Hello there! I'm Francesca, an italian girl, 21 years old, and I've just finished my experience as an au pair in Geneva (Switzerland). I want to share my experience with other au pairs. I took my high school exams in July, and studied hard all summer to pass the admission test for the job of my dreams.. speech therapy. Unfortunately...I missed out on admission by a few points and I was very sad, angry and unhappy. It wasn't possible for me to do another university course, because most of the admission tests for courses I was interested in were all on the same day, regardless of which university in Italy. So, I decided to try to find a job in my country, but it was impossible, I didn't find anything, not as a waitress, shop assistant or anything else.
I attended an English Class for six months, I studied for entry into the Italian Red Cross but I wasn't happy at all, I was bored of my little town and I was very unhappy about the result of my admission test. In November 2013 I decided to signed up at Aupair-world.com and started to search for a family to stay with for a few months (because I had to study for the admission test in September). At first it seemed impossible because most of the families were searching for an au pair for 6 or 12 months and I was available for just 3 months. But I didn't give up.. and I continued to contact families on the basis of staying 3 months... and one day an English family who lived in Geneva decided to accept me for 3 months because they needed an au pair for that period. I left Italy in February, and I spent 3 months in a beautiful city and in a very beautiful country.
Believe me... the first month was so hard for me, I felt stressed and misunderstood and I didn't know anyone in Geneva...socialising seemed so difficult, because the first two au pairs I met weren't so nice to me.. but that's another story. At first you feel lonely and communicating with children seems impossible, but believe me.. when children start to make paintings for you and start to help you with the language everything gets better. After the first month, the situation changed for the better!
I met a lot of new friends, especially at the french class, and thanks to facebook I met other au pairs in Geneva, that supported me everyday! I had a lot of fun with them, I expanded my mind, my culture and my ideas during these 3 months. "My 2 kids", which is what I started calling the children I looked after, became very important for me, especially the 5 year old boy. He helped me a lot with the language, we had a lot of fun together and he was so sweet to me. I felt so sad when I had to say bye bye to these two special children.
My host parents tried to help me, especially during the first month when I felt a bit stressed and I got home sick, and one of my host parents often spoke with me about how I felt.. I really appreciated this. What can I say? It's a beautiful experience, things won't always be easy, especially during the first period.. but it is very helpful for your language ability, for expanding your mind and also for you to learn from.
Believe me.. you will have beautiful memories and you will get to know a new country. I saw a lot of beautiful things in Geneva, especially the CERN that fascinated me the most. If I hadn't created a profile on AuPairWorld I would probably still feel sad and angry with everything, like I did before the departure.. Now I feel stronger and I have more courage for my future and for every challenge life will throw at me.. Girls and boys.. good luck with everything, and I hope my story helped you.