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Top Five Reasons To Au Pair in France

Posted by Kesli | May 19, 2015 11:40:28 AM
My name is Kelsi and I work as an au pair in France through GeoVisions.  I’ll admit I’m no sage, I have relatively little life experience compared to others, and my advice is probably not that reliable. That, however, does not stop most people from offering their opinion as if it is fact, and it is not going to stop me either!
Kelsi got to travel to Saint Gervais Mont Blanc and ski, while working as an au pair in France

So, here are the top five reasons why I think it’s absolutely necessary to travel abroad. Keep in mind, though, when I say travel abroad I don’t mean a vacation for two weeks maximum, or even backpacking across Europe (still to be crossed off my bucket list in 35 days and counting).I mean immersing yourself in a culture, living with and becoming part of a family. For me this meant being an au pair in France for six months.

5. You learn a lot about yourself; for example how you handle stress. For me it was rashes all over my arms and face. Charming right? However, this was a good indicator that I have been lying to myself for the past 23 years by thinking I am easy going. That allusion was quickly shattered and replaced by the aforementioned rashes. Once I realized this I found bliss in REALLY being able to let go and just be at ease with whatever may come. Self-discovery is rare in life but totally unexplainably amazing.

4. Learning a new language is bon pour la santé (good for your health.)  Admittedly extremely frustrating at times, but the challenge is addicting and incredible.

Kelsi makes side-trips, like this one to the Cathederal de Notre Dame in Reims, while working as an au pair in France Kelsi makes side-trips, like this one to the Cathederal de Notre Dame in Reims, while working as an au pair in France

3. Being an au pair in France, I literally wake up every morning with a smile on my face while knowing I took a leap and decided to do something most people are either scared to do or are too busy making up excuses as to why they can’t. I had a great job, I am a full time student, and it’s not as if I didn’t have “obligations” at home, but I was surprised to find out just how un-obligatory they were. What else to do have to do with your life besides live it? Make a plan, say a prayer, and “Just do it.”

2. The world isn’t as scary as everyone makes it out to be. I am not saying that there aren’t great tragedies and everything is rose colored, but I am saying that there are way too many naysayers. I became an au pair in France shortly after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris. Oh boy did I hear endless beseeching for me not to come here! That, of course, was not an option for me but it did frighten me a lot. All I have to say now is SHUT UP PEOPLE! I have had the amazing blessing of being placed with an incredible family, but I have also found that people really are good. The hospitality I experience on a daily basis is incredible; whether it is at school or the bakery, people are kind if you take the time to know them.

Kelsi has fun with her host children in Reims, while working as a au pair in FranceAu Pair in France  1. By far the most important thing I have learned, and one can only learn by living with and becoming part of a family, is that we are all the same. I cannot help but laugh when I find myself in a car full of people with whom I do not speak the same language, but we are all belting out at the top of our lungs Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like a Woman.” Even better are the times when we form an impromptu conga line whilst doing the dishes after dinner, when the kids are screaming and yelling and acting just like my own nieces and nephews, or when you can have a tender moment with someone that you have come to truly love and appreciate despite the language barrier. Despite cultural differences which may shock me at times, I have come to realize that there really is no such thing as “us and them” there is just “we.”

Written by Kesli

Kelsi is from a small town in Wyoming where she works full-time as a physical therapy aide and takes full-time online classes for her major in sociology. Currently, she's in the middle of a six month au pair in France program in the relatively small ville of Sezanne, France. She wanted to learn French to help with a future career in humanitarian aid in Africa.

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