An au pair is a young person 18 – 30 years old, single, childless, who travels to a foreign country for a limited time in order to live with some family there. The au pair as a temporary family member supports the host family with taking care of their children and with the simple housework. In return she/he receives from the host family free accommodation and food as well a pocket money. However, an au pair is neither a housemaid nor a nanny.
The aim of the au pair´s stay is the mutual cultural exchange. Beside that the au pair deepens her/his knowledge of the country language. That is the reason why in a particular country the childcare is not considered as the au pair´s stay. In the host country the au pair should attend a language course. The au pair should bring with her/him the elementary knowledge of the language spoken in the host country. It is different from country to country whether the language course is to be paid by the au pair or by the family. The same concerns the insurance and travel costs.