top of page

Au Pairs' Departure Guide to China

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Navigating a New Beginning

Embarking on a journey as an au pair in China is an exciting and transformative experience, akin to opening a door to a world of rich traditions, captivating landscapes, and warm hospitality. As you prepare to take your first steps on this unique path, it's natural to feel a mix of anticipation, curiosity, and perhaps a hint of nervousness. Fret not, for this arrival guide is here to illuminate the road ahead and provide insights into what you can expect as you begin your au pair adventure in China.

From immersing yourself in Chinese culture to building strong connections with your host family, the initial days and weeks in a new country can set the tone for the entire experience. This guide is designed to equip you with valuable information and practical tips, ensuring that your arrival in China is as seamless and enriching as possible. So, fasten your seatbelt as we take off into the realm of au pairing in the Middle Kingdom, where every day promises to be an exploration of the extraordinary.

1. Letter from Wanderlust Exchange

Dear Au Pair,

On behalf of the Wanderlust Exchange team, we would like to welcome you to our program and to China. We look forward to your participation in our program. You will be part of a friendly, enthusiastic, and talented group of young pairs, who have come here from all over the world to show their passion in the field of educational travel, childcare and Chinese culture. This departure guide has been prepared to help you find your way better through the program and for many of you a new environment.


Wanderlust Team

2. What to Do Before YouR ArrivAL

Please keep in mind you will be in charge of your own flights (however, flights stipend will be offered upon your completion of the program). And please prepare your first month’s expense (change some RMB currency with you or notify your bank ahead of time that you are traveling to a different country so you could use your card here) as the first amount of the pocket money usually given at the next month after you arrive.

Here are the tables show the cost of living in China so you could have a preview of how much money you need for the first month.

Please be noted that in order to use your foreign bank card use in China, you might have to inform your local bank in advance or issue a travel card.

If you need to open a Chinese bank account, then before you go to the bank, here are some useful materials you have to bring with you:

  • A Chinese number

  • Your passport

  • The police record (accommodation registration record in China)

You will need to bring some Chinese currency (1500-2000 RMB)

Please also check out below 2 articles on Goabroad.com

- 10 things to know before au pair in China experience

- How to deal with culture shock as an au pair in China

3. Essential Apps for Navigating China

i. VPN

VPN is very important; you need to download it before you arrive on both your phone and laptop in order to use Google/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc. All those web pages are blocked in China.

ii. WeChat (you could find it in App store)

This app does almost everything, it is the Chinese WhatsApp, Facebook, can send your exact location or activate the GPS to appears in someone else device in real time (very useful when you are meeting someone because here it is very crowded and huge), you can also connect your bank account and make any payment in almost every place, even sometimes for some street food (but take your wallet with you anyways) and much more.

iii. Youdao (you could find it in App store or Samsung store)

This app is a dictionary plus a translation app, you could use it to communicate with your host families and other Chinese people.

iv. Other social medias

  • Weibo (微博; usually for news)

  • Red Book (小红书; a female-friendly community)

  • Bilibili (for watching videos, a bit like Twitch + YouTube)

  • Tiktok in China is called 抖音

v. Shoppings

  • Taobao(淘宝, like eBay)

  • Alipay (支付宝, like PayPal)

  • Jingdong (京东, a bit expensive than Taobao, but the quality is usually better)

And most importantly, PLEASE INFORM US AT LEAST ONE MONTH EARLIER before your visa expires.

As you stand on the precipice of this incredible journey, remember that every sunrise in China presents a canvas of new opportunities and discoveries. Your role as an au pair will weave you into the colorful tapestry of Chinese culture and society. The friendships you'll forge, the traditions you'll learn, and the memories you'll create are all waiting for you just beyond the horizon.

As you take those first steps into the unknown, carry with you the wisdom of Confucius: "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." Your journey has begun, and each stride will unravel a new layer of understanding, connection, and appreciation. So, go forth with courage, curiosity, and a spirit ready to embrace the enchanting chapters that lie ahead.


Wanderlust Exchange encourages the exploration of self-awareness and personal development , and fostering of global understanding. We desire to bridge cultural divide and contribute to build the world with more trust, understanding and diversity among all.

160 views0 comments


bottom of page