How to become an au pair in China?

Enjoy full access to all premium features - for free!

register now for free


Chinese culture is highly different from the western culture, which can easily lead to misunderstandings. That's the reason why we from ICXC recommend to join an au pair program with an agency where each au pair has a coordinator to help with the relationship with the host family. 

Some important facts about China & differences to western cultures:

  • China is enormous, even the culture differs between provinces
  • Cities in China are very modern and China isn't a poor country 
  • Chinese people love food and we have various delicious food
  • Chinese people are hospitable and always invite you to join a meal
  • Chinese people are conservative and modest
  • Chinese people don't show their feelings and thoughts directly

Chinese culture has over 5000 years of history so it's a very cultural country and since it's really big, meeting a new province almost means meeting new country. For example, southern China is quite different from northern China, southern part of China is more humid while northern part of China is more dry, also the living and diet habits are very different. There are jokes that Chinese people eat everything (which is not true :-)) but China does definitely have a lot of different, delicious food.

China isn't a poor country - it's much more modern and developed than most people who never have been to China will imagine!

Take Shenzhen city for example: We have shopping malls almost everywhere and you never need to worry about getting nothing to eat or nothing to buy. We wear fashionable clothes and we listen to music from billboard, we have H&M, ZARA, even a Tesla store in Shenzhen and over 10 IMAX theatres in Shenzhen. If you think about China as it's shown in some movies, you will be surprised that our city is basically the same as some international cities in the US, it's a multicultural city with many foreigners and many people fall in love with this city when they arrive. So if you think going China is equal to going to some village without Internet access, you will definitely be surprised :-)

Chinese people are quite conservative and go far on modesty. Chinese familes are very hospitable and willing to share food and will always invite you to join dinner. Chinese people are normally nice to everyone, so you don't need to be nervous when you deal with Chinese people :-). 

Chinese people don't show their feelings directly, so don't get us wrong if we don't give any compliments. We also don't criticize others easily because we want to stay in a peaceful atmosphere and hate to ruin the moment.

I'd also like to share here a  link from a Chinese girl who has lived in foreign countries for over 10 years, she draws nice comics to explain the culture differences in a humorous ways, hope you can gain some knowledge from viewing these pictures!

typical day in a family

Host kids in Chinese familes usually get up at 7 in the morning at weekdays. Most families eat noodles, bread, milk, porridge and some dumplings for breakfast, after that the au pair will be needed to bring the kid to school. 

The kid will then stay in the school until 3:00 or 4:00 pm, so the au pair has free time until then.

After picking up the kid from school the au pair is requested to tutor English, play or have some physical exercise with the host kid. 

Chinese people usually have dinner at 7 in the evening. After dinner the au pair will often tutor the kid English again or join the family with shopping or visiting friends or relatives. 

The kid usually goes to bed at 9:00 / 9:30 pm and after that the au pair has free time again.

cost of living

In general living cost is quite low in China (compared to western countries) - find more details here.

Here are some examples from Shenzhen:

  • breakfast:  less than 10 RMB, 
  • decent meal: 30 RMB
  • bottle of water: less than 5 RMB 
  • drink at a bar: usually less than 10 RMB
  • movie ticket: around 40 RMB


Unlike most western countries, Chinese don't celebrate Christmas, Halloween or Easter - but as there are so many foreigners living in most Chinese cities, there are many parties celebrating western holidays.

About the holiday in China, there're holiday come with them, I make a list about the festival in China and also the link to Wikipedia which you can find more details.

Here's a list of Chines holidays linking to more information on Wikipedia:

Enjoy full access to all premium features - for free!

register now for free
links & downloads
show all host families in China
show all au pairs for China

Hi, my name is Maria Knauer

and I’m responsible for this country information

I have thoroughly researched the information on this page, still I can’t give a guarantee that everything is correct and up-to-date.

If you should find any mistakes, please send me a message.

If you have any questions regarding the information on this page, you can ask them in the community.

Community for ChinaPlease log in to write me a message.