Being an Au Pair is a very comfortable way to see another country. You’ve got the security of a base in the familys’ house and constant attachment figures that will ideally involve you into their free and quality time activities. Therefore this is, in my opinion, a great way if you’re away from home for the very first time!
Of course not every family understands the program, so select yours advisedly.
Turned out I had to learn that the hard way. The first five months of my Au Pair experience were tough. My hostfamily didn’t treat me like a member of their family, instead I had the grandma spying on me while I was with the kids, my hostmum telling me I wasn’t doing a good job (this was three weeks in) and one time I visited a friend over the weekend and came back to my room which wasn’t my room anymore. The dragon, aka my hostmum, literally said: “Sweety, that’s our home, not yours. Keep that in mind!”
I told her what I thought of it and quit a few weeks later after they came back from their one month long vacation without me when they still HAD to pay me for the weeks they were gone ha!
Then I lived with my counselor in the South Side of Chicago while finding a new family. My agency tried to put me in the next crazy family but I told them I couldn’t take any more broken families. Long speaking short: I needed to do something myself! So I went online and wrote to 30+ families overnight that needed childcare. My problem was that most of them didn’t need a caregiver right that moment but I needed a job right that moment..
My luck was a kind famliy from Kansas City and, let’s face it, a pinch of sympathy. I packed up my two suitcases and moved to Kansas. Three months later we all moved to Winnetka, a northern suburb of Chicago. And I, I not only was blessed with the greatest hostfamily of all times but also I was back in my beloved Chicago – The home of my heart : )