For a successful Au Pair experience, we believe that a positive settling in is crucial. It is a big step for Au Pairs to leave their family and friends behind and move to another country for a couple of months or longer. A smooth settling in will help the new Au Pair to adjust to the new situation more quickly and reduce the chance of feeling homesick, or even worse, regretting this step.
What can I do from home to prepare a smooth settling in?
Your settling in can start long before you board the plane. You can already do a lot of research on the internet and try to find out as much as possible about what the region your Host Family lives has to offer for young people like you. You could for instance:
- Look for language schools
- Check what leisure time activities are offered
- Search for locale Au Pair groups (Facebook is a good start for that)
- Find out on Google Maps where the next stores or other places of interest are and so on.
Another thing to mention is that traditionally, the Au Pair will bring a present for the Host Family when she/he arrives. It can be something with a connection to your home country or your family. It doesn´t need to be anything expensive but it should be something special to show the family that you respect them. We have published a separate page about gifts that you could hand over to your Host Family.
What are the 10 best tips from other Au Pairs for the settling in?
We have asked Au Pairs to name their top tips of what to do to have a good start as an Au Pair. Here is a list of the top 10 settling in tips:
- Be patient and ready for everything
It’s always safe to give everything time
- Don´t be shy and try to find friends as soon as possible
This will be the experinece of your life: Don’t hesitate but get in contact with others in a similar situation
- Join any possible Facebook Group and try to get into locale Au Pair WhatsApp groups
This is a proven way of how you can easily meet new people
- Check the Wifi
Make sure that you get internet access soon after arriving
- Try to open a bank account
Better be safe then sorry about your pocket money
- Talk to your Host Family when problems occur – never ignore problems
An ignored problem will lead to bigger problems in the long term – avoid that
- Try to spend as much time as possible with the children to become their friend quickly
The sooner the kids know and trust you, the quicker you feel accepted and at home
- Go to an English language school to improve your English and to make new friends
You meet lots of young people from different countries at language classes
- Ask the Host Parents to actually walk or drive all daily routes at least once together
Make sure you know how to get where before day 1 when you ar ein charge
- Don’t hesitate to contact your agency (if you came through an agency) when you do not feel well with something
If you have paid an Au Pair agency, it’s their responsibility to help you in case you have a problem with the situation
On the following pages you will find more detailed information and tips about the settling in of Au Pairs. You can also find first hand descriptions of some Au Pairs’ experience.