You’ve finished high school and want to travel abroad but it’s not in the budget. You’ve completed two years of university but are still unsure of what to declare as your major. Sound familiar? Looking for some options before you start university or are you wishing to experience some cultural adventures to decide your life goals? Spending a year or two as an au pair will provide you a wealth of experiences, both cultural and professional.
Benefits of being an au pair
Whether you choose to travel abroad immediately after high school or college, one of the main parts of an international au pair program is the language immersion program so you’ll better acclimate yourself and be able to communicate with your host family and the children you care for more efficiently.
- You learn the native language, but you don’t have to go through the hassle of finding the appropriate courses. Many au pair agencies have prior agreements with local educational organizations and will begin the process for you. That way, you only have to pay for your classes once you’ve earned some money.
- You live with a host family, which provides several advantages, including the opportunity to learn more about the culture and practice your vocabulary. It also allows you cheaper accommodations, as your room and board is included as part of your salary. Most au pair agencies in London require host families to give their au pairs their own bedroom.
- You’ll gain experience and form relationships within your host family while providing full-time live-in child care. Most agencies don’t require prior child care experience but this opportunity allows you a wonderful opportunity to participate in some of your host family’s traditions and teach the children some of your own.
- While exploring the country and helping your host family, you’ll be earning some extra money. While it varies, some agencies offer a stipend of around $10,000 annually, while providing you with accommodations, meals, and an educational allowance.
- Many agencies, including au pair agencies in London require that you further your education at an accredited university. While you may select which subjects you wish to study, it’s often beneficial to take a few education or child care ones. Each country or au pair agency has its own guidelines on how many credits they require you to complete.
- You’ll make life-long friendships. Whether it’s through your university classes, your language courses, our just one of the other au pairs or locals, you’ll be surprised by how much you want to stay in contact after one short year.
- Besides money and education, being an au pair offers you the opportunity to explore the world. You’ll join your host family for traditional festivals, but you’ll also get days off each week to explore attractions with your new friends. Each year, most au pair agencies afford you at least two weeks off to travel and explore other areas.
After your first year is up, you have the option of resigning for another six months or a year if you wish to remain an au pair and experience even more new things.