If you are thinking about being an au pair in Europe, you will want to ask your host family some important questions…
But first of all, what is an au pair? An Au Pair is much more than a nanny for the children. It is a way to experience other cultures and locations in order to broaden your understanding of the world. You don’t want to be put into a position that isn’t going to be beneficial for yourself or your host family. In order to discover if your host family is going to be a good fit, there are a few questions you should ask prior to becoming an au pair in Europe:
1. “Why have you decided to host an Au Pair?” – Reasons behind why the family wants an Au Pair instead of a nanny can be quite enlightening to the family’s priorities.
2. “What is to be expected of me?” – This is a very important question as it will quell a great deal of confusion about why you are being interviewed. The more understanding between you and the host, the better.
3. “Have you hosted an Au Pair before?” – An experienced family can be ideal as they already know what to expect and the procedure concerning the situation. However, this shouldn’t be a solid basis of your decision making.
4. “How do the children feel about having an Au Pair?” – An Au Pair is more than an extended visit. Children can become quite attached to individuals and they should have some input about the experience.
5. “What does a typical week look like for the family?” – Getting an idea of what to expect for yourself can give you ideas of how to handle the task.
6. “Will driving be a necessity?” – Driving in a foreign country can sometimes be intimidating but it is required of some families. You’ll want to know if this is going to be a requirement for the host family.
7. “Will I be cooking the meals for the children?” – Some families will be on a specific diet of certain kinds of foods. You want to make sure that you’re providing the same.
8. “Is public transportation available in your area?” – During your own time, you want to make sure that you can get around easily and not be stranded in one location.
9. “Is inviting friends over for visits acceptable?” – You want to make sure that you are not going to be disrupting the family dynamic by having strangers over to your host family’s home if it is undesirable.
10. “Will I have my own room?” – Everyone needs their privacy respected and having your own room can help you relax after a long day.
Not every family is going to fit with your ideal position. Information needs to be shared between both parties in order to increase the chances of a good au pair experience. Asking questions such as those above can help you determine if the host family will fit your own objectives. Getting as much information about the hosts now will help you discover if the experience is going to be worth your time.
Paul Taylor started www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families in the United States. He loves writing, with the help of his wife. He has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.