I didn’t enjoy my first and probably last experience as an au pair but there were many reasons why I even considered becoming one.
- Living in another country. Far or near you will get the opportunity to live in another country of your choice for as long as you want.
- Earning Money. On top of getting to live in another country, you get paid as well. This does depend on the country you live in and the family you are paired with.
- Experiencing a new culture. Food. Values. Traditions. You’ll learn about them all.
- Practising a language you study in your home country or picking up another language. Whether it is improving on your current knowledge or learning a new language in general. A language or multiple languages are an important and valued skill to have.
- Comfort zone. You will be very out of your comfort zone. Going to a country you may or may not know very well. Living in someone else’s house, using their things, eating their food, becoming responsible for their children. It’s a little daunting but its something that can be overcome if you want to.
- Becoming more independent. For me, it was my first time travelling alone and for some au pairs this may also be the case. It was pretty exciting doing everything by myself I must say but also scary because I didn’t want to get anything wrong regarding flights and what not. Furthermore, you will be taking care of someone else’s children which means they’re your responsibility.
- It’s something else to add to your CV/resumé. There’s never too much experience to add to your CV/Resumé.
- Becoming more organised. Generally, au pairs and the children have schedules but this may vary during summer because the children are not in school.
- Acquiring skills and improving your attributes. Skills acquired may be different depending on your day-to-day life with your host family. You may become fluent in a second language, time-management, organisation, childcare.
- All of the above. It’s a life experience and it’s definitely different.
Au pairing was not for me and I had this feeling from the moment I arrived in my host country (Italy). On the other hand, I stuck it out for as long as I could until I didn’t think I could bare it anymore and I learned some valuable lessons from it. However, I would push anybody who is interested in au pairing to do it.