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Online Course for Au Pairs

Taking Care of YOU:
Practical Tools for Prioritizing Your Own
Health and Wellness as a Caretaker

Course Code: AU0110WB21

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The Spring 2021 offering of this course has been canceled. View other upcoming Au Pair Classes.


Moving to a new country can be exciting and super overwhelming for anyone. For au pairs who travel across the world for their host family, they must immediately adapt to a new and different lifestyle, culture, and job, on top of suddenly being immersed in the English language. When focused on meal preparation, chauffeuring kids to soccer or play practice, laundry, homework, and bedtime, it is common for au pairs to neglect their own health and wellness.

In this self-paced online course, which includes live instructor-led discussion sessions, students will learn the holistic concept of wellness and some practical ideas for self-care. Special emphasis will be placed on incorporating concepts and practices into everyday life while caring for children.

Topics include:

  • Keeping the eight dimensions of wellness in balance: emotional, occupational, physical, social, environmental, financial, intellectual, and spiritual
  • Nutrition basics, such as reading food labels and cooking skills
  • Making physical activity a daily habit
  • Mindfulness to reduce stress
  • Role modeling healthy behaviors for kids

As they say, you can't pour from an empty cup. Learn how to prioritize your own health/wellness so that you can be the best version of yourself for yourself and the family you take care of.

This program is sure to fill fast – register today!

This online program will give attendees three of the six educational credits required under the J-1 visa. Au pairs (commonly misspelled as au pere or au pear) are required to earn educational credits under the J-1 visa. Click here to learn more.

Meet Your Instructors
Jennifer Shukaitis, instructor for Practical Tools for Prioritizing Your Own Health and Wellness as a Caretaker

Jennifer Shukaitis

Jennifer Shukaitis is a faculty member in the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences at Rutgers University. During her time there, she has implemented programs in nutrition and wellness to audiences ranging in age from pre-school to older adults. She has also partnered with FoodCorps, the NJ Department of Agriculture, and several schools and non-profits to implement farm-to-school programming throughout New Jersey. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, yoga, and spending time with her family.

Sara Elnakib instructor for Practical Tools for Prioritizing Your Own Health and Wellness as a Caretaker

Sara Elnakib

Sara Elnakib has worked in the area of community nutrition for over 10 years. Sara joined the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences as an Assistant Professor in January 2015. She has focused on food insecurity and improving food access in Passaic County as part of her role in the Passaic County Food Policy Council. She is also interested in food waste in institutional settings and how behavioral economics can be leveraged to reduce food waste. Prior to the faculty appointment at Rutgers University, she served as the Health and Nutrition Director for a Head Start Program in Montclair, New Jersey.

Dr. Anthony Broccoli, instructor for Understanding Sustainability Management

Chris Zellers

Chris Zellers is the Family and Community Health Science Educator of Cape May County for Rutgers Cooperative Extension where she presents wellness, nutrition, and fitness information to the Cape May County community. She has extensive experience creating healthy changes around food environments for communities, and her work in the areas of Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change led her to seek a master's degree in public policy. Chris enjoys working with collaborative partners to create healthy options in the community and contributes to many committees to make a healthy living environment. As a member of the FCHS team, she is working with colleagues to study best practices around policy changes that will create sustainability in the areas of nutrition equity. Chris has worked in fitness for over 23 years and nutrition and wellness for 10 years. She is also a Trained Tobacco Specialist with experience counseling and smoking cessation. She lives and works in Cape May County with her husband and three sons.

Registration Fee TBD Includes all course materials, certificate of completion, and other J-1 required documentation.
Cancellation Fee TBD  

This online course for au pairs provides three (3) of the six educational credits required under the J-1 visa program. Click here to learn more.


No meals will be provided.

Accessing this Online Course

This online course will be delivered via Rutgers Canvas learning management system. Registrants will receive an email with a link to access the course and a document with tips on how to use Canvas prior to the course start date.

Equipment you will need to access this training:

  • A computer or tablet
  • Microphones and webcams are required as this is a very interactive course


  • If this is your first time registering with us, please provide your own unique email address when registering; do not provide an email address that you share with anyone else.

  • If you have previously taken classes with us and have used a shared email address, you must update your account with a unique email address. Click the Register Online button below and sign into your account. On the left side toolbar, click My Account. On the drop-down menu, click Edit Profile/Password. Scroll down to the Email Address field (not the secondary email address field!) and enter your own, individual (not shared!) email address here. Click the Submit button at the bottom to save. If you need assistance updating your account, please email or call (848-932-9271, option 2) our Registration Department.

Note: Pre-registration is required.


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled?
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our email list (please select "Au Pair Classes" as your Area of Interest)
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu


Program Questions? Contact Us!

Program Coordinator: Suzanne Hills, 848-932-7234
Administrative Assistant: Sarah McCarthy, 848-932-7703