This blog is moving…

With the new InterExchange website up and running, this blog is going to be moving! All of the posts from this site will eventually be moved, but to see all the new posts, please check out these sites:

New Raleigh Cluster Blog

Suzanne Miller’s Author Page

Main InterExchange Blog

InterExchange’s new website

Looking forward to seeing you on the new site!


August 2016 Raleigh Au Pair USA Updates

We have a busy month in Raleigh with the InterExchange Au Pair USA Cluster. Below are the updates for families and au pairs! Please contact Suzanne Miller, Local Coordinator, if you have questions at !

Happy J Day! August 1st was the Alliance for International Exchange’s Celebrate J Day– A day we celebrate cultural exchange and all the benefits it has for our world! Check out these tags on Twitter and facebook to learn more!
#CelebrateJDay #EatPlayGive #IEXCulture @InterExchange @AllianceExchange
Join in extending the celebration by posting your own photo of what cultural exchange means to you or why you participate and be sure to tag it!
There are two local events to put on your calendar to extend the J Day celebration:

International Block Party  Aug 20th 11:00-7:00 pm City Plaza in downtown Raleigh- Free to the public.

International Festival October 14-16 Raleigh Convention Center [Though we will not have a booth this year, I hope you will plan to go!!]

We have an updated list of Weekend Class options on the blog, so check out the large list!
FALL CLASSES: Now is the time to be looking at classes for the Fall at Wake Tech.
There are 4 great options for au pairs this fall at Wake Tech. I’ve attached the class info screenshots to this email. Please consider taking one or more of these since they fit with our program so well!
August’s Cluster Meeting-August 27th from 5-7pm at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar (111 Seaboard Station, Raleigh, NC 27604) We will be eating dinner together and talking about our summer experiences, travels, etc. Friends are welcome.
September’s Cluster Meeting–Self Defense Class–Sunday, September 11th from 3-5pm at Triangle Krav Maga at 6905 Fayetteville Road, Suite 102, Durham, NC 27713 (This is in the Southpoint area). $20/person and friends are encouraged!! We will be joining the Chapel Hill-Durham Cluster of InterExchange for this fun Self Defense Class annual event! Wear gym/workout clothes and tennis shoes/trainers and bring water and a towel. You will work up a sweat!
October’s Cluster Meeting–Gleaning Sweet Potatoes for the InterFaith Food Shuttle–Saturday, October 7th from 8:30-11am–We will hopefully be working in the field helping gather sweet potatoes that are leftover from the first pick by farmers. These leftovers are then given to needy families in the area to provide nutritious food. Sweet potatoes are a huge NC crop, so this is a culture lesson while volunteering. (In case of rain, we’ll plan to go to breakfast instead!) and host families are encouraged to join us! It’s a great event for kids to get their hands in the soil and have fun digging for “treasure”!

We are excited to welcome 4 new au pairs to Raleigh in August! 
  • Pavla S. from the Czech Republic arrives August 4th. She is extending for her 2nd year with the Ishak family in Raleigh after being in Maryland for her 1st year. Welcome Ishak family too!
  • Julie M. from France arrives August 5th. She will be living with the Grossi family in Raleigh. Welcome Grossi family too!!
  • Vanessa I, from Ecuador arrives August 11th. She is extending for her 2nd year with the Chandak family in Raleigh after being in New Jersey for her 1st year.
  • Marie K. from Germany arrives August 16th. She will be living with the Nelson family in Cary.
  • We are also excited to have Carla G. from (Catalonia) Spain extend within our cluster and welcome the Mehta family to the Raleigh Cluster.
We look forward to meeting all of you at our next Cluster meeting!
We must say “See you later” to Kayla B. from South Africa as she finishes 18 months in Cary with the Nelson family at the beginning of September. Please wish her well on her travels, and we hope you will stay in touch!

Educational Course Options for Au Pairs

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh ClusterEDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

As part of the J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa program, au pairs must complete 6 Credit Hours (or 60 contact hours) of classes to receive their completion certificate for the program. It is a valuable way for au pairs to get out into their community, meet new people, and attend class in the US.  Most InterExchange Au Pair USA au pairs in Raleigh take their classes at Wake Tech Community College along with Durham Tech Community College and Johnston Community College. Here are step-by-step directions to register for Wake Tech classes. Classes must be taken at accredited colleges and be academic in nature.


As with any class the au pair takes, the au pair is responsible for submitting the class to be Pre-Approved for credit by InterExchange. By submitting the class and receiving approval, the au pair is assured the class will count toward completing the program and also count for program extension at the end of the first year.


Sometimes it works better for the au pair’s schedule to take a weekend intensive class to typically earn 4 of 6 credits they need (40 hours of the total 60 hours of contact hours in class). There are many options for these weekend classes around the country. The au pair usually has work to do ahead to prepare for the class, and then travels to the class for the weekend to complete the course over 3 days. These classes are generally more expensive than local options because the au pair must travel to the location and needs housing and food on the trip in addition to the class’ tuition cost. Remember that au pairs have a $500 educational allowance provided by their host family for their 12 month program to complete the 6 credit hours.

Here is the current list of schools offering weekend intensive au pair courses:

If you have questions about class options or need help registering, please contact Local Coordinator Suzanne Miller at
Au Pair USA Raleigh Host An Au Pair


Photo Credit: college.library via photopin cc

Summer Safety Tips

Summer Safety Tips

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Summer

Summer is here! If you have not spoken with your host family or au pair about ways to keep kids safe this summer while they are enjoying the sand, sun, water, and waves, please take a moment to do so! Here are 9 Safety Tips we’ve compiled to be sure to talk about. What else would you include in the list?

We’ve also compiled a Summer Bucket List for the Raleigh and Central NC area for you to check out. Plus, here are our summer vacation boredom busters from the past, just in case you’re interested.

As you are out and about this summer, tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with @InterExchange and #IEXCulture to show us where you are enjoying your time and exploring our world! Happy Trails to you!


Photo Credit:New Friend via photopin (license)

May 2016 Monthly Updates

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh 5-16It’s been a busy, fun month with InterExchange in Raleigh and it’s only the beginning of May! Check out our updates from the Host Family Day at the Durham Bulls game on May 7th, see the new announcements from Suzanne after her Austin training conference on May 6th, and see a photo from our April Cluster meeting that got rained out. We still had a good time at Five Guys though!

Durham Bulls Host Family Day

InterExchange Au Pair USA

On Saturday, May 7th, host families and au pairs from the Raleigh and Chapel Hill/Durham Clusters of InterExchange Au Pair USA attended the Durham Bulls Baseball Game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham

This iconic Minor League team was made famous in the movie Bull Durham. They are the Triple A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham

We had 100 people from the two clusters join together to enjoy a beautiful evening at the ballpark. The Bulls won 2-1 in 11 innings, so it was an exciting game! A recap of the game is available here. 

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham









A highlight of the evening was that it was Star Wars Night at the ballpark in honor of May 4th–Star Wars Day aka “May the fourth be with you!” The Bulls wore special jerseys to look like Hans Solo in a tribute to Hans Solo during the game. The Star Wars characters were present for the game, and even Wool E. Bull, the Bull’s Mascot, was dressed as Hans Solo!

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham Everyone had a fun time celebrating these truly American Traditions–Baseball and Star Wars!

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh Chapel Hill Durham

April 2016 Monthly Updates

Raleigh InterExchange Au Pair USACheck out these Monthly Updates for April 2016 from the Raleigh Cluster of InterExchange Au Pair USA! Updates include:

Photo Credit: Raleigh Museums via photopin (license)

March 2016 Monthly Updates

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh

Check out our March Monthly Updates from the Raleigh Cluster of InterExchange Au Pair USA. It includes our trip to Greensboro to the International Civil Rights Museum for an American History and Culture lesson, our upcoming Family Day at the Durham Bulls, and more!


Au Pair USA Raleigh Host An Au Pair

Au Pairs visit International Civil Rights Museum

Raleigh InterExchange Au Pair USA International Civil Rights Museum

On Saturday, February 6th, the Raleigh and Chapel Hill Clusters of InterExchange Au Pair USA visited the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC. It is in the old Woolworth’s Department Store building where the Sit-in Movement began on February 1, 1960.


Raleigh InterExchange Au Pair USA International Civil Rights MuseumOn that date four men from Greensboro A&T State University went to sit at the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter and asked to be served. They sat until the store closed and came back the next day. They were joined by other students from A&T University and local High Schools during the Spring. Their non-violent protest of the “Whites Only” lunch counter sparked other similar Sit-in movements around the Southern US and helped begin the process of integrating the US. Here are a few images from our field trip and chance to learn about an important part of US History. The museum also includes other leaders from around the world, who like Martin Luther King in the US, led Civil Rights movements in their own countries.

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Paying Taxes as an Au Pair

InterExchange Au Pair USA Raleigh ClusterEvery year the Raleigh Cluster spends our March Cluster Meeting talking about taxes. This year our meeting will be on Sunday, March 13th from 7-9pm at Suzanne’s house.  Though it’s not our most fun meeting of the year, it is always sweet, because there is plenty of chocolate to go around! As the Local Coordinator for the Raleigh Cluster, Suzanne Miller provides plenty of chocolate to go with the annual tax meeting.

We spent time talking about paying taxes and help the au pairs complete their paperwork to file taxes. This year the au pairs who earned more than $4000 in 2015 will file taxes in April 2016. Suzanne is not a tax advisor and cannot answer specific tax questions, so we always encourage au pairs to contact a tax professional (Ask your host family who they recommend). Here are the directions we use to complete the paperwork:

AU PAIR TIP: It is important for au pairs to plan ahead and save money to be able to pay their taxes. Au Pairs, you don’t want to be caught owing money in April and not have it saved in order to pay!


Tax Photo Credit: 2015 Tax Form 1040 Being Filled Out via photopin (license)