So much has changed in 2020, causing us to adjust our plans, habits, and way of life. International travel has been highly limited this year, and is expected to stay that way at least through the new year. While this is done of course for health and safety reasons due to the spread of COVID-19, this “new normal” has affected au pair programs. English for Internationals, an Atlanta school offering online classes, is here today to talk about au pair programs in 2020 and why taking au pair English classes is valuable.
“Au pair” when translated from French literally means “on equal terms,” but the term itself refers to a type of program. It’s a program in that someone travels to a foreign country to live with a host family. While there, the au pair will offer support by helping with childcare or housework.
Au pair programs offer a great chance to learn about U.S. culture, but it’s also a great time to explore different educational opportunities. English for Internationals offers online au pair classes—ideal for perfecting your English.
Due to health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, the United States has suspended entry into the country for individuals with certain visas, including the J-1 visa, which applies to au pairs. This means that individuals are not allowed to come to the U.S. for work travel programs such as an au pair program. The word “suspension” in this situation means it is temporary; currently, the suspension is currently through Dec. 31, 2020—the end of the year.
The New York Times has addressed the current state of au pair programs considering visa programs and other factors specific to this year.
Because of travel restrictions, au pairs are in great need right now. There are families that could use support, and there are still opportunities to be an au pair in 2020.
The following is a direct excerpt from travel.state.gov.
“Travel to provide care for a minor U.S. citizen, LPR, or nonimmigrant in lawful status by an au pair possessing special skills required for a child with particular needs (e.g., medical, special education, or sign language). Childcare services provided for a child with medical issues diagnosed by a qualified medical professional by an individual who possesses skills to care for such child will be considered to be in the national interest.“
“Travel by an au pair that prevents a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or other nonimmigrant in lawful status from becoming a public health charge or ward of the state of a medical or other public funded institution.“
To sum up these exceptions, au pairs with special skills traveling to the U.S. to assist with a child who has special needs are exempt from the suspension. This is great news for au pairs with special skills, such as sign language, who aspire to assist with a family that has particular needs. As for other au pairs looking to support a typical family, they may do so as soon as Jan. 1, 2021—that date may change, however.
Studying English is an excellent way to make the most of an au pair program. Taking au pair English classes is a way to use this time to develop your communication and multilingual skills. There are many benefits to this; this is especially great for developing skills that will be valuable in your career. Being multilingual is a job skill that is becoming increasingly more in demand. Find your success at English for Internationals—a school that offers au pair classes in Atlanta and online.
Learning English can open up great opportunities for you. Taking English classes is a beneficial step for furthering your career and your education.
Teaching for nearly 30 years, English for Internationals among the best English school in Atlanta, now offering online courses! Our au pair English classes cover topics such as reading, vocabulary, writing, and TOEFLiBT prep.