Summer Au Pair in UK: Brushing up your English

Becoming an au pair in Great Britain certainly sounds great. It makes you think of a holiday with free board and lodging in return for a helping hand to your host family. However, these kind of placement offers are rare. Those who wish to brush up their English and do not limit their search for a host family to Great Britain only, have good chances.

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"I would like to be a summer au pair in England. What is the best way for me?" Ann-Kristin Schell, director of the AuPairWorld translation team is well acquainted with such an enquiry. As a long-standing member of the support department, she has frequently replied by phone or email to this question from users from all over the world. Her tip: If you do not only focus on big cities, you will have better chances. Therefore, please add the rural areas to your search as well! Furthermore, do not be too limited in your choice of the number and age of the children."

Ireland offers good chances

Background information: Great Britain is crawling with long-term au pairs rendering it even more difficult for summer au pairs to find a host family there. According to our internal statistics, the number of summer au pairs in comparison to the host families was 14:1 in 2010. However, looking at Ireland, the situation is much better with good chances of finding a job as a summer au pair. Here are some more suggestions from Ann-Kristin for all those you would like to refresh their English as a foreign language, and are flexible concerning the choice of their host country: "English is not only spoken in Great Britain and Ireland, but also in the Scandinavian countries."

Reconsidering Australia and New Zealand

There are many summer au pairs planning to go to the USA. However, the US Department of State canceled the summer au pair programme in October 2009, which has lately been confirmed by some of the designated US au pair agencies.*

All those who plan to become a summer au pair in Australia or New Zealand should reconsider their destination choice or duration of stay. The Working Holiday Visa for these countries is only valid once in a lifetime. So you really ought to reconsider using it for only a few months! Besides the travel costs, au pairs also need to have funds of about 5,000 AUD or at least 4,200 NZD.

Is the financial investment worth it?

Thus the question arises: Is it really worth to take on such costs for a relatively short stay? Generally the following applies for au pair placements: The chances of those who do not search for a one-month-placement, but four months or more, will have a much greater opportunity.


* Note: The article has been revised here. In a previous version, we pointed out that young people planning to become a summer au pair would not have much of a chance in the USA. In the meantime, we have asked well-directed questions. Some of the designated agencies as well as the US Diplomatic Mission to Germany have confirmed that the summer au pair programme was cancelled in autumn 2009.

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