March 21, 2013

Why host an au pair from Argentina?

4 minutes
Cultural exchange

Why host a Cultural Care au pair from Argentina?
The next country in our series of spotlights on Cultural Care’s au pair recruitment countries is Argentina! Again, 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 (pictured below), 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

Cultural differences that are positive:

  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 are 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.

Cultural differences that could prove challenging:

  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.

How do au pairs from Argentina typically learn English, and what are their strengths and weaknesses regarding written and oral mastery of the language?
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 a country that is exposed to many foreign people due to tourism and for academic purposes, so this makes it easier for Argentinians to learn and improve their English skills. Argentina is often considered as the country with the best English spoken in Latin America.

Typically au pairs start driving around age:
Au pairs in your country can obtain a driver’s license at the age of:
What are the steps involved in obtaining a driver’s license?
To receive a license, we must complete a theoretical and driving test. Some au pairs may learn on their own, practice with their family members, or take driving lessons, but we must pass both tests to get our license. The test can contain around of 300 questions, but it is not very expensive.
What types of vehicles and in what conditions do au pairs from Argentina have experience driving?
It is most common to borrow a car from family or friends. Most Argentinians drive on country roads and city streets, 2-3x week. Even though we have snow in some parts of the country, it’s just a very low percentage of au pairs who drive in snowy conditions.
Typically, au pairs from Argentina have experience:
Driving smaller vehicles, driving on highways, diving on country roads, driving alone
Typically, au pairs from Argentina do not have much experience:
Driving larger vehicles, driving in the snow
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.
In Argentina, attending school is required from the age of 5- 18, and students can either attend public or private school. The educational system is divided into 3 broad levels: primary, secondary and tertiary or college. Primary and secondary are mandatory. After secondary, students are ready for tertiary, or the more technical and advanced education that they receive at college or university.
Au pairs can decide to become au pairs either when they just finished high school or when they are about to finish college.
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.
The diet in Argentina consists primarily of beef, potatoes, pasta and empanadas – a typical Argentinian dish is similar to a beef pie.
The majority of Argentinian au pairs have daily use of a computer and have their own cell phone.