American wondering about au pair work--personal experiences, anyone?

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  • American wondering about au pair work--personal experiences, anyone?


Answer #1 | 31/10 2008 02:36
1 It depends on what worth it means to you. It is a lot of work and many times the families are very hard to deal with. 2 It depends on how long the parents are needing an au pair, it varies with every job. 3 Yes, I was an au pair for two families in France 4 I would really consider if this is what you really want to do and try to find one that is semi short term for your first time, in case you don't like it. Get everything in writing, too. Contracts are priceless.
Answer #2 | 31/10 2008 15:05
If anything be careful and make sure they are who they say they are.
Answer #3 | 27/10 2008 19:44
Being an au pair can be a wonderful experience. I am an American and when I was 23 I went to Switzerland to work for a family there. I didn't know anything before I left and I wish that someone had just told me what I am about to tell you: 1. Make sure you get in writing and agree upon the parameters of what you are expected to do and what your pay will be. 2. Be sure that your family has obtained your work permits/visas for you prior to your arrival in whatever country you will be going to. 3.Don't expect that every family will be perfect. Don't expect the family to follow the rules to a tee. (This is not necessarily a bad thing.) I had to learn those lesson with the first family I worked for. After 8 months of them not doing the right thing by me I found another family that treated me wonderfully. I stayed with them for 2 years and still speak to them at least once a month. Au pairs are usually given a one year visa extendable for another year. After that you would have to return to the US and start the process over again if you wanted to continue as an au pair. Any language that you learn is worth it and "counts." In the future, employers don't care how or where you learned a language, the fact that you can speak it, understand it, read it is more important and impressive to them. I returned to the US to return to school, but as soon as I graduate I plan on returning to Switzerland (where my boyfriend still lives -- I met him after my first year living there). For me it was a lifelong dream to live abroad, learn a language and fall in love with a culture other than my own. It was the best experience of my life. But -- as an au pair, just be prepared -- for all the fun and wonderful experiences to be had, ultimately you are going there to work, so be prepared to put in some long hours. Feel free to email me if you have more questions or need some advice on how to get started.

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