Cultural Exchange

Au Pairs and the TCS NYC Marathon: A Journey of Cultural Exchange and Inspiration

The TCS New York City Marathon, a global spectacle of athleticism and endurance, serves as a powerful platform for cultural exchange and personal growth. Au pairs—young cultural ambassadors immersed in American life—have discovered the marathon to be more than just a sporting event; it is an opportunity to immerse themselves in American culture, forge connections with diverse communities, and make a meaningful contribution to their host community .

A young woman dressed in orange passes a cup of Gatorade to a marathon runner

Delving into the Heart of American Sports Culture

For our au pairs, volunteering at the TCS NYC Marathon represents a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the American passion for sports and the values that underpin them. 

“I was surprised how many people were taking part at the marathon and how many different countries were represented from all over the world,” observed Anna, an Austrian Au Pair USA participant currently living in Connecticut. “I even saw an Austrian person (what I didn’t expect). Seeing so many cultures coming together to run 26 Miles was an awesome experience.”

Volunteering at Mile 21 : A Beacon of Encouragement

The group of enthusiastic au pairs embraced the opportunity to immerse themselves in the heart of the TCS NYC Marathon by volunteering at the 21 -mile marker, a notoriously challenging section of the race. These au pairs, stationed amidst the energy and determination of the runners, witnessed the unwavering spirit of marathoners from around the globe.

“I was so proud of my au pairs that they were willing to take one of their days off on a weekend to do this with me,” says Local Coordinator, Nancy Greenspan Wilson. “It meant so much and I hope that they enjoyed the experience as much as I enjoyed doing it with them.”  

Local Coordinator Nancy Wilson shares her enthusiasm with Austrian au pair, Anna.

Local Coordinator Nancy Wilson shares her enthusiasm with Austrian au pair, Anna.

Personal Growth and Cultural Immersion

The volunteering experience created a lasting  memory for the au pairs, not only deepening their understanding of the American culture of volunteerism and sports but also enriching their personal journeys. Another au pair, Alejandra, initially weary from her trip from Philadelphia, found renewed energy amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the marathon. She observed, “My whole mood changed. It was really pleasant to support the runners.”

Beyond Spectatorship: Embracing the Spirit of Community

The au pairs’ involvement in the TCS NYC Marathon extends beyond mere spectatorship; it is an active engagement with the community and a demonstration of their willingness to contribute. Their presence at Mile 21 , a critical stage of the race, provided much-needed encouragement and support to the runners, reminding them that they were not alone in their pursuit of the finish line.

Four young women pose wearing marathon volunteer ponchos and ski caps

A Legacy of Inspiration

The au pairs’ participation in the TCS NYC Marathon serves as a testament to the transformative power of sports diplomacy. Their willingness to step outside their comfort zones, engage with diverse communities, and contribute to a meaningful event highlights the essence of cross-cultural understanding. Call to Action: Embrace the TCS NYC Marathon Experience

Au pairs are encouraged to embrace the TCS NYC Marathon experience and similar events, whether as spectators, volunteers, or even participants. By immersing themselves in this global sporting event, they can foster deeper cultural understanding, build lasting friendships, and create unforgettable memories. The marathon offers a unique opportunity to connect with the heart of American culture and contribute to a shared passion for athleticism and perseverance.