I felt like the family were my own

Helen, 22, moved from London to Málaga to work as an au pair in Spain during the summer. Although she only stayed for a couple of months, she could feel like the family were her own.

Helen had a wonderful time in Malaga

Au pairing is something I've always wanted to do, I got to know my perfect family by chatting to them on skype

Summer 2013 was my first experience as an Au-Pair. Although I had thought of the idea in the past it was never something I could fit in my life with my previous job and studying...however last April my family decided to move house, so I had to leave my job and decided to apply. The second person I had a skype interview with seemed perfect, so between April and June we planned my summer au pair stay.

I was made to feel like a real part of the family

The experience was amazing for me in so many ways, I had a chance to escape all the drama of moving house and leaving my previous job, and to instead work in sunny Málaga for the summer. Málaga is very special to me. I have many friends there since doing Erasmus in 2010. The family, a young couple (late thirties), and their two adorable children Mia, 6 and Edu, 2, made my stay so enjoyable. I was made to feel a part of the family from day one, getting involved with family events such as Mia's dance show, a family wedding just a few days after arriving, short weekend holidays and family visits/birthdays.

I felt like the family were my own and not like I had barely known them a few months. As it was summer I spent the days with the children and occasionally the mum when she wasn't at work. This for me is better than just after school hours as I got to spend quality time with the children. We often went down to the pool and played with neighbours children (the neighbours also grew very fond of me and looked after me as friends/family would do). We spent many days at the pool, beach, taking walks, visiting the centre, visting the Nan's's house or simply just in the house making up fun activities..

The children enjoyed my company too

The children engaged so well with me and thought of me as a big sister which made me feel just great! Mia and I often thought up dance games (a common interest we shared), played Just dance on the WII (with Edu too), and played games to practice English, which we would do daily. In the end both Mia and Edu were conversing with me in English which was a great achievement and was great to know I'd helped them to do this. I also got to spend my birthday in Málaga which was during the Feria, an annual festival in Málaga, which I had the opportunity to see, something I had wanted to do since 2010!!

I learnt the Spanish language and the culture as well

Although I knew Spanish before going I think I learnt so much more about the language, and also more about the culture..seeing it from a different perspective by spending the time with a family and not students like before. The family introduced me to new cuisine: Spanish and also Filipino, where some of the family were from.

Leaving was hard - but I will forever have friends in Malaga

I am still in contact with the family, neighbours and people I met during the summer. It was an unforgettable experience in so many ways and one I want to relive soon..there were many tears when I left, I felt like a part of the furniture there. I was a part of the family and felt as if I belonged and really didn't want to leave any of them!