Join us for this exclusive interview with APW founder Lora Cook as she takes us through how the company has grown through the years.
“Au Pair Weekend started at a small community college in south Boston with our first class in October 2006 and we only had five au pairs, including my family's first au pair! After a couple of years we decided to expand to some additional cities. My husband and I co-created the curriculum and co-directed the weekend but we both had other full-time academic jobs for the first ten years we were running Au Pair Weekend. For several years we just alternated between Boston, Washington DC, and Chicago where we offered courses one weekend a month.
We introduced the longer 4-day intensive course in Florida in 2013. I started to recognize what demand there was and decided at the end of 2014 that it was time to focus exclusively on Au Pair Weekend and I left my full-time university position.
Since we lived in the West, we decided to start classes in California and added San Diego and San Francisco in 2015. Those classes grew so quickly that we really had to expand our staffing to keep up with the growth. We went from 27 students in our first San Diego class to 75 students in our second class to 230 students in the third class we offered.
We later added our Utah program in early 2017, and then our new Arts & Entertainment started with UCLA in LA in the fall of 2017, followed by our NYC A&E program in the spring of 2018.
We launched an environmental science curriculum in Tampa, Florida a few years ago and we've done a special edition at the National Volcano Park on the Big Island of Hawaii in summer 2019.
We just launched our first Texas program in February 2020, just weeks before COVID. The Texas program is a really unique opportunity to really engage in our core Difference and Discover curriculum in a very unique US locale - on a longhorn Texas ranch where we explore the Wild West as a special topic.
More than anything, I think it is the amazing staff who have been involved in the program as instructors and program coordinators and curriculum developers and trainers. There is a strong and rich culture in Au Pair Weekend that includes a large group of instructors for our core Difference and Discover courses who have all had very unique international experiences that they are able to bring to the work that we do. We have such talented staff in our Arts & Entertainment program as well.
It has been an incredible journey to create APW alongside my husband Ben who is an incredible instructor and trainer, but we could never have expanded APW the way we have without so many incredible, hard-working staff members.
There is so much positive energy that our students can't help to feel and that cultivates something within themselves to really look at their international experience differently. We have had a lot of success through the strong partnerships that we've established with wonderful universities and community organizations where we've been able to contribute to as volunteers. Finally, the content of what we teach and offer to our students is just so valuable, meaningful, and applicable to their lives.”
- Lora Cook, APW Founder & Owner
Celebrate With Us By Sharing YOUR Favorite APW Memory!
We're encouraging all of our alumni and current students to join us in celebrating by sharing your favorite APW memory on social media. We will be choosing TWO winners! Prizes will be awarded to the photo with the Most Likes and to the Oldest Photo! (APW Class of 2006, this is your time to shine!)
Prizes: Each winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card
Who can enter?
This contest is open only to current and past au pairs who are 18 years of age or older as of the date of entry.
Submission Rules: To join, share your memory on Facebook or Instagram and tag us @aupairweekend! Be sure to include the year and the city that your photo is from.
Instagram: Follow @aupairweekend and tag us in a post or send us a message with your picture!
Facebook: Add us on Facebook and tag us in a post or send us a message with your picture!
When is the deadline?
11:59 PM PST on Friday, February 19, 2021
Entries will be accepted online starting on February 3 at 9 AM PST and ending February 19 at 11:59 PM PST.
The Winner(s) of the Campaign will receive an Amazon gift card for $25. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Au Pair Weekend. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except at Au Pair Weekend's discretion. The prize is non transferable. Winners will be selected by vote under the supervision of Au Pair Weekend. Winners will be notified through either social media or email within five (5) days following selection of Winners. APW shall have no liability for Winners' failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail, or other security settings or for Winners' provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winners cannot be contacted, are ineligible, fail to claim the prize within 5 days from the time award notification was sent, or fail to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and alternate Winners selected. By entering this contest, you understand and agree that APW shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media without limitation, your entry, name, and picture for promotional purposes without any further compensation, notice, review, or consent.