Gift Ideas for Au Pairs at Orientation (includes APIA AP Orientation hotel address & phone #)

Welcome Gift Ideas for Au Pairs at Orientation

 

After years of experience observing newly arrived au pairs, the APIA Orientation Staff feels that it is very important for an au pair's new host family to do something to acknowledge her initial arrival in the USA. The APIA Orientation Staff has noticed that the au pairs who do not receive a greeting often becomes anxious about their choice. It doesn't have to be an expensive gift just a quick fax or phone message will work wonders!  I do not recommend an expensive gift; sometimes this can send the wrong message and may also lead to comparisons/competition.

If you are looking for ideas, here are a few sugges­tions:

•Faxes: Send faxes to the orientation hotel with messages and pictures from you and the kids (The Stamford Sheraton fax # 203-358-8872)

•Phone calls: leave a welcome message for your au pair at the orientation hotel (The Stamford Sheraton phone # 203-358-8400); invite her to call you back with collect phone call instructions or a cell phone number where she can reach you

• Phone card: You can purchase phone cards locally (7-Eleven, WalMart, etc…) or you can obtain one through APIA.  If you wish to purchase one through APIA, you should make a check payable to Au Pair in America for $20.  It should be sent to Laura Blersch at the Connecticut office. Include a note with your au pair's name and arrival date, and we will give her a $20 phone card at Orientation.  Also, there are some phenomenal deals (less than a penny a minute!) on www.phonecardsavenue.com,  www.ilovephonecards.com,  http://zaptel.com .  Please check out “Inexpensive Phone Cards” under the “Important Documents” section of this website (www.southernmarylandaupairs.com) for more details.

• New York City Tour: You can pay for your au pair's New York City tour which takes place during the third night of orientation. Send a $65 check payable to Au Pair in America to the attention of Laura Blersch at least a week before your au pair's arrival date. Let your au pair know in advance that you will be doing this. This is an AWESOME gift!!   The girls LOVE it!

Other suggestions that can be mailed to the orientation hotel are listed below.  Try to mail them so that they will arrive on the Monday of Orientation.  Mark them with your au pair's name AND Au Pair in America and send them to: Stamford Sheraton, 700 Main Street, Stamford, CT 06901.

•A welcome gift basket to your au pair.

-One local company, Stamford Florist, prepares cus­tom baskets for au pairs and delivers them to the orientation hotel (the delivery is FREE). Their phone # is 1-800-783-4036, and their website is www.stamfordflorist.com .

•A disposable camera and/or small photo album to capture memories from their Orientation.

•An address/phone book to record new friends' contact information.

•Flowers: Before sending flowers consider whether your au pair will be traveling by plane or train as these can be difficult manage.

•Items relevant to the area where you live such as maps, t-shirts, or local snacks.

•Stationery or busi­ness cards engraved with her name and your address.

•Seasonal items that your au pair may not have from her country.  An au pair from a warm climate arriving to CT in the winter will probably not have gloves, hat or scarf.  An au pair from a cold climate arriving in the summer won't have bug spray (Avon's Skin So Soft is multi-purpose!) either.
 
-Snacks, chocolates (what girls doesn't love chocolates?), candy for the stay at the hotel and the ride to your home.
 
- A phone card to contact her home country and/or your family; a Trak phone or cellphone to contact you once she's arrived to the USA.
 
***These are just a few ideas of things that I've seen that have brought broad smiles to the au pairs' faces.  Whatever you choose to do, I'm sure it will be perfect!
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