My name is Nikola and I am 24 years old. I come from Slovakia and was an au pair in Ireland, in a small town called Roscrea, from September 2010 till September 2011. I was registered on AuPairWorld and found my family in two days. After exchanging a few emails, I decided to go there.
After three years at university, I didn't pass my finals and had to take a gap year. I was interested in becoming an au pair because I love to be around kids and want to be a teacher in the future. So I looked on the Internet right away. As soon as I created my profile on AupairWorld, I started to look for a family. The first family I saw scared me under the rock – they had four kids – and I thought: "No way, four kids? They will be the death of me." But the family sent me an application and I accepted it. I had the choice between two families – one with one kid and a baby on their way, and this family with four kids. I decided I would pick the latter – it could be fun. And it was!
I booked my flight and my adventure started. My host dad picked me up from the airport with a sign and my name on it. We were talking all the way to my new home. I met my host mom and we picked up the kids from their granny's house. The boys (Shane, 8; Enda, 5 and Tadhg, 4) were a bit shy at the beginning – but only the first five minutes. Afterward, they started to talk to me right off. The youngest girl (Emily, 2) didn't accept me in the first place but after a few weeks, she loved me just like her brothers did. Everyone loves her! Her brothers protect her all the time – they are even fighting to have her attention.
Straight from the first morning on, I helped them. I wanted to do everything and I think I did great. I was asking questions like how do you do everything, what do I have to do..., all kind of things you need to know when you are an au pair. I built a good relationship with my host parents and, of course, with the kids as well. Communication is really important when you are an au pair. It will prevent lots of misunderstanding and problems.
I really enjoyed the time with "my" kids. They were fun to be around and we did lots of things together - drawing, painting, going for walks, singing, dancing, baking. We also stayed on our own for a few days when the parents were on vacation. And I managed them. They are a big Irish family and all of them were a great help to me. I have a good relationship with most of them and I am still in touch with them. One day, I even offered my host mom's sister to look after her four girls, too. And it was great fun to have them all around! My host family is really, really nice and every au pair could be happy to live with them.
Irish people are friendly as well and Ireland is one of the best places I've ever visited - and I've traveled quite a lot. I made lots of new friends from Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Ireland, too. We are still in touch and want to visit Ireland one day all together again. At the moment I am studying in Slovakia again, but I am going to Ireland for Christmas (I have an Irish boyfriend) to visit him and also my host family. I can only recommend you to be an au pair – it is a great opportunity to get to know other cultures, a different way of life and new people... to improve your language skills, and what have you.