Lots of young women and more and more young men from all over the world are attracted by the idea of spending a year as an Au Pair in UK. Very often, this idea comes up to bridge the period between graduating from school and looking for a job or starting university.
Being an Au Pair in UK is highly desirable for many reasons. Of course, one of the most important arguments is learning English. If you speak English well, you can more or less communicate everywhere in the world. The UK is also interesting for Au Pairs because of the multinational, open-minded and friendly British population and all the different nationalities who call the UK their home.
The UK is, especially for European Au Pairs, the closest English-speaking country and – so far – it’s still easy and hassle free to move to the UK as an Au Pair. At the same time, it is also close for family and friends to visit.
What is the difference between an Au Pair in UK and an Au Pair in another English speaking country?
As already mentioned above: The UK is only a short flight, bus- or just a train ride away for many young Europeans who make the majority of Au Pairs in UK. But that’s not all: British people as well as the culture are different – but we as a German family find it especially friendly and interesting! British people are well known for their politeness and as long as you stick to very basic rules, British people will generally make you feel welcome.
When you compare the life of an Au Pair experience in the UK with an Au Pair year in the US or Australia for instance, there is one big difference: Most of the other English speaking countries and cultures don’t have a long history. This is one fact which makes the Au Pair year in the UK very interesting: You can explore this country for months and months and you will never get bored. You can find relics of history in every city and town, you have thousands of museums to visit and most of them are completely free!
What to expect as an Au Pair in UK?
I have not been an Au Pair in UK myself, but I have met many Au Pairs from different countries. The one thing which surprised me a lot, is the large number of Au Pairs coming to the UK. This is good news for the Au Pairs because: You are not alone! There are plenty of other young girls and boys in London, other cities or more rural areas. They are very open to meet other Au Pairs to go out and explore the cities and local areas, pubs, have coffees or do some sport together during school hours, at night or the weekends. An Au Pair in the UK is never alone. I am pretty sure there will be a local Facebook group for Au Pairs in your area. And if not, you should start one and very soon you will be connected with numerous other Au Pairs in your area.
Another interesting thing we learned from our Au Pairs: Facebook is nice for getting in contact with the first people. Only few moments later, you are very often added to an already existing WhatsApp group, or you simply found a new WhatsApp group with a few of your new friends and then it will most likely grow over time. At least in London this seems to be the way how the Au Pairs organise all kind of meetings.
Of course you should always be cautious. Due to the fact that these groups sometimes become independent and grow out of hand, you should attend meetings only if you know some of the Au Pairs who join. No one can really tell in advance who ends up in such a WhatsApp group. So far, we have never heard anything suspicious – however, being alert is always good.
Does every Au Pair in UK only want to live in London?
London is a magnet as it’s one of the biggest metropoles of the world. Of course, there is plenty to do in London, it’s cultural diversity is enormous and the city vibes infect and attract thousands of people from everywhere.
However: The rest of the UK is as beautiful and appealing and other cities and rural areas are also really nice for an Au Pair year and less exhausting than living in London. Many people really get flashed by the hustle and bustle of London and if you think London is the place you want to move to, you should consider that even if you come from bigger cities, it may still be quiet compared to London.
While surfing Au Pair matching websites we got the impression, that most european Au Pairs prefer looking for a Host Family in London. But you should consider that transport links from all over the UK to London are really good indeed. There are really cheap bus services like National Express or offers on train tickets or flights. You can easily spend a lovely sight-seeing day trip in London, arriving some time in the morning and leaving at night without having to pay for a hotel or AirBnB. If you stay for one night, hostels are always a less expensive choice. Do not worry: Today’s hostels are neat and clean and you get the chance to meet other young people travelling the country.
We do assume that there are not as many Au Pairs in more rural areas than in London or other big cities. But as long as there is a language school close by, you will easily meet either other Au Pairs or young language exchange students to spend your leisure time with.