Many young people who have not started to work, have lots of free time because of their summer holidays, university vacation or the gap months between A-levels and the beginning of university, an apprenticeship or job in autumn. To live abroad for several weeks and get to know a different culture as well as improving language skills is a fantastic way of filling this gap.
But spending time abroad is quite expensive as well. So if these young people are keen to get some experience abroad, they can often only afford to go for one or two weeks. That’s not enough to improve a language properly. But there is good news for everybody who wants to spend a few weeks in the summer abroad while improving language skills: The Summer Au Pair!
What exactly is a Summer Au Pair?
A Summer Au Pair is usually a boy or a girl who is interested to spend the summer months in another country, looking after somebody’s children and helping with light household duties. Simply said: A Summer Au Pair is pretty much like a “normal” Au Pair but instead of staying – as usual – for 6 to 12 months, the Summer Au Pair only temporarily lives with the Host Family for a couple of weeks up to three months and typically over the summer.
The Summer Au Pair gets also paid pocket money and should be given a private room too. It might even be possible that the Summer Au Pair is given the chance to go on holidays with the Host Family while staying for the summer, so there might be an extra adventure waiting for Summer Au Pairs.
Why is a Host Family looking for an Au Pair only in the summer?
Very often, the parents have to work at least some weeks during the long summer holidays and are unable to look after their children when the school or nursery schools are closed. So, they need somebody to take care of the little ones while the they are at work.
Due to the fact that the children might be at home the whole day, the Summer Au Pair should be aware of the possibility, that he/she has to take care of the children several hours up to full time during a day (remember, schools are closed) and hence, attending language schools might be somehow more difficult than for a regular Au Pair which normally has time off during the day when the kids are in school or nursery. But a Summer Au Pair will also have some spare time and the weekends off. It is just good to know that a Summer Au Pair may end up having to look after the children really a lot.
What to take into consideration when applying for a Summer Au Pair?
Please note, that you have the biggest chance to get hired as a Summer Au Pair when you can spend at least six or eight weeks abroad and the more flexible you are, the better. So students, prospective students waiting for the term to begin or pupils with long summer holidays (Germany, France, Ireland & UK, Spain etc.) can work as a Summer Au Pair in almost every country. Just keep in mind that most Host Families start looking for a summer Au Pair as early as April/May in order to have enough time to find a suitable Summer Au Pair.
Usually, Host Parents want to hire someone from July till September because it is the main holiday season and schools are closed. So, chances to find a Host Family for the summer are pretty good.
You may also find families who look for a Summer Au Pair to start earlier, for example if their last Au Pair needs to leave before the summer for various reasons.
Which are the most important things I need to check before starting the Summer Au Pair experience?
Before you start to look for a Host Family for the summer months you should be sure about the answers of a few questions which we have listed below. Even though being a Summer Au Pair sounds like a fun and not a too exhausting thing, because it is a limited number of weeks and you will “somehow survive” even if it is more exhausting than expected, you should keep in mind, that the Host Family needs a reliable child care arrangement also over the summer months. Questions you may want to ask yourself include things like:
- Do I have enough time to stay between July and September? At least one month, most of the time it is easier to find a family for two to three months?
- Do I want to spend the summer somewhere else with a family I don’t know?
- Do I accept spending more time than usual Au Pairs with the children?
- Do I know how to entertain the children several hours?
- Do I accept going on holidays with somebody I do not know for long?
- Can I start my other duties after the summer without necessary having had a proper time to relax myself?
Of course, there are many other important things prospective Summer Au Pairs have to check before applying or moving to the new country. The check-list above only lists some important things Summer Au Pair need to consider.
In case you have any question, do not hesitate to contact us. Remember: Being a Summer Au Pair is definitely a good choice if you want to spend the summer abroad but you do not have the money to travel. It might also be seen as a test run to check whether you are able to stay away from home for a longer period of time.