Why to become an Au-pair?
You might be a student who just finished school and is wondering where to go next. University might not be the right thing for you, at least not now or maybe you do not feel ready to jump into the hamster wheel of interviews for job openings.
Or it might be the other way around, you may have lost your job or a girlfriend/boyfriend or you are just craving to travel and try something new.
What was my story?
I lost my job, i had my boyfriend overseas, needed money and felt trapped in my own life where i wanted to travel but did not have money for it, because i lost my job - see the loop of hell there?
I could not find a job that i would enjoy and my strong desire to travel was growing.
Started looking at agencies, to find some job abroad, but also i was a bit afraid, won´t lie.
To move far away .. i just read too many stories, where people got taken their passport and were forced to slave (me being paranoid)
All agencies wanted registration fee, placement fee or other bullsh* fee and i was sorta out of money, not willing to pay up front nor i wanted to sign myself away for a year.
Where to find Au-pair job?
I came across the Aupairworld website and started looking randomly. Everybody from Europe goes to UK or US, but i had mountains in mind, something like Italy.
I wrote to one family with two kids, just to try it out, but everything happened so quickly! Within a month i started as a new au-pair in Italy, the beautiful mountain town Bormio. We had two skype calls before my arrival, with some details about the work i would do, about the family it self and i was ready to go.
I felt great, because i knew Italy is just couple hours away and if anything i could get home easily.
Try these websites:
What to expect as an Au-pair?
Make sure to deal with this before you even leave and rather talk about it again as soon as you arrive. You should have your own room, but somewhere the Aupair shares the room with the kids. I was lucky enough to have a big enough room upstairs away from all the drama where i could rest.
You should also know your working hours. I worked from 7 am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and my only free day was Sunday and an hour or two during lunch, where parents came home
Make sure, if you have to cook or clean. Again i was super lucky enough, that all meals were provided to me and i eat with them, as part of the family. They also had a woman to clean the apartment so my only duty was truly, just to take the kids out and play with them.
You should be getting some money, the amount obviously depends on what all you are provided, what all you have to do and where you went to be an Au-pair.
The "pocket money" i was getting during my stay, was as high as my first jobs salary in a store, so i was able to put some money aside.
I won´t lie that it was always easy. Kids can be moody, kids can be ill as well as you might fall with fever. You might get home sick or little depressed, in a small town like that i did not have any friends, so it was truly just me, which was sometime hard.
Overall, you will experience living abroad, you will meet new people, eat new food, maybe even make some money and see places ...
o me this was a great experience. The town and the family will always have a special place in my heart.
We are still in touch even though it´s been couple years now and visited each other. It´s funny to see the kids grow and heart warming, when they actually remember you.
So yes! I would totally recommend you to take this leap of faith and go try it. Some families want just a short term help, so if you are not sure, you can go for only three month and see if this is something for you. Thanks to short contracts you can even see several countries!