June 19, 2016

What makes a host dad great? Our au pairs share what they appreciate most

7 minutes
Advice for host families

Who knew Cultural Care host dads were so funny? And caring? And such great cooks? Keep reading to find out why au pairs living all over the U.S. appreciate their host dads! 

Julie Feldt

“I remember when my host dad corrected me when I said I didn’t have any family over here. He replied by saying: ‘Of course you do—us!’” —Julie Feldt, Danish au pair in MN

“Gerald (Gerry for the friends) is my host dad. From the moment he picked me up at Tysons Corner I felt so comfortable and secure. He is a very easygoing man, with him, I feel like talking to a friend, someone I trust and that trusts me. One of the things that bond us together yet brings us apart is football. We both like the sport yet we both love different teams: he goes for Green Bay Packers; I cheer for Dallas Cowboys.”
—Maria del Carmen Calzadillas Valles, Mexican au pair in VA
“Steve—my host dad. He is really funny. Every day he wakes the kids up singing songs that he just made up. Steve also tells jokes, at least three times a day.”
—Natalia Karolina Rozycka, Polish au pair in New York
“One day I went with my host dad to an event and everybody asked him who I was. He told everyone that I was part of their family. Amazing feeling!”
—Esra Demirkaya, German au pair in Virginia

Adriana Jukic

“My host dad Chris is always encouraging me to try out new things; like water skiing or skiing in the woods.” —Adriana Jukic, Austrian au pair in CT

“My host dad, Gordon—he works a ton but when he is around he is always telling the best jokes and can do a great Australian accent. He always makes me feel at home and loved.”
—Janelle Miller, Australian au pair in Washington
“When I first met my host dad, I was planning on just a shaking hand, but he gave me a hug as if we were teammates and just scored a goal.”
—Silas Gabriel Piton, Brazilian au pair in MA
“Craig is the funniest colon cancer surgeon, who also knows everything about sports and The Godfather.”
—Ana Carolina Mello Araujo, Brazilian au pair in CO

Florine Oizna Marie LAMCILAK

“I remember for my birthday, one month after I had arrived in the U.S., my host dad asked if I had any plans for my birthday—they had organized a trip to New Hampshire!” —Florine Oizna Marie Lamcilak, French au pair in MA

“My host dad has to travel a lot for his work, and he makes me feel so special because after every trip, he brings souvenirs for the girls and also for me. I don’t really care much about the material gifts but being included makes me feel so special and part of the family.”
—Arani Rodriguez, Mexican au pair in PA
“Matt (my host dad) and I always have conversations about politics and random internet stuff; he is always making bad jokes but the funniest part is that he thinks they are very good.”
—Addi, Mexican au pair in CA
“My host dad George is a smart man, very caring and passionate about people that he loves. George is also very generous and a great person to talk to, I never had a single boring talk with him. I cherish him as my host dad and ‘adopted’ family member for life.”
—Fiona Frommer, German au pair in CA

Katherin Gisset Diaz Vargas

“My host dad reminds me so much of my real dad because he is also so polite and decent.” —Katherin Gisset Diaz Vargas, au pair in TX

“My host dad is great! He always gets me with his jokes, and we always get a good laugh over my puzzled face. I’m finally learning his kind of humor, and it turns out we have the same one!”
—Cecilie Damborg, Danish au pair in NY
“My host dad makes me laugh every day, especially when the family eat dinner (one of my favorite moments of the day—he cooks really well). He shows interest about my culture and my country. I really appreciate that.”
—María Pineda, Colombian au pair in WA
“My host dad and I both love running. So we did a race in Annapolis (10miles), and it was an adventure that I won’t ever forget. We ran the whole race together—it was hard but fun, and I don’t think I could have done it without him.”
—Arthur Parent, French au pair in NY

Lisa-Marie Grugel

“My host dad is Matt. He is the best host dad I could ask for. He cares for me, makes sure I am safe and that everything is going right. He is super funny, careful and loves Texas which made me a big fan as well. I know I always can go to him if I have a problem.” —Lisa-Marie Grugel, German au pair in TX

“A couple weeks ago I was feeling really sick and I called my host dad to see if there was some medicine at home. When I got home he had brought me German chocolate and “Stollen” from a grocery store to make me feel better. I mean it is not a big thing but it just makes me really feel like a part of their family and I can see that they really care about me. Often it’s just the little things they do that make me feel like home in their family.”
—Lilli Lang, German au pair in PA
“From the second my host dad picked me up at the airport I was a member of the family.”
—Kathrine Kjallander, Swedish au pair in VA
“My host dad, BJ—he looks like very serious but actually he is a entirely humorous guy! Also calm and wise.”
—Chenxi Wang, Chinese au pair in VA

María Fernanda Castañeda

“My host dad Tom loves to cook and it is so special when he helps me to cook food from my home country.” —María Fernanda Castañeda, Colombian au pair in NJ

“Matt, my host dad, is always helping me to get into courses that I’m interested in and telling me about places to go with friends. He is always interested in intercultural exchange and asks me about my language or the country or the food.”
—Karen Paola Manzanero Figueroa, Mexican au pair in CA
“My host dad, Doug, is very funny. Moreover, he is always ready to explain me something that I don’t know or that I don’t understand and he makes me laugh when he tries to speak Italian! Everyone would like to have a dad like him!”
—Francesca Bagnaresi, Italian au pair in TX
“My host dad makes the bests steak for all the family Friday night. This dinner with all the family is the best day in all week!”
—Maria Adson, Brazilian au pair in IL

Nicole Friedwagner

“Every morning my host dad makes breakfast for the whole family, including me. On Sundays he gets bagels for us and for my host mom and me he grabs some coffee the way I like it.” —Nicole Friedwagner, Austrian au pair in CT

Duncan, he can be the busiest man in the whole world but when he has free time he really enjoy each minute with his kids. He’s so fun and he likes to joke a lot! He has been respectful and caring to me.”
—Fabiola Inzunza Vazquez, Mexican au pair in MA
“My host dad Eric, he is so funny! He once called me their ‘Mary Poppins’, and even if it’s just a fairy tale, I felt so honored! He also makes me feel part of the family, and I admire how patient he is with the kids.”
—Sofia Mercatelli, Argentinian au pair in NY
“My host dad is a pilot so he’s gone a lot. He is always tired when he gets home, but he is never too tired to be a amazing dad or to do the barbecue. He’s always ready to help, and he is so funny and he makes so many jokes. It’s impossible not to laugh when he is around.”
—Marlene Danyar, Danish au pair in CA

Nina Klimbacher

“Stephen is such a funny guy. He shows me the American lifestyle in a very fun way, but he also knows a lot about the American history! It’s always really interesting to talk about those things with him!” —Nina Klimbacher, Austrian au pair in CO

It’s clear that host dads impact an au pair’s year as well so we’d like to say a huge “Thank you!” to all of our incredible host dads.Do you have a great story to share with the Cultural Care global family? Tell us about it!