How would it be to go wandering through picturesque alleyways in an old Italian city, or to join in the celebration at a Spanish fiesta, or to encounter kangaroos in their natural habitat in the Australian Outback or to watch London unfold from the top level of a classic double-decker bus...
These are things you dream about sometimes? And you also like dealing with children and sharing life in a family? Then our next question comes quite naturally:
Have you thought about spending time as an au pair?
Spending a year abroad, getting to know a foreign country and its people, discovering another culture and learning its language like a native speaker – these are wishes that many young people have after they've finished secondary school and are getting ready to take the next step in their lives. You're feeling the same? Or maybe you simply aren't sure what you should do, but think that experiencing a new part of the world and acquiring some independence could be ultra cool? It's very possible that the au pair option might be just the right thing for you.
What is an au pair anyway?
The term “au pair” comes from the French and means making an equal exchange. And that's the whole idea behind being an au pair – a family with children invites you as a young person from a foreign country to live with them for a specified period of time as a member of the family. You help out with childcare and household chores and in exchange are integrated into the life of the family, receiving room and board and a set amount of pocket money as well. And there's more besides: you participate in a language course during your au pair time in the foreign country. In the week you have at least one day free and you get paid holiday time as well.
Quick test: Is being an au pair the right thing for you?
Are you between 18 and 30 years of age? Would you like to get to know another country? Do you enjoy taking care of children? Do you already have a basic knowledge of a second language and would like to improve your language skills? Is helping out with daily chores in a family household easy for you to imagine and finding a place in a host family something you could really enjoy? If you have given a string of “yes” answers, then an au pair adventure could be the next big thing in your future.
What do you get from being an au pair?
here's no better place to really begin to understand and experience the customs and traditions and language of a foreign country than living with a local family. An au pair placement is also a good situation in which to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life – whether you've just finished with school or are taking a break from university studies or from job training. Time spent as an au pair gives you the chance to gain more experience, to acquire new skills as a global citizen and simply to learn more about yourself.
Long and short of it is: In addition to fulfilling an important role in a family and gathering some unforgettable experiences of a foreign land, you'll also be doing something good for your future job prospects. It's well known – foreign language skills and international experience look good on every CV!
And how can you become an au pair?
The entry and visa requirements for au pairs vary from country to country. At www.aupair-world.net you can find out all about the requirements for your preferred country. And you can also register for free and create your own profile to find a suitable host family. If questions come up, the AuPairWorld team is also always on hand to answer questions personally.
AuPairWorld is the world's leading au pair agency on the Internet. It gives users the possibility to find a host family or an au pair directly and independently. Since its founding in 1999, more than 1.8 million persons have registered at the site. AuPairWorld is operated by a.n.d. Internet Services GmbH & Co. KG and has its headquarters in Kassel, Germany. The company employs 24 full-time employees. www.aupair-world.net