Meet Our Washington D.C. Area Director

August 10, 2016
What's it like to host a professional au pair in the D.C. area? Meet PROaupair Area Director Sharon Meisel who gives us the inside scoop on what she and her professional au pairs are up to.

What can professional au pairs look forward to living in your region?

We are near the District of Columbia - Washington DC. This is where the United States government, the President and Congress reside. We can tour the White House and the Capitol to see where the laws are made and the where Congress runs the government. There are so many museums, monuments and cultural activities - it would take a life time to visit them all!

We are one hour from the Chesapeake Bay and Annapolis, the Capital City of the State of Maryland, sailing capitol of the world and where you can eat the best Blue Crabs in the world. Many of my professional au pairs live with their host families in the state of Virginia where there are great restaurants, and historical battlefields from the Civil War (war among the states) and the American Revolution (war with England). And we have water parks, zip lining, tubing down rivers, hiking, skiing, sailing, and much, much more to see and do.

Describe the professional experience that your professional au pairs are gain by working with their host families.

We have some very special families. One professional au pair works with a day nurse and a night nurse to care for a special little boy who needs around the clock care. She has traveled with the family to some of the best hospitals in the world for treatment and has had the opportunity to learn from some of the top specialists in the world. It is giving her invaluable experience to further her career and a very impressive resume.

Another professional au pair has helped to change the life of her special needs child by researching the foods he eats and learning about nutrition. She learned to prepare meals that helped the child to function better and live a better life. Her host family was very grateful. And the professional au pair had a very fulfilling year watching the child she cared for feel and perform better as a result of her care and proactive research.

What types of educational courses are available to professional au pairs in your region?

Last month four of my professional au pairs took the Niagara Course through Cultural Hi-Ways. They completed three classroom sessions and then flew to Niagara Falls for the weekend to visit the city they had been studying. Cultural Hi-Ways offers many fun and interesting destinations for educational credit. The Professional au pairs had a great time!

Another au pair took American sign language and learned to communicate with children and people who are deaf and can’t hear. She will be a real asset to many families with special needs.

What are some fun events you have done with your group?

We went to the Washington Nationals Baseball game. It’s a real American tradition and favorite past time. Since they don’t have baseball in Germany, I invited a baseball enthusiast and expert to spend some time before and during the game to answer questions and explain how the game works. Our group enjoyed the game much more, having some idea of what was going on. And we all screamed with glee when we saw, along with 40,000 other baseball fans, “Welcome Proaupairs from Germany” on the scoreboard!

We also took a Moonlight Tour of the Monuments of Washington, DC. The monuments are extremely beautiful and inspiring all lit up at night. We even caught a glimpse of an almost full moon. It was quite impressive.

We have 35 professional au pairs who have signed up for a tour of the White House. We haven’t received a date yet, but they are all excited about touring the most famous home in the US, if not the world. Next…The U.S. Capitol.

Can you describe special travel opportunities professional au pairs have experienced with their host families and/or friends?

I have one professional au pair who travels almost every weekend with her host family. Mostly to the beach in Florida during the cold months. She is one very happy professional au pair! I just talked to one of my professional au pairs today who is spending a week in Dominican Republic with his host family. What a way to work and travel. He is loving it!

Anything else you would like to add that makes your region special?

We have a very large cluster which means a lot of professional au pairs to get together with. It’s easy to find someone who would like to take the bus up to NYC for the day or overnight. Or drive to the beach for the weekend. My group likes to get together at Starbucks after they finish for the day. And others go into DC to experience the night life, a play or have an “American style” German meal.