A nineteen year old italian girl talked with us about her Au Pair experiences in Croydon, London. Although she had to face some kind of trouble, she never regretted becoming an Au Pair. She even gave the Au Pair job a second start in another family.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions. We really appreciate your help and wish you all the best for your future!
I thought about becoming an Au Pair after graduating from High School
In contrast to other Au Pairs, who know that they want to become an Au Pair early, I decided to search for a Host Family when I had almost left High School. I enjoyed learning languages at school and as I wanted to improve my language skills, au pairing seemed quite appealing to me.
I mean, you share a house with native speakers which is the best way to improve the language and you get to know a foreign country. As an au Pair, you can easily combine several aspects in an affordable way: The love for children, the passion for languages as well as your curiosity for different cultures.
Looking for a Host Family was no big deal for me
As I exactly knew which place and how much time I wanted to spend abroad, it did not take that much time to find my Host Family. I was looking online on AuPairWorld.com and exchanged emails with several Host Families. The one I liked most because of their online profile answered and we had a Skype interview a few days later. We got along quite good so I agreed on being their Au Pair and signed a contract later on.
After having signed the contract, I felt really great. I was looking forward to move abroad and to start a new episode of my life.
My Host Family gave me a really nice welcome
Saying goodbye was not that easy but my family and friends promised to stay in contact regularly via Skype or WhatsApp.
My Host Family, consisting of a mother and three girls aged at the ages of six, eight and ten were really friendly and prepared everything for me to have a smooth settling in. My first impression was quite good. They even showed me around the city I was supposed to stay for the next twelve month. The first time I really felt comfortable and welcome, we got along pretty good and I had nothing to complain about (yet). I liked the area where they lived, I had access to everything I needed and did not have to go to the city of London every time I wanted to start something in my free time.
Making new friends in the UK is no problem
I attended two different language courses at two colleges and hence, got in contact with other Au Pairs easily. We tried to hang out as often as possible, went to the city centre or met somewhere close to the area we were living on the weekends. I tried to study in the morning as I had a lot of work to do in the house as well as with the kids.
After a few months things unfortunately changed
As the three children kept me on the go my free time was restricted and I did not have enough time to study anymore. All in all, I realized more and more that my current situation (amount of duties, the payment as well as my rare free time) was about to make me feel sad and that I was unable to go on living with the Host Family.
Do not get me wrong, I loved many things about my life but in the end, I have to admit that the “whole package” was not the best match for either both of us. Soon, the children behaved different to me and and things got worse. At that point in time, I decided to leave my Host Family and started looking for a new one.
Right now, I am with a wonderful, caring family and do not regret my decision to look for a new one. Bad experiences should not stop you from living your dream.
Choose your Host Family carefully
The first Au Pair experience taught me to look more carefully for a Host Family, because this is the family I will spend many months with.
It is always good to stay open minded and please make sure that you know in advance that looking for somebody else’s children is not always a blessing.
If you stick to these basic rules, being an Au Pair is a really great idea for young people from all over the world. Try to spend your money wisely so you can see the most from the country you are staying and attend some English classes in order to improve your language skills and to meet new friends.