Dear HBN au pairs and host-families,
We want to thank you for your patience, kindness and support this year. Even though we had to deal with constant restrictions and uncertainties, we can share some positive highlights with you.2021 has again been an exceptional year once again as the coronavirus is still affecting all of us in the whole world.
• We were able to bring more than 180 au pairs to the Netherlands in the last 12 months!
“We would like to emphasize the importance of this cultural exchange. Especially in these weary times, bringing different cultures together is meaningful. For young people to experience another lifestyle, another culture and for our host families to live with someone from a different background and culture.
We strongly believe we offer au pairs a complete cultural exchange and we think the whole experience would be enhanced by visiting a museum, taking a trip to Paris, or simply visiting any of the Dutch cities."
• Last June, we celebrated our 10 years anniversary!
• We were able to host 2 amazing au pair events this year. The Beach Event in July and the Boat Event in September were both a huge success with many au pairs who joined;
Boat event September 2021
• We were able to have 5 welcome meetings “Live in Aerdenhout” again in September, October and November. We were finally able to meet all recently arrived au pairs in person again. After all those virtual zoom meetings, we appreciated meeting everyone in person so much more. It is such a better way to share experiences and tips with everyone face to face.
Welcome training sessions 2021
Winter Time Advise for the coming period
As most au pairs come from a warmer climate, they are not used to the cold and darker days during our winter. Also the holiday season and festivities, such as Christmas and New Year’s eve you usually spend with your close friends and family. This may make au pairs feel more homesick than usual. We have gathered a few tips for families and au pairs to help you to enjoy the winter and find beauty in the cold days as well:
- Ask your au pair to join ‘family time’ more often. Also check if your au pair has plans for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and invite them to join you for a Christmas dinner and/or New Year’s Eve;
Give your au pair complements/positive feedback every now and then. Due to the way Dutch people tend to communicate, sometimes au pairs feel insecure and it seems like they cannot do anything right, even though you are satisfied with her/him;
Show interest in your au pair’s cultures; ask questions about how she/he usually celebrate Christmas, if they have any traditions/customs, which kind of food they eat, etc;
Do go outside on a daily basis. It is critical to get fresh air because it will provide you with more good/positive energy. It is really nonsense to think the cold weather will result in you catching a cold;
Keep a regular sleeping rhythm: going to bed early and getting up early;
Take extra vitamin D and try to eat things that carry this vitamin;
- Take care of each other. The social aspect is extremely important now more than ever. Meet up with other au pairs, help/contact/include other au pairs who have just arrived;
Share with your hosts how you feel; tell them if you are homesick, or feeling down, have less energy, etc. They cannot see how you feel if you do not speak up;
Keep a positive mindset. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can't do! Explore the Netherlands by doing outside activities. Visiting musea, bars and restaurants have to wait until after 14 January;