Au pair, who?
In this post of Au pair stories I would like to describe an Au pair program in detail, explain how it works and why it’s an amazing idea to become an au pair.
Au pair is a young foreigner, usually a girl, who participates in the cultural exchange program on student Visa J-1. The program combines education, work and sightseeing. The most common place for this kind of exchange is the USA, however, European destinations such as the UK, Spain or France are also popular.
The program usually lasts one year with an extra month for exploring the country, but it is also possible to extend it for another 6 to 12 months. What is more, it is possible to change the residence and host family after the first year.
An au pair, for the time being, becomes a member of the family. The participant becomes familiar with American culture, helps in daily tasks and takes care of children. In return, the host family provides weekly pocket money, food and accommodation. In addition, the family is obliged to provide an au pair with financial support when it comes to courses at a local college or language school. This is an incredible opportunity to learn in the United States and meet people from all over the world. Usually, there are a lot of other au pairs in the community. They spend their free time together, for example, they go to the city, organize roadtrips or attend classes. Very often au pairs make long – lasting friendships and stay in touch after the program.
One of the greatest advantages of the program is traveling. An au pair can discover new places in the community within a town and can also travel through the whole country. Big cities like New York, Los Angeles or Miami are on every au pair’s to do list. It’s another opportunity to see the most popular places in the world, meet a lot of new people, try local cuisine, and have a worldwide experience.
Being an au pair is an incredible investment in yourself. Living with an American family and going to an American school are the most effective ways to learn English. Being in a foreign country is also a great lesson of overcoming barriers, becoming independent and responsible.
An au pair program is an amazing time full of trips, discovering new possibilities, meeting new friends with different nationalities and learning a new language. It’s a fascinating adventure to feel, see and taste a new culture and live in a different country!