Tips for your safety as an au pair

You have been in touch with your host family via Skype and have signed an au pair contract with them? Now it's time to think about further safety points so that you can have a great au pair experience.

Woman taking notes with her laptop in front of her

How to be well-prepared for your upcoming au pair experience:

  • When you've signed your au pair contract, you can start getting ready with the planning of your trip: Make copies of your important documents (passport, identification card, etc.) and check that all of the documents will be valid for the whole length of your time away.
  • You can save all the important information related to your trip in an email (such as the address and telephone number of your host family and your travel plan) and send it to yourself, your parents and your best friends. 
  • Send your travel route and arrangements to your host family and make clear arrangements with them if they are going to be picking you up somewhere.
  • Have a Plan B ready in case you miss one of your train or plane connections. Choose a possible place to stay close to the airport or train station and make a note of the address and the price.
  • Check where the embassy of your home country is located in your new host country and make a note of their emergency number.
  • Take enough money with you to cover your traveling costs and the first part of your stay.

Safety tips for your stay abroad

  • Keep close track of your personal documents during all your time away. Your passport is a very important document. Do not hand it over to any other person. A copy of the passport is enough for your host family if they request it.  
  • Take some time to get used to your new situation and the surrounding area. A foreign country can be different in lots of different ways from what you're accustomed to from home. Ask your host family if they can give you some tips about how to spend your free time in your new town of city. How can you best get from one place to another (on foot, for example, or with public transport, or with a bicycle)? What can they tell you about the local culture and customs to help you adjust to the new environment?
  • Be sure at the beginning of your stay that you have the telephone number of your host family and of your embassy in the host country so that you are prepared for any emergencies that might occur.
  • Speak regularly with your host family. Tell them about any problems or worries that you are having so that you can work together to find a solution. The earlier you talk about any difficulties, the sooner you can deal with problems and also avoid unnecessary risks.
  • Always remember: If you ever have the feeling that you are in danger or that your personal safety is threatened, call the local police or emergency services immediately.