Au Pairs take care of the children in a carefully screened host family and tutor them in English during scheduled hours. These scheduled hours are agreed upon between the au pair and host family in advance. Au Pairs help the children with their homework and assist in keeping children’s rooms and play areas clean. They prepare snacks and meals for the children, and drop them off or pick them up from school or activities.
Having an au pair job abroad allows you to use the experience you already have with child care to travel and get paid. Yes, you'll provide child care. But as a native-English speaker, you'll also be speaking to the family in English. The children's grades will improve, and the entire family will improve their English. You will learn their language too. Also, the stipend you receive and days off you can travel. Au Pair hours are from 20 to 35 hours a week.
Your host family is screened carefully. Also, you have the ultimate safety net: local coordinators and full-time staff in-country you can call on anytime. All of this to ensure you have a safe, comfortable environment and that your host family is a suitable host. Receive a clear set of guidelines and expectations that are set with your host family. Through monthly meetups with other au pairs, make new friends during your time abroad.
Some countries require you to take language courses to work legally. Au Pairs receive a private room to call their own plus all of their meals. Au Pairs also receive a weekly or monthly stipend and agreed upon days off.
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Don't fly thousands of miles from your family and friends without insisting on 100% of these services. If the matching service you're looking at doesn't measure up, choose another company.
As you do your research into going abroad to be an au pair, there must be 3 things that happen:
Make sure you receive the following services and don't settle: