March 21, 2013

Why host an au pair from Argentina?

A Cultural Care country spotlight

4 minutes
Cultural exchange

Thinking about hosting an au pair from Argentina? While we always recommend that families be open to hosting the best au pair for their needs—regardless of her nationality—it can be helpful to learn about how an au pair’s home country can affect her personality and skill sets. Fernanda Gonzalez, Cultural Care’s Recruitment Director for Argentina , shares why she thinks families should consider an au pair from Argentina.


Argentinian au pairs are great because…
They have a variety of childcare experience, and an excellent level of education. Au pairs from Argentina understand the concept of traveling and living abroad, and they especially look forward to living abroad with a host family to help them learn and grow as individuals.
Describe Argentinian au pairs in 5 words:
Authentic, open-minded, confident, sociable, independent
Top 3 reasons Argentinians want to become au pairs:

  1. To better their English
  2. To grow/mature as a person
  3. To better their job prospects once home

“The most memorable cultural experience with Camila has to be the World Cup. Camila is from Argentina. Every time they played we watched the game together. My girls went to school talking about Argentina. I bought them Argentina jerseys to proudly where on game days. The day Argentina won the World Cup, it was like we were all from Argentina!” —Host mom Amy in New York about Argentinian au pair Camila

Cultural differences


  1. Families tend to be big and everyone is close with their extended family, which gives them a lot of time to be around relatives and children. This is why Argentinian au pairs tend to be playful, affectionate, and supportive, especially when caring for children.
  2. Argentinian au pairs are very family-oriented; our au pairs love the idea about being treated as a family member.
  3. Argentinian au pairs are independent, active and very sociable.

Potential challenges:

  1. Argentinian au pairs always try to express their feelings, even in situations that they may not agree with. As a result, sometimes they can come across as too assertive when trying to express their feelings.
  2. Argentinian au pairs love spending time with friends, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to spend quality time with the host families; it means that they may prefer to spend their free with their friends.
  3. Their body language sometimes can be misinterpreted, during their conversations you can see how their hands go with their words.
English skills

In Argentina, people learn English as the first foreign language; this is part of their part of their education. Bilingual schools are common. They also have English classes in local schools, institutes, and universities as part of their studies. In some cases, students need to pass an English test in order to earn their degrees. Argentina is often considered as the country with the best English spoken in Latin America.

“We knew Belén would fit in to our family during our first phone call. She’s always volunteering her help and wants to be involved with all of the little or big things we do. Belén shares her culture with us by way of food (empanadas – yum!), language, and soccer! She’s taught our almost 2 year old twins to speak in Spanish. My heart melted when I heard ‘Mama, te amo!’ this week.” —Host mom Jennifer in Texas about Colombian au pair Maria

Driving skills

Argentinian au pairs typically start driving at age 18. To receive a license, they must complete a theoretical and driving test. Some au pairs may learn on their own, practice with their family members, or take driving lessons. Most Argentinians drive smaller vehicles on country roads and city streets 2-3 times a week. Even though there is snow in some parts of the country, a very low percentage of au pairs have driven in snowy conditions.

Childcare experience

Au pairs from Argentina typically get their childcare experience by…
Babysitting younger siblings, babysitting extended family members, babysitting children of family friends/neighbors, coaching children’s sports teams, tutoring, or interning at a childcare center.

Family life

Argentinian people are very family-oriented, and it is common for people to live with their family until they are married. It is also common for au pairs from the provinces to live on their own, for example, if they have to move to another city to go to college.
Families are big and they love spending time together. Both parents usually work or they can have their own business. The average family has about 3-4 children.

When talking about cultural differences, understand that while we can make generalizations about au pairs from certain countries, all au pairs are unique and have their own personalities, journeys, and cultural perspectives. Our country spotlights serve as a great way to start a dialogue with your au pair or prospective au pair about their home country and continue to learn more about their unique culture!