The two global trade associations behind the Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference (WETM-IAC Conference) taking place in the USA next March, will present two special awards that highlight unique contributions to the global cultural exchange industry. The International Au Pair Association (IAPA) will present its 2010 Au Pair of the Year Award, while the WYSE Work Abroad Association will launch its inaugural Partnership of the Year Award at the industry’s annual conference.

Each year, IAPA presents its Au Pair of the Year Award to a young person who embodies the spirit of cultural exchange. The winner is selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by host families from around the world who have had their lives transformed by the placement of an au pair by one of IAPA’s member agencies. “This is the seventh year that we have presented the Au Pair of the Year Award and each year it serves to remind the industry of the importance of cultural exchange, not only in terms of international relations but also on a personal level. I look forward to rewarding and celebrating the winner’s wonderful achievement”, says Jack Hompes, Chair of IAPA.

Judged by a panel of IAPA representatives, winners over the past years have included as many young men as women. Last year’s winner was 24 year old Brazilian, Ricardo Silva de Araujo, who spent a year with his host family in Virginia, USA caring for their son.

WYSE Work Abroad Partnership of the Year Award
Face-to-face meetings and the ability to forge long-term business relationships are a key part of the WETM-IAC conference, and essential to the success of organisations placing young people in work abroad programmes worldwide. WYSE Work Abroad’s new Partnership of the Year Award recognises the importance of these partnerships, particularly during the current economic climate.

“At WYSE Work Abroad, we want to demonstrate the tremendous networking value provided by our conference and through membership of our association. The Partnership of the Year will be awarded to two organisations who have met at one of our events and formed a successful business working relationship that has benefitted young people wishing to work and volunteer abroad” says Elizabeth O’Neill, Chair of the WYSE Work Abroad Association.

The winning organisations of the Partnership of the Year Award will each receive a paid one-year membership of the global trade association.

The Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference
Now in its sixth year, the WETM-IAC Conference is devoted exclusively to organisations providing cultural exchange and work abroad programmes such as au pair placements, internships, gap year, work exchange and volunteer programmes.

250 plus organisations representing more than 40 countries are expected to attend the two and a half day event in Miami. Traditionally held in a different European city each year, this year’s conference will take place in the USA for the very first time – reflecting the importance of North America as one of the world’s leading receiving markets for work experience and au pair placements.

The conference will be hosted at the InterContinental Hotel Miami, from 17-19 March 2010. Oganisations interested in attending the Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference can register at

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