School may be out for the children they care for, but the classroom is open for au pairs interested in fulfilling their J-1 visa academic requirements by enrolling in new Rutgers weekend summer programs.
To introduce them to one aspect of American culture, au pairs can register for “American Food – Then and Now,” an opportunity on July 30-31 to explore the technological and societal factors that have changed what and how Americans eat over the past 250 years. The interactive course features lunchtime tastings and visits to a research farm and food science research facility.
For those seeking to build their childcare skills, a second weekend course, “The Children in Your Care – Make them the Best they can be,” will offer tips, tools and techniques for encouraging healthy, positive lifestyles for children. The Aug. 6-7 program will cover cooking and fitness for children, as well as strategies for keeping the peace when challenging situations arise.
Both courses were developed by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) in cooperation with Rutgers Cooperative Extension and will be held on the George H. Cook Campus. Cooperative Extension specialists with backgrounds in community outreach, child and youth development, and food, nutrition and health will be instructors. Each program will provide three of the six hours of academic credit that au pairs are required to earn under the J-1 visa.
“We identified a need for educational opportunities for au pairs in central New Jersey and knew we had the expertise,” said Carol Broccoli, OPCE’s assistant director. “These new au pair programs align perfectly with our mission to provide the highest quality opportunities for lifelong learning by matching the needs of society with the resources of Rutgers.” The courses also complement Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s goal to ensure healthy lifestyles and provide productive futures for youth, adults and communities, she added.
As an alternative to daycare facilities or nannies, au pairs have become the solution of choice for childcare needs for many families in New Jersey and throughout the country. While living with their host families, au pairs share the cultural traditions of their own country. Participation in educational programs like Rutgers’ allows the cultural exchange to flow both ways, as au pairs experience an American university campus setting and learn about U.S. approaches to food and childcare.
Each program carries a $390 enrollment fee, which includes all course materials, breakfast and lunch, a certificate upon completion and required J-1 visa documentation.
While transportation and accommodations are not included, Rutgers will offer a free shuttle between the campus and New Brunswick train station. Onsite parking is available.
For more information or to register, click here or call the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education at 848-932-9271.