Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How to choose your host family

Many au pair candidates ask me about the families they are about to choose. I can give you some individual advise but the important thing is what you the au pair wants.

First, make a list of the things that are important for you, conditions that you have to have to live.
Second, make a list of the things you want to accomplish during your au pair stay.
Third, review your language, childcare and domestic skills. What can you offer?

List all the questions and wants you have.
List all the things and you can offer to the host family

When you correspond with the host family, tell them why they should hire you. Can you teach them a language? cook your country's dishes? play musical instruments? Remember they want to learn from you too. You need to tell them that you would be valuable to them during your stay. Most families like to have an au pair because they like to learn about new cultures also.

Ask all the questions you have. Ask about the house they live in, their routine. What does the family like to do? How do they discipline and raise their children? What do they expect from an au pair? Do you agree with their lifestyle? Will you be happy to be their au pair?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Au pair USA

A good friend of mine is an au pair in Virginia USA now. She was inspired by me and decided to go to USA for au pair venture. She is very close to Washington, DC in a town called Vienna (not to be mistaken with the capital of Austria).

I called her tonight just to see how she is doing. We have been friends since high school and been close friends ever since. She has been there for 1 week and she was very excited to go to USA. She sounds little homesick. She didn't want to hang up the phone. She says she feels little lonely, think the weather is getting cold, maybe winter was not the best time to start her au pair job. I told her that it would take a few weeks to get used to everything.

She loves children and spending time with them. She missed speaking Dutch and her friends & family. Her host family sounds nice, but they didn't have too much time together yet as they work a lot.

One week is certainly not enough time to get used to another country. I hope she adjusts quickly and has a wonderful time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

How to be an au pair in Europe

Working in Europe as a European is very easy. European Union countries allow each other's citizens to stay up to certain time and work as au pair. European au pairs won't need a visa or anything like that to be an au pair.

New European Union countries are also allowed to work as au pair in some countries. Some countries may require them to have residence permit and/or work permit. This depends on the au pair target country.

Most European countries may have this requirement from other EU citizens as well.