Educational Requirement

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 credits or approximately 160 hours 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.

For a list of available universities in your area, please visit our state specific resources page.

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.

Be sure to check with your Host Family and Local Rep before enrolling to ensure that your selected program matches with program requirements and does not conflict with other responsibilities.