To many people, the idea of being an au pair is one they dismiss out of hand. But did you know that it can be the ideal way to see the world and gain new experiences whilst filling your life with meaning? More and more young people are finding it the ideal way to spend what would have been their gap year. Could it be right for you?
No matter which country you’ve always wanted to visit, au pairing can take you there. There is a vast number of agencies specialising in matching au pairs the world over with families looking for them. What’s more; some of these companies have some amazing benefits, and many of them offer time out for you to explore the country you’ve visited on a more in-depth level. What’s more, you could be looking at a free course at a local university to top everything off. Why not consider it and see if it could be perfect for you, too?
– Don’t be stopped if you’re a man. Men and women can both be au pairs, and the opportunities you might be able to reap are equally beneficial for men and for women. It is no longer the case that men are derided for taking on au pairing.
– Be aware that au pairing is a very work-intensive occupation. You will be working hard and often, but obviously you will get a great number of rewards, not least the fact that you will bond with the children in your care. On the flip side, you will need to say goodbye to them at some point, so remember that heartbreak is unavoidable in that sense.
– Past experience is often required. You may want to look into a nannying position in the meantime, whether full- or part-time, to give you the references and build up the experience you need.
When it comes time to pack, be careful. You’ll want to adjust your wardrobe according to the climate you’re headed for; California requires very different clothing than, say, Iceland! But as many au pairing positions such as these take multiple months or even a year, you needn’t worry too much. You can buy clothes when you arrive at your destination, and if you decide you want to bring home more than you left with you can always send some of the items in question by post.
In terms of entertainment, again, don’t go overboard. You’ll be able to pick up books over there. A Kindle or other eReader, easily topped up with additional books without adding weight to your baggage, is perfect for the occasion. Consider also a laptop or tablet PC, but be aware that you’re going to need American plug converters to make them work. Keeping close contact with loved-ones online is a good way to make sure you don’t get too homesick and enjoy your time abroad as much as possible.
Au pairing is a rough but rewarding job, and by au pairing internationally you can provide yourself with the immeasurable advantage of travel and cultural immersion as well as breeding an ability to work hard on a daily basis. Get to Google now and find the right au pairing agency for your needs!