Published on : 12 May 20205 min reading time
The Au Pair stay is an economical and above all very rewarding way to travel. More and more young people are ready to try the experience and fly to more or less distant countries. Here are a few tips to live your Au Pair stay to the fullest.
Having already worked with children
Shelter, food and some pocket money is what you will get as an Au Pair. Your role is simple : you will take care of the children of a host family : take them to school, keep them occupied, make them eat… You will be, in a way, a full-time babysitter, between 25 and 40 hours a week.
It’s important to have previous experience in childcare. The more experience you have, the more the host families will be interested in your profile and will trust you. Therefore, you must be able to adapt and have unlimited patience in order to react correctly to each behaviour.
Go through a specialized company
To find an Au Pair opportunity, it is advisable to call on experts who can accompany au pairs all over the world. No more unpleasant surprises, everything is under control!
The link between the host family and the Au Pairs is facilitated. Moreover, everything is checked! The administrative procedures, depending on the country, can be a real headache for foreigners. Au Pair specialists are always ready to listen and know how to give the right advice when you feel in trouble.
Choosing the right destination
The destination is an important but also strategic choice. During such an experience, one does not only make an extraordinary trip, one also takes advantage of it to improve in a foreign language. If this is your first trip and you don’t want to go very far, choose a European country. If you’re feeling restless, we strongly recommend you to fly to another continent on the other side of the world.
Saving up before you go
Of course, remuneration is promised and due when you go as an Au Pair. But saving up before leaving is not a bad idea, quite the contrary. It allows you to have the necessary funds to be able to travel around the country during your off days or once the experience is over.
Communicating with the family
No matter how the adventure unfolds, it is very important, even vital, to communicate with the family. The Au Pair is there to help parents with children or household chores but also to be an integral part of daily life.
If a problem arises, we must be able to talk about it freely and find, together, adequate solutions.
Fulfilment with the children
Connecting with children is one of the Au Pair’s main goals. It is therefore necessary to set an example, to be respected while being loving and complicit. Easier said than done but it comes with time. To make it easier, we encourage games together, activities and outings. They should never feel bored.
Take advantage of your free time to get out of the house, discover the city and make friends.
French people will surely be around. It can be a comfort to you, when you are far away, there may be some blues coming. Still, avoid staying with French speakers so you can improve your English.
Totally immerse yourself
Living 24 hours a day with your host family can be hell if you have a hard time adapting to your culture and way of life. The schedules for meals and the meals themselves are often very far from our French habits.
This is also what the experience abroad is all about, discovering new things and total immersion. Returning to France is even more of a shock when you have put such efforts in place.
Making the most of your language level
One of the objectives of the Au Pair’s stay is to strengthen a foreign language until it is mastered correctly.
In order for this experience to become a strength in your professional career, you will have the opportunity to certify your level. For this purpose, official tests are available such as TOEIC or TOEFL.
Continue to train after the stay
The most important thing is to continue practicing the language after the Au Pair’s stay. Do not think that language skills will stay for a long time, the brain forgets quickly.
To do this, you can watch movies, listen to music, keep in touch with your friends you met on the spot and even with your host family. There’s no secret: to master a language, you have to speak it often.
And if you are a boy, you should know that many young au pairs try their hand at it.