Although the adventure of becoming an au pair may seem daunting at first, it could well be an exciting experience that you cherish for the rest of your life. However, if you are feeling a tad anxious in regards to your new role, hopefully, these eight top tips that we have put together will help you to put those to rest, so you can look forward to your new venture.
#1 Use An Au Pair Agency
If this is your first time as an au pair, it is recommended that you use an au pair agency. This will provide a safety net to help you plan your trip and connect with your new family. If you are feeling sad or down, then the au pair agency is a great point of call for you to contact as they can help you calm down and will fix any little problems you might have.
While there are free alternatives for you to opt for, you will be more suited for them once you have gained enough experience as an au pair.
#2 Speak The Native Language
Communication problems are likely to make you feel nervous and a little overwhelmed when you first arrive at your new location. That’s why you should try and learn the local language as soon as possible, especially if one of your reasons for taking on this new role was to become fluent in a new dialect.
If both you and your family use gestures and don’t rush the process, you will have absorbed the local language and will be speaking fluently in no time at all. Furthermore, you could join a local language class to help you along the way.
Additionally, classes are a great way to meet new people, some of whom may be in the same position as you, so you can make friends and learn at the same time.
#3 Take Each Day As It Comes
You may feel a little overwhelmed at first when you start considering how long you could be staying in a foreign country. However, you are the person that decided to go, so it’s important to remember that no one is keeping you there against your will, which means you can leave whenever you feel like it. Therefore, just take each day as it comes, so you don’t count the days down and forget to embrace the country and language that you have surrounded yourself in.
#4 Think Of The Bigger Picture
There is every chance that you will only start to appreciate the memories and experiences that you made from your time as an au pair after your adventure. When you do decide to look back at your experience, you will realise how much it has shaped you as a person and opened up a number of doors for your future.
Having learnt the local language of chosen country fluently, you will then be able to mention that you’re bilingual within your CV, which will look highly appealing to any employers.
#5 Change Families
If you and your host family don’t click straight away, you can always change families if you need to. Contact the agency and they will help you to find another host family that will hopefully end up being more suitable.
However, ensure that you give your original host family a chance before you jump the boat, as it may just be the initial language barrier that is causing the issues.
#6 Do Plenty Of Research
Before you fully commit to becoming an au pair, do plenty of research into what the job fully entails. Of course, you are likely to come across a few horror stories, but don’t be put off by these and find success stories to balance them out. Additionally, those horror stories may have been written by people whose personalities and attributes didn’t match the role.
#7 Know Your Motivation
When you are in the initial stages of planning your journey as an au pair, think long and hard as to what your motivation behind the job is. Is it to travel the world? or are you interested in learning the language, embracing a new culture and getting experience with children? Au Pair jobs should never be used as a stepping stone for travelling the world. You need to be fully committed to your job, so you can truly make the most out of the experience.
#8 Spend Time With Your Host Family
Even though it’s great to have time to reflect on your day and to rest, the only way you are going to get to know the people you are now living with is to spend quality time together in your free time. Due to the fact you’re all under the same roof in such close proximities, spending more time together will ultimately be beneficial for everyone, as you will know what you all like and dislike, which will help you all get along much better.
Hopefully, these tips will help when you initially decide whether you want to become an au pair or not and will be beneficial when you are actually in a new country with your host family.