TO DO LIST – WHEN YOU ARRIVE TO YOUR HOST FAMILY:
1. Get a social security card as soon as you can. You will need this number to obtain a MA driver’s license, to sign up for some schools and for tax purposes.
• Go to: https://socialsecurity.gov/boston/ or locate an office near you. The closest Social Security offices is located at: 10 CAUSEWAY STREET BOSTON, MA 02222. When you receive the number in the mail, keep the envelope it came in, as it may be used as proof of address as well. To obtain a SS # you will need to bring with you:
• Your passport
• Printed form I-94
• DS-2019 form with your current families address on it
• Social Security letter (also called letter of participation) to be found in your account and the families account at www.culturalcare.com
2. Open a bank account: It is very easy and simple to open a bank account in the USA. Just go to the nearest Bank ( Bank of America, Citizens Bank, TD Bank North, Brookline Bank) and bring the following documents to open your account:
• Your passport,
• DS-2019 form
• letter of participation (also called social security letter) from your families account at culturalcare.com
• social security card ( If you don’t have your social security card yet, don’t worry some banks open the account without the social security card, just tell the bank representative that you are an international student).
3. Get your cell phone ready: Host Families need to provide a cell phone to their au pairs, so they can communicate with them (Voice and Text). If you bring your own cell phone, then you should ask your host family how to activate it. There are several cell phone carriers in Boston (Verizon, T-mobil, At&T, Sprint).
4. Start looking into classes you may like to take: Most schools start classes in September and January, but there are some classes you can start taking in April or over the summer. Take a look at the links on the side of this web page for educational opportunities. Keep in mind that the school you are attending must be accredited, but the class does not have to give you credits for it. 12 hours of class time is 1 credit, which means you need a minimum of 72 hours class time. Online and Adult Education Programs are not accredited, and therefore will not count towards your credits.
5. Au-Pair monthly meetings are mandatory: REMEMBER: you can only skip a meeting if you are sick, have to work, are in school and on vacation and have proof of it. You may make up a meeting by going to another LCC meeting, but you have to tell me in advance and I have to confirm with the LCC that they are okay with it. You may not go to another LCC meeting just because you have a friend in the group and don’t feel like going to mine. This is my way of contacting you every month and making sure that things are going smooth with your family. The other LCC will not be able to help you if problems arise, I am responsible for it. I have no problem if you go to other LCC meetings in addition to mine, so please plan ahead to attend all meetings.
6. TAXES: Every Au Pair has to file taxes between January and April every year. I suggest you put away $5 every week for your taxes so that when you do have to file you are prepared to pay. A great way to save for this is to open a savings account along with your checking account and deposit the $5.75 out of your weekly stipend into the savings account. You will earn a small interest on the money in the account and in most cases you will have enough or more money then you will need for taxes.
7. Start Studying for the Driver’s License Test: by picking up a manual from a local Department of Motor Vehicle office or downloading it from: http://www.ma.gov/mvc/About/manuals.htm. or you may pick up a manual from a local Motor Vehicle office.
• Please STUDY, you will not pass if you don’t study.
• Bring all the paperwork with you every time you go to the DMV, even if you have already shown it. They will not issue a license even if you pass the test without all the paperwork.
Bring with you:
• Your home license
• international license
• social security number
• proof of address: bank account statement and social security envelope
• Printed form I-94
• DS 2019 form
• letter of participation in the program from your or your families account at culturalcare.com
• Aetna/Erika insurance card
If you do not pass the test the first time, you can go back in a week, so don’t worry. If you are required to take a driving test as well, you will be given an appointment for it, if not, you will receive your license on the spot after passing the written test. You will pay between $10 and $25 for the license. Additional charge may apply if you have to take the driving test. It is important that you bring your glasses and eye lenses if you have to wear them while driving as an eye test will also be performed.
Some International licenses will not be sufficient at the DMV because they do not have a license number on it or it is not written in the English language. If this happens, the DMV employee will send you to a local translator to get your home license translated, which will be an additional cost. ( If you need a Spanish translation, please contact me. I am also a certified translator in MA).
If you would like or your family thinks you need it, you should take a few driving lessons before you start driving or before you take the test. There are many driving schools to consider.
7. Last but not least: Go out, make friends and have fun. Just by going to the local Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts you will be able to meet other Au-Pairs from everywhere. Even when dropping off kids at school or other activities, parks, on the train, you will run into other Au-Pairs. Don’t be afraid to approach them.
Saturday, 24 June 2017 12:02 AM