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GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

Au Pair in Paris: Love Abroad & Back Home

Posted by Aubrey | Apr 20, 2015 4:50:45 PM

I wanted to start a new chapter - one that would be broadening, challenging, and fun. Being an Au Pair was the perfect fit!

Aubrey being an au pair in Paris.

 I already spoke Spanish thanks to my mid-Western upbringing.  French appealed to me as the sexiest language I could pick up in a year. I got online to research the most popular ways to go abroad, and au pairing surfaced as the best option among programs available to someone at my sub-zero language level, who didn’t want to be taking a coveted job from a more-qualified local.

The internet led me to Geovisions, where I found my representative, Jodi, who counseled me through the tricky process of finding an amazing family from across the ocean and applying for my French visa.  She even gave me caring and personal advice when I got engaged and had to re-evaluate my decision to spend my time—time which had suddenly become my engagement abroad.

With the help of Jodi and others, I decided to stick with my plan of spending my engagement in Paris with my host family. I could not have been more fortunate in my placement. I have friends with other agencies, or with no agency, in other towns who have had negative experiences.  From hearing their stories, I would strongly recommend anyone who is considering being an Au Pair to review their host family and town as thoroughly as possible.

A child in his bedroom in Paris playing games with his au pair.

Thanks to Geovisions’ partnership with an established placement agency in Paris, I was placed with the most delightful family in the heart of Paris.

Even with the best family I could imagine, au pairing is not without its challenging moments, and neither is moving alone and away from loved ones out into the great big foreign world. Being abroad has slowly brought me to love Paris, and also given me a much richer appreciation for the things that make my home in Oklahoma unique.

I have enjoyed hours at the beautiful neighborhood park in Paris with the kids, playing in the sand and the sun and gaping like a dork at all the flowering trees. I like the familiarity of my daily tasks like setting the dinner table, closing the shutters, and giving baths. The kids and I play lots of games together, draw, chat, and do lots of walking around the city to various activities.

My work here, though sometimes monotonous, has been at least as fun as I’ve made it every day, and some days way more fun. And when I’m off work, there is all of Paris to explore! And all of Paris is a whole lot of it. With my au pair visa discounts, I could stay busy and entertained for years for practically free without leaving Paris.

However, having a fiancé in the United States makes staying long enough to exhaust the city’s entertainment offerings much less appealing. After seven months, I will be leaving in four days to go back to the United States, hug the multitude of people I’ve missed, restart my job there, and prepare for my wedding.

A GeoVisions au pair having fun in the snow outside of Paris.

I will miss the kids’ adorable laughs and accents and mischief and bisous very much and very often.  It pains me to think of how long it may be until I see them again. I owe the family a great debt for teaching me so much about welcoming a stranger into your life, and about the kind of mother I hope to be one day.

My time here and my relationships with them have exceeded my every expectation.  To any kid-loving person who is willing to adapt to a new culture, learn a ton, and build a life in a new country, I couldn’t more strongly recommend the adventure of being an au pair in France.

Written by Aubrey

A social worker from Oklahoma with a love of language. My decision to become an Au Pair, and learn a third language, came after I decided not to go to medical school after four years of study.

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