An au pair is a young person who travels abroad to stay with a host family and carry out duties such as looking after children and doing housework. The phrase is of French origin and means "by mutual agreement."
While an au pair does not receive a normal wage, she gets the chance to experience another culture. Living with a local family offers the opportunity of learning another language as well as gaining direct insight into specific cultural traditions and beliefs. An au pair is often viewed as another family member, even though she may receive a small allowance for the work she does around the house.