As part of the J-1 visa program, au pairs are required to complete an educational component:
Au Pairs are required to take at least 6 semester credits or 72 hours at an accredited post-secondary university. TutorCare Au Pairs are required to take 12 semester credits at an accredited post-secondary university. Au pairs who extend their visa are required to take additional credits. If the au pair extends 6 months, they are required to take an additional 3 credits. If the au pair extends 9 or 12 months, they are required to take an additional 6 credits. You are able to take ESL courses to improve your English skills, test preparation classes to help prepare you for further education, enrichment courses to learn more about American culture and more.
Au pairs can take their classes at a post-secondary university:
- Credit Course: Generally any course that is offered to a full-time student for which a school has assigned a set credit value that the student will receive upon completion. We will count the credits that the school assigned to the course.
- Non-Credit Course: A non-credit course is a course that a school has not assigned a set credit value to. These are usually offered through the community or continuing education departments of colleges and universities. We will count the classroom hours of the course since no credits are assigned to the course and go by the educational standard that 12 hours = 1 credit. A noncredit course might also be offered for continuing education units (CEU1). We will count 1 CEU = 1 credit if it is offered through a post-secondary accredited institution.
- Au Pairs are able to combine credits, hours, and CEUs to add up to their required number of hours.
Tuition and Transportation Expenses:
Host families are responsible for paying up to $500 towards tuition costs and related material for au pairs to complete their educational requirement for the first year. TutorCare au pairs receive up to $1,000 for their educational requirements for the first year. If the educational expenses cost more, then the au pairs are required to pay for the additional expenses. Host families are required to pay for the transportation for au pairs to get to their classes, including gas, parking, or public transportation. The transportation cost is in addition to the $500/$1,000 allowance for tuition and related material.
Finding a School for Au Pair Educational Component:
U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-Secondary Education at: ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx
Council for Higher Education Accreditation at: chea.org/search/default.asp
Completion of Educational Requirement for Extending Au Pairs:
Au pairs should have fully completed at least 3 credits or 36 classroom hours by the time they apply for extension,. If an au pair has not completed the full 6 credit hours or 72 classroom hours when they apply for extension (3-4 months before program end) they need to prove that they are enrolled and on track to complete the requirement before their current program ends. If the AP has not completed all requirements by 30 days before the end of her program she will not be allowed to extend.
For a list of available universities and courses in your area, please visit our state specific resources page.
Experience Au Pair Weekend
Au Pair Weekend (APW) courses combine learning with fun activities, community engagement, and field trips, in a choice of nine major U.S. cities. These courses are offered through accredited schools of higher education and can satisfy the U.S. Department of State au pair education requirement.
Au Pair Weekend (APW) courses are offered through accredited institutions of higher education. It's easy to earn all of the educational hours required for one year by completing one or two of our weekend classes! Whichever city you choose, you will engage in exciting learning opportunities throughout that area with a combination of fun activities, community engagement, and field trips.
Visit and explore Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa, or Washington, D.C. Learn more here: https://www.aupairclasses.org/
The Borough of Manhattan Community College and Cultural Hi-Ways team up to help you meet your educational component through fun learning that takes you beyond the classroom as you travel to the very destinations you choose to study.Whether you select one of our “for credit” options – Learning Local or Learning Express – or simply join in on a Cultural Hi-Ways weekend getaway, we promise you’re sure to discover amazing things you never imagined.
Cultural Hi-Ways and the Learning Across America program offers you several convenient ways to help you meet your educational component through fun learning that takes you beyond the classroom as you travel to the very destinations you choose to study. Whether you choose Learning Local (study locally, travel later) or Learning Express (one-weekend classes), you’re sure to discover amazing things you never imagined.
Click here to find a list of courses sorted by where the courses take place as well their travel destination. You'll also find a list of One-Weekend courses (Learning Express) that allow you to earn credit hours more quickly.
**BMCC continues to add new courses to its Learning Across America program so make sure to check the schedule regularly