A 20 year old Italian Au Pair who lived in 2016 with a Host Family with two girls in London, was so kind to answer our interview questions. Her experience was not ideal and overall she was not really utilizing her abilities and rather found the Au Pair job a bit too dull. Also to be depending on the Host Family is something she didn’t really like.
Thank you for this very helpful experience!
At what point in your life did you first consider to become an Au Pair?
When I finished the high school.
Why did you want to become an Au Pair?
Because I wanted to do an experience abroad to improve my English.
Did you know straight away which country you wanted to go to? How long did you intend to stay?
I didn’t know from the first time where to go. I decided to go to the UK for the English for at least 6 months.
How did you look for a host family? What services did you use and which one was the most effective?
I look for a family through an agency and it was the most effective.
When and how did you find a Host Family? What made you believe that this family is the right choice?
Three months before leaving I found a family suggested by my agent. After the Skype interview I felt really comfortable and they made a good impression.
Did you sign an Au Pair contract?
How soon were you supposed to start?
After 3 months.
How did you feel when you had to say goodbye to your own family and friends and what was your first impression of your new Host Family?
I felt really sad about it but even excited for the new experience. The first impression was good because they already had Au pairs before. They were disposable and clean.
Who was part of your Host Family and where about did they live?
Parents and 2 girls aged 6 and 8. They lived in south east London.
How did the settling in go and what helped you or which problems did you have in the first couple of days?
I settled myself but only the father helped me in a kind way to make me feel comfortable with the ambience and the family. I found the mother cold.
Please summarise the first weeks and month:
I loved the place where my family came from (Africa) and that helped me to talk with them. The location was good, 20 min from London and the house was wonderful. I didn’t like that the previous Au pair was still living there and I struggled having a good relationship with the children. I didn’t get on well with the girls (that is the reason why I left the family).
After two weeks I started an English course and I met one friend that introduced me to other people. In my free time I went out to have coffee with friends or I did housework. I think that the pocket money for an au pair living in London is always low because transport is expensive as is other stuff.
I always kept in touch with my family by Skype or WhatsApp.
Would you become an Au Pair again?
No because it’s boring for me and I wasn’t able to be autonomous.
What would you do differently next time?
I would not be an au pair because I would have my own house and a more entertaining job.
What are your top 5 tips for new Au Pairs?
- Be patient and ready for everything.
- See the house before leaving.
- Talk with previous Au pairs.
- Check the WiFi.
- Try to rise the pocket money.
Are you still in touch with your host family?