Sarah answers questions about her time as an au pair ...
Why did you decide to become an au pair?
During my time at university, I had already spent a semester studying in Instanbul and that had been a terrific experience. But in a situation like that, one is mostly in contact with other students and not so close to the new culture. That's why I definitely wanted to go abroad again and really immerse myself in another culture. Since as an au pair you are living in a host family, and are experiencing everyday life and the traditions and all the little details of the culture really up close and personally, being an au pair seemed just right. Plus I really like kids.
When were you an au pair and where did you go?
I was an au pair in Barcelona from June to September 2016. The timing was perfect for both sides ─ my host family needed a summer au pair to handle the long summer vacation time in Spain. And I could use my university summer vacation in a great way and enjoy the summer in Spain.
Looking back, what did you get out of your au pair stay?
Through my time as an au pair, I've learned how to orient myself quickly in completely new situations. I've become more patient and more confident and I can assert myself better ─ which will certainly be helpful in professional life. And I've also gained the necessary self-confidence to choose the career that really interests me, namely online marketing. Before my time as an au pair in Spain, I would have chosen the simple and safe way of going into Human Resources because I had already worked in this area during my studies.
After this au pair experience, is there anything you would do differently a second time?
No. My time as an au pair gave me the perspective I needed to see what direction I should take with my career – and at exactly the right stage now while I'm still at university. This has let me take the right steps for moving forward. Having had such a positive experience, I can only urge others to give it a try. Taking a break like this opens up new perspectives and gives you a chance to look to the right and to the left – and maybe discover new possibilities for yourself.