I decided to become an Au Pair after completing my first semester of nursing school. I was at a time in my life where I did not know exactly what I wanted to do, while everyone around me seemed to know exactly what they were doing. I was in a rut and I needed to shake things up a bit. That's when I found out about GeoVisions Au Pair program.
Although the most common (and preferred) Au Pair stay is around 6 months-1 year, I only stayed for 3 months. I left the US in September and returned in December, and let me tell you, I would not trade my experience in France for anything! I have always been pretty timid, so traveling to the south of France (Sommières to be exact) by myself was definitely a challenge that I am happy to say I overcame.
As soon as I arrived in Sommières I was immediately greeted by my host family at the airport with open arms. After a few days of settling in, my host father showed me the ropes of what I was expected to do and even helped me learn how to drive a "stick shift" car. The workload (even though I really shouldn't even be calling it work) included waking up with the kids in the morning, making them breakfast and bringing them to school. When they were off at school I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted until I had to pick them up around 16:30. After school I played with them, helped them with homework, and sometimes made dinner and put them to bed. Then, I had the weekends to do whatever I wanted as well.
The family was always very involved and I was always able to reach them. They were so kind and generous and they had a lovely home. They took the kids and I to Aix-en-Provence and Barcelona, Spain, and to a few other places during my stay. They always paid for food, they always paid for gas for the car, and they were just the best host family I could have ever asked for!
I also made many new friends through the Au Pair program. During my first month, there was a meeting with all the new Au Pair's in Nice for a weekend. There we got to explore the city and meet other Au Pair's near us. All the other Au Pair's were very kind and they were from all over the world. I have never experienced so much culture in my life, it was truly outstanding.
As for the south of France, I am itching to go back and I've only been home for 5 months! Sommières is a beautiful little village about 40 minutes away from Montpellier. The town center is charming and rustic and the surrounding villages are the same! I don't know what else I can possibly say about the trip, but it was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely be returning in the future.