Many Au Pairs question why they should participate in the Global Awareness program.  Marion a former Dutch Au Pair from Dominique Ortiz’s Arlington, VA cluster, shares why her experience gave her an advantage when looking for a job.
Marion Netherlands
“Most people outside of the Netherlands think my country is called “Holland” and we’re mostly famous for our tulips, wooden shoes and windmills.This is how I started most of the Global Awareness presentations I gave ten years ago when I was an au pair in Arlington, Virginia.
I started giving these presentations when my counselor asked me if I was interested in doing it. I was loving the idea of Global Awareness but was very nervous during my first presentation too. Was my English good enough for the children to understand, were they really going to want to hear about a tiny country so far away, was this really going to be as much fun as I thought it would be?The first presentation I gave was in a first grade classroom. Pretty soon more than half of the children were sitting on their knees and asking questions. My time was done 15 minutes ago but we just kept on going.I loved it, wanted to do it more and got to do it more. There were kindergartners, first graders, second graders and third graders who all wanted to hear about my country. Later, when my host children started elementary school, I was able to volunteer at their school. There was a third grade teacher that could really use my help. There was a recently transferred girl from France who didn’t speak any English. So there I was an au pair from the Netherlands teaching a French girl how to talk, read and write English. I would have never had the courage to take on this big task if it wasn’t for doing the global awareness presentations first. It was so much fun.

When I was back in the Netherlands and looking for a job it was with help of Global Awareness that I found one soon. I had left America with not only a good job recommendation from my host family but also from the teacher I volunteered with and the principal of the elementary school. Before I knew I was hired as a kindergarten teacher for the international school in The Hague.”