Some answers to the questions you may have...
What does the programme fee include?
The programme fee includes accommodation, return flights, and travel insurance. Your host family provide meals and pocket money.
What do I need to pay, and when?
You pay £90 deposit after joining our programme and before we begin assisting you with your application. The remainder of your programme fee is due after you have signed the placement agreement with your host family. See: How it works
Other costs include the police check and Visa application. See relevant sections below.
We accept cash, bank transfer and card payment. Card payment can be made in the office, through telephone, or by a payment link.
What do I need for the application if I decide to join the programme?
After paying the deposit you need a police check, a health check, and a profile that we can circulate to host families. We help you with all of this.
You need a Basic Disclosure. If you have had this check within the last six months before application, you do not need a new one. If you do not have an up-to-date police check, this will be required as part of your application. BMC can advise you on how to do this.
How do I get a Chinese Visa?
Through a Chinese Visa Application Centre (Edinburgh, Manchester, London). We will assist you fully in your application for a Chinese visa, but you are responsible for paying the fee. We do not collect a fee for visa assistance. Costs vary, but for a UK citizen the baseline cost is £85 + centre fees. Centre fees vary depending on centre and method of application. For up to date information of centre fees, check https://www.visaforchina.org/
Can I go with a friend?
Yes you can. Although you will not be staying with the same family, you can au pair at the same time and in all likelihoods we will find two suitable host families near to each other, however we cannot guarantee this.
If I go alone, will it be easy to make friends?
Yes! You will find that in general, Chinese people are very friendly and interested in you as a visitor, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. You will meet other au pairs at the Arrival and Orientation Training Course once you get to China. You will meet others learning Chinese at your Mandarin classes, and there are optional monthly culture classes, included in your programme fee.
I don't speak Chinese, will it be a problem?
No, many foreigners visit China with no knowledge of the language. However, an interest in learning Chinese is something we expect of you, so we provide you with an introduction to Mandarin before you go. You also receive a Mandarin class at the Arrival and Orientation Training Course, and tuition every week while you are away.
Do I get to choose which city I am placed in?
If you have a preference as to which city you would like to stay at we will try our best to accommodate this, however we cannot make guarantees. Here at BMC we believe matching Au Pairs to the perfect host family is much more important than matching Au Pairs to a preference city.
Is there anything specific I need to bring?
No. However, it is polite to bring a small gift for your host family when you first arrive. Gifts that are a representation of UK are well-received.
How should I prepare beforehand?
We provide a comprehensive pre-departure programme that helps you to prepare for life in China, learning Chinese, working with children and teaching English. However, doing your own research is recommended as it helps you make the most of your experience. You can also speak to a member of our team at any point during the application and pre-departure stages, or get in touch while you are away.
What if Something goes wrong?
Here at BMC Cultural Exchange we take every measure to ensure that your time as an au pair runs smoothly, so that you do not need to rely on us while you are away. However, we understand that sometimes things go wrong, circumstances change, or something occurs that is simply beyond control. As such we are there for you throughout your stay to help you deal with any problems that arise.
If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org