Au Pair 2020 - Au pairs say WHY in new Instagram poll

Young people tell why choosing to be an au pair makes more sense than ever in 2020.

crowed of people
, in Au pairs

We asked a simple question:

"Why do YOU want to be an au pair in 2020?"

And here are the 10 top reasons that we received in our recent Instagram poll:

  1. To learn a new language 
  2. To discover a different culture
  3. To experience living away from home
  4. To travel more
  5. To grow as a human being
  6. To gain independence
  7. To experience a new family
  8. To push myself out of my comfort zone
  9. To escape the ordinary
  10. To spend time with kids

Putting the answers together

When you put all these answers together, you start to get a picture of one of the most dynamic and flexible gap year options available to young people today. 

The different goals au pairs pursue with their time abroad show how amazingly effective the au pair situation is as a way to let you discover the world and discover yourself – which is basically the heart of the gap year idea

Somehow au pairing lets you pursue a very wide range of exciting goals: Getting to know a new culture, learning a new language, leaving home and discovering a new world, expanding your horizons.

What's going on here? How does au pairing manage to open so many different doors?

A potent mix: A family + a foreign country

By teaming up with a family in a foreign country you embed yourself deeply into a new cultural environment. From this position, you are ready (indeed forced) to really find out what it's like:

  • To use a foreign language in your everyday life
  • To pursue your life and your dreams in the chosen environment of your new host country
  • To be on your own far from home (for more than just a vacation trip)
  • To live the adventure you've been dreaming about

Deep immersion

This is not just a few days in a hotel or hostel in a foreign country (which of course can be tons of fun in their own way). This is diving far deeper into a new international environment where you have opportunities to really learn a new language and gain the international skills and experience that can truly be life-changing. By taking on an important childcare role in a new family in a new place, you establish the situation that lets you live abroad like a native and opens multiple doors in that environment.

Au Pairing: Gap year champion for more than 70 years

This simple combination of foreign living and family life is the genius of the au pair situation. And no doubt this is why families and young people have been teaming up in the au pair situation for more than 70 years to satisfy both these needs at once. 

  • Young people want to see the world. 
  • Families need help with their young children. 

Put the two together and you have a highly flexible ticket into a new world. It's not as trendy as the gap year experiences that you can buy from expensive educational services, but it often takes you deeper into your host country than some pre-packaged "youth experience".

You choose a family in a place that interests you. And you make an adventure for yourself that involves building new relationships, doing useful work, and also having more free time for yourself than you may have had since you were a kid. As Casey Aubin, author of the new book "I Never Thought I'd Be an Au Pair", writes: "We need to define Au Pairing in a new way...It is time to embrace the concept of au pairing as a modern, life-changing pathway to personal freedom."

New research on youth travel

Interestingly, recent comprehensive research on what Generation Z  travellers (born after 1995) are looking for confirms that there is a growing wish among young people to "live like a local", "learn a language" and "develop personal creativity". 

These are precisely the opportunities that an au pair stay can enable. No wonder that young people keep on making it a first choice for discovering the world - also in 2020!