BusyBee Au Pairs

The journey of an Au Pair

 

From time to time, Au Pair stories crop up in headline news or through chitchat at the school gates when doing the school runs and guess what?
Nine times  out of ten, they are all negative stories about a bad host family or a bad Au Pair.

Never I have yet, been able to read or listen to a great Au Pair story to hit headline news! WHY? No-one is interested in hearing the good stuff and only look for scandal….. pretty sad!

Over the years, we have had some great stories from Au Pairs who have truly had a great unique experience with great host families. Many of these Au Pairs are still in touch with their host families now. Some of them now even have their own children and also have their own Au Pair!

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The journey of being Au Pair is quite transitional though from starting your Au Pair application through to finishing your placement with a host family.
You have decided that you want to be an Au Pair and live abroad for a year in your chosen country, improve on your language skills for that country and enrich in the culture of your chosen country.

Now, the biggest decision is……. ” Do I use an agency or do I go it alone”. Why? You have choices. You can choose a traditional Au Pair agency that helps you from beginning to end, to find a vetted and trusted host family through a partner network agency.

They “dot’s the I’s and crosses the T’s” or, you can use an internet platform to find a host family and hope that the family are fine. After all, they came across lovely from the Skype call.

Any Au Pair or host family must have a huge element of ” trust” right from the word go when matching and to arrival. The Au Pair is all excited, has an arrival date to work to and preparing to leave their hometown and familiar surroundings to start their adventure.
Many of them have a checklist if they are using a traditional agency….

Such as: have you booked insurance? Check!
Have you bought travel plugs? Check!
Have you bought the host family children a small gift from your home town? Check!
Has your family got Skype set-up at home so that you can communicate with them? Check!
Then you arrive to your host family. You are nervous and excited all at once. Your host family meet you at the airport and then you have your car journey to your new home, with your new family.
There are excited host children that want to play, a suitcase to unpack, a new home to learn your way around and a new routine to digest.
You will also have some celebratory arrival dinner too within the first couple of days. Life is busy and all seems good – the honeymoon phase.
Then homesickness kicks in. You miss your family, you miss your home, your friends and suddenly you feel alone.

Nearly every Au Pair will overcome their homesickness. The best ways are, to communicate with your new host family. Stay in touch with your family back home and stay busy!
Embrace your new family life, find your language school for your lessons, use the resources given to you by the agency to find other Au Pair Friends and communicate with them.
These are your soft skills. We all have them, use them.
Start a daily or weekly blog and plan ahead for sightseeing in your new host country. Remember, you also wanted to experience your new country’s culture! Contact your local agency representative and arrange to meet up with them. Your new Au Pair friends – arrange to meet with them for coffee or go to the cinema.

You are allowed to feel sad, you are also allowed to enjoy yourself. Don’t hide yourself away in your room in free time. Think positive. Your family back home want to hear your great stories on how you made a new friend today. Or how great your first language lesson was today.
Or, that one of your host children that you are caring for drew you a lovely picture.
Or even that the host family dog made your laugh drooling sat next you when you were eating a biscuit!!  🙂

Being an Au Pair and living the Au Pair life can definitely give you the potential of a new vision. You will gain a new life experience and lots of you who are in between studies and on a gap year will realise what you want out of life and then go on to follow your career ideas. You will also have friends for life from your Au Pair adventure!

As an agency, all the Busybee team would like to hear from you with your great stories of adventure. We also want to hear from you if you just need someone to talk to.

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