I was an au pair from July 2009 till July 2010 in the Netherlands. My host family lives in a very small town named Ter Aar, but it is quite beautiful! There are seven people in my host family! The parents and five children. When I worked as an au pair for them the oldest son was 16 years old, the oldest daughter 13, the twins twelve years old, the youngest son five years old. My main responsibility was taking care of that little boy.
The dream of Holland came true
Before I went to Holland, I searched a lot of infomation about this country. I saw a lot of beautiful pictures on different websites. I wished I could be there one day. Fortunately, I found my host family on AuPairWorld! And they were (and still are) interested in Chinese culture a lot. That's why they chose me as their first au pair. Till now, we still keep in touch with each other. I miss them a lot. And I'm sure they miss me, too.
Plenty of time for travelling
The thing I liked most in being an au pair is that I could travel around Europe. For Chinese people, travelling around Europe is quite hard and expensive. But lucky me, I could visit France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, the Czech Republic and Germany. I got a lot of experience and became more independent.
Search, AuPairWorld, MSN – my preparation
Before I met my host family, I had spent a long time to get ready to be an aupair. I collected many useful information. I searched on the Internet. I asked my au pair friends and so on. I wrote a very long and interesting introduction letter about myself for my future family. Through the AuPairWorld website I met my host family. I sent a “letter of interest” (standard message) to them, and they also showed interest in me. After a few emails we started talking on MSN where we could see each other through the webcam. It was great to see them every weekend at that time.
For the first time in Europe
This was my first trip from China to Europe. I was quite nervous at that time. When I arrived on Schiphol Airport I realized I was not in China anymore. From then on, I should do everything by myself. No relatives, no friends by my side anymore. When I came out of the gate I didn't see my host family. I was so afraid. I didn't have any coins in my pocket. So I couldn't give them a call. When I was going to ask somebody to lend me some change, I fortunately saw my host father! I called him loudly as if I saw my father! He came to me and gave me a welcome kiss and a hug. He lead me to the host mother and the kids. They made me feel like home.
Time for myself and with the family – a good balance
Normally Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I had to work. In the morning I made breakfast for the youngest son, washed and dressed him and took him to school. I also had to do some light house work. Sometimes I cooked Chinese food for them. And the family learnt how to use chopsticks! They all loved my Chinese food a lot! Every Tuesday I had the evening off. So I went to the language school and learnt Dutch. So I can speak a little bit Dutch now! In my free time I always went out with my friends who I met in Holland. Sometimes we had a party or we went to China town to have Chinese food, or we joined many other activities together. My host family also took me along to many places to show me their culture.
Well, I had a great time as an au pair. And I think I will keep my host family in mind forever.