Educational Requirement

As part of the J-1 visa program, au pairs are required to complete an educational requirement:

Au Pairs are required to take at least 6 semester credits or 72 hours at an accredited post-secondary university in the United States. TutorCare Au Pairs are required to take 12 semester credits at an accredited post-secondary university. Au pairs who extend their visa are required to take additional credits. If the au pair extends 6 months, they are required to take an additional 3 credits. If the au pair extends 9 or 12 months, they are required to take an additional 6 credits. You are able to take ESL courses to improve your English skills, test preparation classes to help prepare you for further education, enrichment courses to learn more about American culture and more.

Au pairs can take their classes at a post-secondary university:

  • Credit Course: Generally any course that is offered to a full-time student for which a school has assigned a set credit value that the student will receive upon completion. We will count the credits that the school assigned to the course.
  • Non-Credit Course: A non-credit course is a course that a school has not assigned a set credit value to. These are usually offered through the community or continuing education departments of colleges and universities. We will count the classroom hours of the course since no credits are assigned to the course and go by the educational standard that 12 hours = 1 credit. A noncredit course might also be offered for continuing education units (CEU1). We will count 1 CEU = 1 credit if it is offered through a post-secondary accredited institution.
  • Au Pairs are able to combine credits, hours, and CEUs to add up to their required number of hours.
Finding a School for Au Pair Educational Requirement:
Classes must be taken at a university, college, or continuing education program sponsored by a college. They cannot be a study tour, internship, or volunteering program. As of July 2022, the Department of State is asking au pairs to resume in person courses whenever possible. To make sure the school you are considering is a post-secondary accredited institution, please check if it is listed on either of the following websites:
U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-Secondary Education at: 
Council for Higher Education Accreditation at:
Finding a School for Au Pair Educational Requirement
For a list of available universities and courses in your area, please click here to visit our state specific resources page.
Tuition and Transportation Expenses:

Host families are responsible for paying up to $500 towards tuition costs and related material for au pairs to complete their educational requirement for the first year. TutorCare au pairs receive up to $1,000 for their educational requirements for the first year. If the educational expenses cost more, then the au pairs are required to pay for the additional expenses. Host families are required to pay for the transportation for au pairs to get to their classes, including gas, parking, or public transportation. The transportation cost is in addition to the $500/$1,000 allowance for tuition and related material.

Completion of Educational Requirement for Extending Au Pairs:

Au pairs should have fully completed at least 3 credits or 36 classroom hours by the time they apply for extension,. If an au pair has not completed the full 6 credit hours or 72 classroom hours when they apply for extension (3-4 months before program end) they need to prove that they are enrolled and on track to complete the requirement before their current program ends. If the AP has not completed all requirements by 30 days before the end of her program she will not be allowed to extend.

Courses Across the United States

Learning Across America – Travel + Education for Au Pairs

The LEARNING ACROSS AMERICA program is the result of Borough of Manhattan Community College and Cultural Hi-Ways teaming up to help you meet your educational requirement!

Their goal is simple: to provide you with fun, convenient and reasonably priced learning that takes you beyond the classroom as you travel to the very destinations you choose to study.

Click the button below to check out their latest available weekend courses!

Experience Au Pair Weekend

Au Pair Weekend (APW) courses combine learning with fun activities, community engagement, and field trips, in a choice of nine major U.S. cities. These courses are offered through accredited schools of higher education and can satisfy the U.S. Department of State au pair education requirement. It’s easy to earn all of the educational hours required for one year by completing one or two of our weekend classes! Whichever city you choose, you will engage in exciting learning opportunities throughout that area with a combination of fun activities, community engagement, and field trips.

Visit and explore Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa, or Washington, D.C. Learn more here:

Click here to view In-Person courses
Click here view to the au pair weekend online courses.

Au Pair Academy

We are so excited to announce the launch of our Au Pair Academy at Monroe College. Monroe College is an accredited degree-granting post-secondary academic institution that allows us to issue education hours /credits certificates to au pairs.

As a policy, the Department of State expects students to study face-to-face when possible. However, due to Covid-19, online and hybrid courses have been authorized through the Fall 2020 Semester.   

View Available Classes
Classroom Au Pair

Weekend classes designed with au pairs in mind!All of their classes are offered through accredited post-secondary institutions. They offer classes in: Jersey City, NJ, New York City, NY, Orlando, FL, Oahu, HI, Las Vegas, NV, and Miami, FL.

They are currently offering online classes.

Click here to find a list of courses available:

BMCC Au Pair Experience
BMCC Au Pair Experience is an educational program for au pairs, offering classes that focus on travel, cultural exchange, and cultural comparison. They also have classes to support au pairs with career preparation, stress management, and English as a Second Language

View Available Courses:

PACE University

PACE offer a wide range of interesting courses, many different times for you to take classes, and special pricing just for you! Courses are in both our New York City and White Plains locations.

They are currently offering online classes.

Click here to find a list of courses available: