Become an Au Pair Cultural Exchange

Au Pair Cluster Events Celebrate Community, Connection, and Cultural Exchange

Did you know that when you join the Au Pair program, you don’t just become part of an American family, you are also welcomed into a community of au pairs from all over the world? Each Local Coordinator is responsible for a ‘cluster’ or group of au pairs who live nearby. Besides being an excellent resource for questions about the Au Pair program, your Local Coordinator will also be introducing you to au pairs in your area and will plan fun monthly outings called cluster events.

Cluster events vary from outdoor excursions to potluck picnics to low-key coffee dates. They’re monthly occurrences that allow au pairs to make friends, experience American (and global) cultures with their peers, and even give back to the community sometimes!

With dozens of Local Coordinators across the U.S. and events happening throughout the year, we can’t possibly highlight all the incredible ways cluster events can enrich your au pair experience, but here are a few of our recent favorite ones to share:

When the weather didn’t cooperate for an outdoor picnic, a New York host family came to the rescue and offered their home for a global feast. Au pairs brought Mexican dishes, Greek salad, and a Tiramisu birthday cake to celebrate a fellow au pair. Au pair Tim even played the piano and put on an impromptu performance for the group. Local Coordinator Aimee Trissel said, “We sang, we danced, we ate. We laughed and we all learned something about each other. Best cluster event yet!

When the sun is shining, it’s never a bad idea to get out in nature! These au pairs recently headed to local Kilgore Falls in Maryland to hike with Local Coordinator Lori Veenema. Between beautiful weather and breathtaking waterfalls, even a small cluster event can feel like a big deal.

Who doesn’t love dancing? Local Coordinator Jill DeMarco took her group line dancing in New York. Au pairs took a private class at a dance studio and learned an entire routine to country music. Jill says, “I figure it’s very ‘American,’ and many of them go to Texas or Nashville for trips, and this is a taste of it.” An evening of music, movement, and many smiles was had by all!

What’s more American than watching a baseball game? San Diego Local Coordinator Dina Nichols organized a Padres baseball game cluster event at Petco Park. From hearing the U.S. National Anthem to experiencing their first seventh inning stretch, au pairs enjoyed the experience, whether they were baseball fans or not!

Sometimes a little bubble tea is all you need. While this drink originated in Taiwan, it’s become popular worldwide. Portland au pairs recently met up for a bubble tea cluster event with their Local Coordinator Marisa Ferro. Au pairs loved tasting the different flavors and getting to know about each other’s cultures from all over the world.

Perhaps one of our most creative events to date, Local Coordinator Shana Pennington organized a succulent workshop as her cluster meeting recently. Au pairs created beautiful plant creations using potting soil, pebbles, and succulent trimmings. Crumbl cookies were also present, which were a nice reward for their gardening “work”!

Volunteering is something that au pairs often do while on program. From handing out water at city marathons to preparing food for the homeless, au pairs are always eager to lend a hand. Tracy Hanover recently organized a volunteer cluster event opportunity in Philadelphia for her au pairs. Through the Cradles to Crayons organization, they sorted and packed up clothing and other essentials for kids in need.

We could go on and on about these creative, unique, and incredible cluster events our amazing Local Coordinators organize month after month for our au pairs! To learn more about joining an au pair community and becoming an au pair in the U.S., contact Au Pair USA! We’ve been successfully placing au pairs from over 25 countries with carefully screened host families for over 30 years. We look forward to welcoming you to an au pair cluster event soon!

Marisa Lonic

Marisa is a lover of all things cultural exchange. She and her family have hosted au pairs from Brazil, Germany, Colombia, Spain, and Ecuador. As a mom of four and the founder of Mama Work It, she helps working moms juggle mom life, work life, spouse life, fill in the blank life through her books, courses and coaching programs.