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IAPA Au Pair of the Year 2016 winner announced – high above the Atlanta skyline!

Mar 24, 2016



IAPA Au Pair of the Year 2016 winner announced – high above the Atlanta skyline!
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, March 24, 2016 

A heart-warming cultural exchange success story was revealed at the WETM-IAC 2016 Celebration Dinner, amidst stunning views of the Atlanta, Georgia skyline. The 12th edition of the IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award has been awarded to German-born Robert Isemer. He was nominated by his host family, the Thurman’s, after spending a year with them in Vienna, VA, USA.

Placed by agency American Professional Exchange PROaupair, Robert is a highly deserving young man who has shown just what a positive life-long impact an au pair can have on both the host family and their community. Robert was presented his award by International Au Pair Association (IAPA) newly appointed Chair, Delphine Vaills.

Robert is a true ambassador for what best practice au pairing should be. Undaunted by caring for ten-year-old Alex, a funny and curious boy with a rare syndrome and autism, Robert helped Alex to gain more independence and flourish.

The Thurman’s said, “Robert was an extremely active participant in Alex’s schoolwork, researching and implementing new methodologies to help him integrate better in to general education and better comprehend and retain the curriculum, resulting in impressive grade improvements! Robert even volunteered at the school and attended educational conferences on his weekends to better support people with disabilities”.

They continued, “Robert’s compassion and humanity were inspiring – his going the extra mile to teach our son new life skills. Robert supported Alex whilst always preserving his pride and dignity.”

“When Robert left our family and community, he had even managed to impact our health and nutrition, guiding us to healthier eating habits, sharing typical national recipes with Alex’s grandmother, studying for and receiving his CrossFit Instructor Level 1 Certification and making lifelong friends in our local community”.

Robert gave a touching tribute to his host family at the awards ceremony on Sunday evening. He concluded his rousing acceptance speech by saying, “back in Germany, I reflected on my time in the US and decided my next step should be to help less fortunate people and give back to society. Now I work full time with refugees in Lütjenburg, helping families and children from Syria and trying my best to be a force for good in the world.”


For media enquiries:

WYSE Travel Confederation

Tel: +31 (0)20 421 2800




The Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference (WETM-IAC) is the joint event of WYSE Travel Confederation and the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) and provides a platform for business trading and education for senders and receivers serving all aspects of cultural exchange, au pairing, volunteering, internship and work experience.

About International Au Pair Association (IAPA)

  • The International Au Pair Association (IAPA) is the leading global trade association for organisations active in all aspects of au pair and cultural exchange programmes.
  • IAPA has more than 170 member organisations active in 45 countries worldwide.
  • Member organisations must meet firm business and ethical standards, and agree to abide by the IAPA Code of Conduct which signifies competence, fair dealing and high integrity.
  • IAPA is a global not-for-profit organisation and a founding member of the World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation.
  • IAPA was founded by leading au pair organisations in 1994 at the WYSTC (World Youth and Student Travel Conference) in Vancouver, Canada.
  • IAPA’s main aim is to protect the rights of all au pairs and host families and at the same time establish internationally approved guidelines for au pair exchange programmes.
  • New agencies arise as the demand for au pairs continues to increase. With growth in the industry comes the need for regulation at the international level. IAPA aims to meet this need by developing a system of self-regulation and by introducing professional standards.About WYSE Travel Confederation
  • The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation is a global not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to promoting and developing opportunities for the youth, student and educational travel industry.
  • Founded in 2006 and created from the merger of the Federation of International Youth Travel organisations (FIYTO) and the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) – both formed after World War II to inspire young people through international travel and to help remove cultural barriers – the confederation brings together 60 years of youth travel expertise.
  • Providing international travel experiences to over 30 million youth and students each year, WYSE Travel Confederation’s global community of over 600 members spans more than 120 countries from a diverse range of sectors.
  • From adventure tour operators to au pair agencies, cultural exchange programmes to language schools, hop-on-hop-off buses to student insurance and youth hostels to volunteer programmes, WYSE Travel Confederation is the world’s most powerful network of youth and student travel professionals, connecting key industry players with decision makers and government officials.
  • The Confederation is committed to understanding the ever-changing characteristics, motivations and needs of young travellers. By gathering, analysing and sharing important market intelligence with members, academics and government decision-makers, the unique fast-changing needs of the youth market is at the forefront of its activities as it seeks to accelerate the development of youth travel.

For more information, visit or follow the organisation on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.