Au Pairing in one of the most popular student working holidays. Deciding to Au Pair overseas is a big but exciting decision. Most of the time the decision on where you go is based on two things – the host family that chooses you and the family that you choose. Often these are not the same and it is advised that you put careful consideration into choosing your host family. Here a re a few things you should consider:
Two of the most popular places to Au Pair are the Netherlands and the USA. Both of these locations offer fantastic opportunities to learn about new cultures and sight see. However, one must consider the language barriers that might be encountered. Do your research before deciding on a family in a particular area. Match the area to your likes and dislikes and do research about travel options and public transport.
One of the best things about overseas jobs is that you get to encounter new cultures and religions. However, if you don’t feel comfortable staying with a family of certain cultural beliefs or religions don’t be afraid to ask them questions beforehand or do your research to gain a better understanding.
Different aged children require different kind of handling and attention. Decide on an age that you feel comfortable au pairing and consider this when choosing a host family. Do your research ahead of time to ensure you are fully aware of the do’s and don’t of au pairing for different age groups. You can also take your research offline and consider offering your time to a few daycares or offering to babysit in your neighbourhood to learn about the different age groups.
Every family is different and will require their au pair to do different things in their home. While some families only require an au pair to mind the children after school, others might require their au pair to cook and do a bit of house work for the children. Again, its important to be upfront about what you are comfortable doing for your host family before agreeing to join them.
The salary for au pairing is based on what inclusions you host family decides on. Most of the time, the au pair is given accommodation in the family’s home as well as all meals. The host family also pays for all family excursions and holidays. So sometimes the salary can be low and can be considered as a form of pocket money for the au pair to spend on his or her off days. Again, this depends on the family and is something you shouldn’t be afraid to enquire about upfront.