Valentine’s Day is approaching. If you have school-aged children, it means you will have to prepare valentines for the number of students in your child’s class. I remember I was so panicked and didn’t know what to do when I receive an e-mail from my child’s teacher asking to prepare valentines.

Valentines are small message cards to exchange with students at Valentine’s Day party. I learned we can buy the cards at stores everywhere in the U.S. It is common in the U.S. but absolutely not common in Japan!

If you have Japanese au pairs, please tell them what the Valentines are. Even though you can easily buy the cards, it may be a good project for the au pair and your children to make some Asian or Japanese style cards by using Origami papers. In the past few years, I did make some cards with Origami, and children loved it. Have your Japanese au pair use her creativity to make something unique.

Do not forget to make the BOX to put the valentines cards decorating with Origami papers!

It will be fun!
Happy Valentine’s Day!


Happy Holidays!

This holiday season, I received several messages from Japanese au pairs who are already in the United States as an au pair. It has been few months since they arrived to the U.S., and this is their first Christmas and holiday season in the country.

Some local coordinator have her au pairs participate in a volunteer activity during this holiday season to learn the holiday spirit, giving something back. This is an excellent time for au pris to learn more about the U.S. culture.

During the holiday season, many of au pairs will take their vacation and travel other cities to explore America. It is great feeling that my au pairs who used to be bit concerned about coming to the U.S. now enjoying their time in this country.

I thank their host families providing great opportunities to au pairs.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Learning a cultural difference from holiday gifts

Kids are going to winter break soon.  Parents are busy preparing for holiday gifts to teachers.  I am trying to give something Japanese to teachers so that they can remember my daughter (smile).

In Japan, giving gifts to teachers are NO. Absolutely, no.  Because teachers are considered as public servants.  We can write a letter, but that’s all about it.

Here, we generally give gift cards, some small items, but giving something means showing our appreciation to teachers.

Japanese au pairs currently in the U.S. must be learning a lot during this holiday season.  Please share your thoughts with your au pairs.


July 4th is an exciting day for Japanese au paris, too!

This is July 4th weekend in the US. This holiday is definitely a one of the very exciting events for Japanese au pairs as well.

As a foreign national, learning about another culture and history is important. The one of the core purposes of the J-1 VISA program is definitely teaching foreign nationals with American culture and have them like the country.

The United States’ Independence Day has many interesting activities such as music concerts, fireworks, and of course parties. There is also family events such as doing a BBQ party. There are many things for Japanese au pairs to learn through enjoying themselves.

I am looking forward to hearing from my au pairs who are already in the U.S. on what they did and how they felt about the holiday.

Thank you so much for giving them great opportunities to learning about the U.S. culture.

Have a wonderful July 4th weekend!