If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling, working as an au pair is an incredible opportunity.
Providing childcare to host families in exchange for room and board and a weekly stipend eliminates basic travel expenses, making it a more affordable way to live abroad long-term. Weekend excursions with other au pairs are beneficial for au pairs as well because they enable them to meet new people and generate enduring memories.
You’ll Get Experience
Working as an au pair can be ideal if you’re a young, energetic traveler who likes kids and wants to experience the world. However, it’s important to be well-prepared and know what you’re getting into before jumping into a foreign country and living with a stranger.
First, ensure you’re eligible to be an au pair in the country of your choice. Minimum requirements vary by program, but most au pairs must have a high school diploma and be under 30. In addition, several nations demand that au pairs who work with children pass a criminal history check.
Most families also expect their au pairs to speak the host country’s language. It is an ideal way to practice a new language while immersed in the local culture. Some families choose au pairs specifically to help their children learn a second language. It’s true for families with kids who attend immersion schools.
If you’re interested in learning a new language, talk to your future host family about their expectations for how you will use your time together during the interview process. It can help avoid any misunderstandings down the road. It’s also a good idea to talk to the family’s previous au pairs, as their experience can provide valuable insight into what life is like for au pairs in their home.
You’ll Get Paid
So, how much does an au pair cost? Au pairs are typically provided with full-board accommodation and monthly pocket money in exchange for childcare and housework. This money is usually enough to cover your living expenses and can be a great way to experience a new country. Plus, it’s much more affordable than moving to another country to study or travel.
Many au pairs must pass a background check before being interviewed by host families. It is a requirement in most countries, but the rules vary by country. Some agencies even have a “Dear Family Letter” asking au pairs to write before interviewing with families. It is your chance to highlight your strengths, personality, and why you want to be an au pair. Make sure to include all of your relevant childcare experience in the letter.
Before applying, be sure you have a valid passport and visa (if needed). You may also need a medical certificate depending on the rules in the country where you plan to live. It’s also important to take your time and talk to several families before choosing the one that’s right for you. A happy work-life balance is important, so don’t rush into the first family you meet.
You’ll Make Friends
While Au Pairs will primarily work for their host families, they commonly meet other people while working abroad. They will be able to communicate with people from a completely different culture, and they’ll also be able to experience the local customs. This type of experience is a great way to learn more about the country where they are located and will help them become more well-rounded individuals when they return home. Most au pair programs require au pairs to write a letter to their host family, and this is a great opportunity for them to let their personalities shine and share interesting stories about themselves.
It is also a good idea for them to make sure that they include any hobbies or interests that they want the host family to know about. It will help the family to find an au pair who is a good match for them. Many au pairs make friends with other au pairs while working abroad. It is a great way to have someone to talk to if they are homesick or need advice. It’s also a great way to socialize and have fun with others. Au Pairs often hang out together at school pick-up and drop-off, after-school activities, or during their free time.
You’ll Learn A New Language
Whether your goal is to learn the language of your host country or another, learning a new language while au pairing will help you in more ways than one; being able to communicate with other people will make your stay abroad much more enjoyable, and it’ll open up so many doors for you. Au pairs also have the opportunity to participate in a completely foreign culture, which can be an extremely enriching experience.
Learning about a different culture will give you a unique perspective on the world you can take back home. It is also a great way to practice your new language, and it can be fun to share some of your culture with the family. For example, you could teach the kids some of your favorite songs or games in your native language and cook typical meals from your home country. When looking for a host family, be sure to pick carefully. It’s okay to talk to several families and choose the one that best suits your needs.
However, remember to respect each family’s privacy and never post anything about them on social media without their permission. Keeping in touch with other au pairs you’ve met through your agency or online is also a good idea. It will help you feel more at home and be a wonderful way to meet some friends who can share your experiences with you.