Ages 18-29 years Become Au Pair in China      

17/02/07Mentor Corner

How to make friends as an Au pair in China

One of the hardest parts of being an Au pair can be meeting people and making friends. Even though you are living with a family, being an Au pair can be lonely at first. Most Au pairs who are brand new to a country don't know anyone outside their host family. Even if you do your homework, ask all the right questions and are placed with a really great family, getting to know people outside your new home can still be difficult. So here are some tips on how to meet people and make friends in China:


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Number one is without a doubt your language course. The room will be filled with similar people of a similar age and similar mind set to your own who won't live too far from your host family, and although you may have to step out of your comfort zone, which I'm not saying will be easy peasey, you will not regret it. Many Au pairs meet their closest friends in these language classes. This is also a very good way to work on your Chinese. So remember to use it as much as possible.


Au pair agencies host a lot of activity days and have gathering points all around your city. This will not only introduce you to other Au pairs but also to the expat hang-outs where there is a very international feel, Almost everyone speaks English and have gone through a similar experience, so they will have great tips for you regarding your specific town.


Many Chinese cities have expat magazines. Here in Hangzhou for instance, I read THAT'S and MORE, both are filled with things to do and places to go. Being an active person, I chose a fitness center, where I met people of a similar age with similar interests to mine. Meeting up with friends is now a great incentive to go to the gym. These magazines also contain many interesting articles on what there is to do in your city on a day-to-day basis, where to meet people, useful maps and articles about expat life.


The larger Chinese cities all have universities, which offer many leisure and sporting activities. The atmosphere is automatically international so enroll in a sporting course or participate in a sight-seeing tour.  It is important to get familiar with your surroundings, so walk or take public transport as often as possible, say Nǐ hǎo and get to know your neighbour, the local shop owner and so on. Once you feel relaxed and comfortable in your neighborhood, you will be more confident.


Just get out there, talk to people, sometimes it is the best way!!