You’ll be involved in the family’s daily life as an au pair for babies, toddlers, or school-age kids. Depending on the program, your responsibilities may include cooking for the family, cleaning, playing with children, and taking them to their activities and appointments.
You’ll also have time to explore new interests and make friends with other au pairs living abroad.
Experience a New Culture
Being an au pair is a great way to explore another country and culture without the hassle of figuring out where you will live or how much your food will cost. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the language and get to know the customs and traditions from a local perspective. Also have a purpose and a goal while abroad since you’ll be helping a family with their children, so your time will have a bit of structure.
You’ll likely be part of the family, live with them, or have your apartment nearby. When meeting your host kids for the first time, it helps to have a little present with you, such as a balloon or sticker book, to help break the ice and make them feel comfortable with you right away.
By the end of your au pair program, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for different cultures and may even be inspired to travel more after your experience ends! Some au pairs have even shifted their careers to involve more travel.
Make New Friends
Au pairs often join local groups or meet with other au pairs in the same area who are going through the same experience. They can share their experiences and feelings of homesickness with others with the same experiences. Many agencies organize these meetings regularly. Some are free, and others are for a small fee, but they’re always worth it!
Au pairs are also required to take classes throughout their program year. This is a great way to meet new people who have similar interests as you. They may be a part of a choir, a fitness class, or a virtual language group. Your Local Coordinator can suggest some groups or check with the au pair agency you are a part of.
In addition to making new friends, au pairs learn skills they can use for their entire lives, whether for work or personal growth. They learn leadership, flexibility, adaptability, and more. This can be very beneficial when applying for jobs in the future. They also better understand their home country’s culture, customs, and traditions.
Learn a New Language
What is an au pair? Being an au pair allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn a new language. This will help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the world around you. You will also be able to befriend locals and build a global network that will last a lifetime.
Some host families choose the au pair program to support language learning in their homes. This is particularly beneficial for children who are in immersion schools, as they can interact with an au pair who speaks the same language.
Many au pairs also use language learning apps to enhance their language skills abroad. These apps can be an excellent tool for regularly practicing pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. These tools allow you to progress quickly and become fluent in the language.
Travel the World
For many young people, being an au pair abroad is the first time they’ve ever traveled to another country. This experience is much more than just a holiday, as au pairs integrate into the host family and take on significant responsibilities such as childcare and language classes.
Immersing in a new culture also allows au pairs to see themselves, others, and the world differently. The experience of being away from home, living in a different environment, and interacting with new people is eye-opening. It helps many young au pairs realize what they want out of life.
Traveling the world as an au pair is also a fantastic way to save money on long-term travel. Most au pair placements include free housing and a weekly allowance, so au pairs can focus on exploring their host country with a clear mind and without worrying about expensive travel expenses. This can significantly benefit young people who desire to travel but need more money.
Get a Job
As an au pair, you will develop various invaluable skills for your career and future. Leadership, communication, adaptability, flexibility, and problem-solving skills will all be enhanced. These will look fantastic on your CV/resume and make you a more valuable candidate for future jobs.
Unlike internships or studying abroad, as an au pair, you will receive room and board and a monthly allowance for food, travel, and personal items. This will give you a sense of stability and security while allowing you to enjoy the experience fully without worrying about your dwindling savings.
If you have always wanted to take a gap year and travel before starting your career, becoming an au pair is the perfect way. It is also a great way to see the world and learn a new language while living with a local family and taking day trips on your time off.