Your role in the family? Well, you will feel like an older brother or sister – not like hired help. And as you help out and get to know your younger Canadian “siblings” , you will learn just what it is like to be a Canadian living in Toronto. You will get to know Toronto well and will have the opportunity to visit many places in and around the Toronto area with your host family. You may be lucky enough to go to the family cottage or ski chalet for a weekend, or even travel outside of Canada with your host family. The possibilities are endless! One thing is for sure – by the end of your program, you will feel like Canada is your second home!
Demi Pairs study English at ACCESS in the mornings and help their “family” take care of their children in the afternoons or evenings. They help out five days a week, up to a maximum of 20 hours. Part of their duties can include light housekeeping tasks like helping to prepare dinner, setting the table, and tidying up the kids toys. However, the focus of the program must always remain on helping the children, and learning about one another’s culture. Demi Pairs typical tasks include: picking up children from school, preparing snacks, help with homework, accompanying children to sports activities, etc. In exchange, the family provides the Demi Pair with a private bedroom and all meals. There is no monetary payment. Demi Pairs meet many other international students from around the world while studying English at ACCESS. Making friends with other students is an important aspect of the program, guaranteeing Demi Pairs a social network of support outside of their host family.
Au Pairs are placed with a Canadian family, either in Toronto, or just outside of the Toronto area. Unlike Demi Pairs, Au Pairs take care of the host family’s children on a full time basis (up to 40 hours per week). Au Pairs are also expected to do more household domestic tasks such as cleaning, laundry, and cooking.
As an Au Pair, you will be expected to interact with your “family” in English, so you can expect to feel more comfortable with the language over time. Being an Au Pair is a great way to experience living in Canada, while earning some pocket money at the same time.
Participating in either the Demi Pair or Au Pair program guarantees participants will have memories to last a lifetime!