You’re a young adult in your twenties and you have some time on your hands because you finished high school and you’re not yet willing to go to college. It may be possible that you don’t even know what you want to study. But one this is for sure…you want to travel and see the world or just one particular country and city.
When you consider your options of traveling and maybe living abroad, the paperwork you’ll have to navigate and how will you even get to your destination… well most of you give up and not even consider one very neat and possible option. Why not become an Au Pair in Europe?
In addition to being a member of a family in another country while caring for the children, you will also be a student, a valuable member of the family and experience some of the best times of your life. Here are some perks that will surely convince you to become an au pair!
Realistic point of view of the culture
When you simply travel or study abroad, you mostly travel with your friends and you end up spending most of your time with your fellow companions. As an au pair you are immediately immersed in an entirely different culture and you get to experience it in ‘real time’ and its ins and outs. You see a side of a life in a different country that you would never have the chance.
Lots of travelling
A lot of au pairs go on at least a few vacations with their host families. During these vacations you will explore the surrounding area or even the other end of the country. And the best of all is that these vacations are entirely paid for by the family.
You’re not a full-time nanny
Many of you will assume that while being an au pair, you are a full-time nanny and your only responsibility are the host family’s children. This is not true, of course. You will be a student, whether you choose to study the local language or other section of the nation’s culture. Also, all countries have legal regulations that ensure you don’t work more than a certain number of hours per week and that you are fairly compensated. Au pair programs provide a complete cultural and educational experience.
Accommodation and meals
When you’re an au pair you often live with your host family so you can be close to everything that is happening in the house. Some host families provide you with accommodation that is the neighborhood but you’re still nearby the family home. You get full room & board, a transportation pass, a mobile phone and you even get some pocket money. Pretty neat, right?
Second real family
It’s not unusual for the host family to become your second family, at least for the period that you are there, working with them. After you’ve completed your au pair program, you and your host family will become good friends (even BFFs) and will stay in contact for a long time to come.
The opportunity to teach
While you’re an au pair, you are immersed in the culture of your host family. You can learn a lot. The same goes for your host family and their children. You can teach them your native language and customs from where you come from. This is a really fulfilling thing.
Stability and security
In your home country you have everything set up. Your own space, friends and family. The same goes when you’re an au pair but on whole other level. This feeling is never really present when you’re just traveling and visiting another country.
Better language skills
As an au pair, you are thrown deep into local life and language and forced to learn through every-day situations and events. This is a better and more practical way to learn another language or perfect it.
Kickstart your childcare skills
As an au pair, you get to know the children and bond with them on a whole new and higher level. You become like a big sister/brother or cousin to them and get to know how to work with them and gain valuable childcare skills and responsibilities.
Friends outside the host family
When you’re an au pair in a certain country and city, you can rest assured that you’re not the only one there. A lot of au pairs connect through social media or other means of communication, hang out and exchange experience and advices. They even organize play-dates where they bring the kids to play along and socialize. That’s totally a win-win situation for everybody.
No blind dates
When you are accepted in the au pair program, you’ll have a series of interviews with the host families in order to determine whether you are a good candidate for the host family and vice versa. This goes until a good match is made but most of the time it is resolved within the first or second interview.
This is a great experience with a big pool of opportunities that can allow you to travel, learn and grow as a person…and all that for a bargain. Au pairing is one of the most affordable ways to live and work abroad.