My Irish adventure
I’m from the Netherlands and I have been an au pair in Ireland for 9 months, from Nov 2013 to Jul 2014. I had an amazing time.
I wanted to travel to an English speaking country to improve my English. When I heard the Irish accent, I fell in love with it immediately. In fact, some people tell me that I have an Irish accent now.
My au pair stay in Ireland was lovely. I felt very welcome and quickly made Dublin my home. My task was to take care of two adorable kids and a dog. I had believed to be well prepared for my stay. However, I quickly noticed that, besides the need to take care of my health insurance, phone subscription and goodbye party, I was never quite prepared for the real thing. (That doesn’t mean it’s not important!)
First I searched for an agency which would pick the family for me, but I was told that I had to pay for everything and it didn’t include the trip yet. This is how I got the idea of searching through AuPairWorld! It was really easy; you just need to fill in all your information and ‘needs’ and the EasyFind will find the perfect family for you.
It took me a while, but then I finally found my perfect host family
I thought it was going to be easy and sent 3 messages to families I was interested in. But it wasn’t that easy, at all. Turned out to be quite big and there were so many applicants for everyone. Thus, I had to work even harder and lower my standards. Luckily, I started my search quite early. This gave me sufficient time to choose the right family.
Finally I found them: a family living in Dublin! They were interested in me and we decided to skype.
It surely feels awkward to skype with an entire stranger, but it’s something that just has to be done. We came to an agreement very quickly. Thus, I was able to book my one-way ticket!
I had about three weeks to take care of everything, but my parents and brothers were very supportive. They sent out invitations for my goodbye party, which was really nice, and a few days later I left… My leave at the airport and flight were very emotional as I had to cry all the time. What can I say, I was an emotional wreck…
However, as soon as I knew I hovered above Ireland, everything was forgotten. I was prepared to be starting a new chapter in my life!
My host family offered me freedom and a helping hand
I had a nice but chaotic welcome. It was also a good way to get to know my host family, as I immediately made a connection with them and integrated into family life.
They were so nice and busy all the time. The dad sometimes sat on the couch watching rugby, but even then he would fall asleep.
I took care of a 4-year-old boy and 7-month-old girl at the time and I still say I would recommend this family, ‘cause they gave me sufficient space to do my own thing, but at the same time, I was always more than welcome to join with them, which I did, of course. They were really easy-going.
I loved my host kids and also found a great new friend
When it was too busy for me, as they invited many friends and family members over the weekends, I just went to my room to have some time for myself. I saw the boy as my little brother and friend, ‘cause we spent so much time together. However, I also found a new really good friend, who was also an au pair of the family. Thus, the kids saw their cousins and I saw my friend!
We went out together to meet up with her friends. As we were living very close to one another, we did a lot together, like going to the movies or a night out, doing fun groceries (the ones you actually don’t need J ) and sightseeing. We went to Cork and Galway (known for it's famous Cliffs of Moher); two of the most awesome cities we have seen so far. We also saw Kilkenny and I went to Kerry and Killarney with the family and to Belfast on my own... What an amazing experience!
It helped a lot to communicate in English
As I had no Dutch friends in Ireland, my only way to communicate was in English and it helped me a lot. My knowledge was quite good, but talking in English was actually more difficult than I thought.
I intended to leave after 9 months, but only because I missed my own family and Dutch customs and traditions. If I could just see my own family for one week, I would go back to Ireland again.
It’s a shame I never did…..
I went back to seem them this January, though and I loved every single bit of it. I am still a little bit in love with them and the country.
I’m thinking about being an au pair again, but a little further away this time… Australia is the country I'm having in mind.
Kind Regards, Linda