wine), small fair rides, and sometimes even ice-skating rinks. On December 6th, they celebrate “Nikolaus Tag” by filling a shoe or boot with gifts and sweets. 

Another fun tradition is the typical German “schultüte” which children receive on the day of their first day of school. This cone-shaped bag is filled with presents, school material such as pens and pencils, candy, booklets and other treats. 


A few favorites foods for German au pairs are German breads, soups, kässpätzle (a cheesy pasta), and chocolate of course!  

What can a German au pair share with my kids? 

Some things German Au Pairs would like to teach their American host children include German songs, phrases, and children’s books such as “Benjamin Blümchen”, “Bibi & Tina” or “Pipi Langstrumpf”. They would also like to show them an advent calendar, a German Christmas tradition. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, there are little presents inside the boxes for each day. 

I wish my host family knew…  

“Germans are not so open and need some time to warm up.” 

“My host kids are still my screensaver because they feel so much like family to me.” 

“Germans are very punctual and feel unappreciated when somebody is late.” 

Cultural Care tip 

There are many wonderful male au pair candidates from Germany with ample professional childcare experience. If you’re looking for a “big brother” figure for your kids, this can be an excellent option!