If you are currently hosting a professional au pair with PROaupair, or considering hosting, we’d like to you to be aware of the proposed budget cuts and how they may impact cultural exchange programs in the United States.

The FY2018 budget recently proposed by the Trump administration calls for a 28 percent cut to the Department of State. According to The Alliance for International Exchange, an association of 90 nongovernmental organizations comprising the international education and cultural exchange community in the US, it is clear that the administration will soon propose steep cuts to State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which oversees programs, such as the J1 au pair program, which help to support our nation’s public diplomacy efforts.

Recently, The Alliance worked with the office of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) to send a Congressional sign-on letter to House appropriators in support of robust exchange program funding. The House letter garnered a total of 120 signatures and is bipartisan in its support.

In addition to this letter, it would also be helpful for members of Congress to hear directly from individuals and families who have directly benefited from these programs.

To that end, if you would like to get involved, please join us in supporting The Alliance’s “Raise Your Voice for International Exchange” campaign and contact your members of Congress. More information for writing Congress or visiting your representative’s district office is available here: http://www.alliance-exchange.org/raise-your-voice