The Good The Bad And The Ugly About Being An Au Pair

The Good The Bad And The Ugly About Being An Au Pair

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There are many options to work and travel the world. While some of these jobs can be considered more accessible than others, everything depends on the individual and what they consider an adequate employment. To work, as an au pair for example is a very popular option to visit other countries, learn a different language and experience another culture and ways of life.

An au pair is a person who lives and works with a family helping to take care of the children, helping them with their homework and their general well-being. In exchange, the family provides a salary and all the accommodations like food and housing. These are one of the most popular jobs that we have covered here in the Royal Holiday Jobs blog, but today we like to go deeper into the details that dictate this particular vocation.

Work Conditions of an Au Pair

The work hours are pretty much 24/7 since you are taking care of the children and this is a new family you are part of. However, it doesn’t mean that you are going to spend all this time working. It is normal that sometimes children may be a bit difficult or that they may want to play all the time, but that is why a good au pair is someone who knows proper strategies of teaching and dealing with kids. Obviously, au pairs have days off when you can go out and spend your time doing whatever you want. As far as vacation goes, there are some homes who like to allocate up to two weeks a year to allow their au pair to go on holiday and take advantage of their overseas stay, however not all places do this as they allow for more free time during the week. All of these arrangements are made when the employment relationship starts so you will know beforehand what is expected of you and if you agree or not with the conditions. Salary depends on many aspects and considering that housing and food are included, au pairs make around 100 euros a week.

Requisites to be an Au Pair

The age of au pairs usually goes from 18 to 30 years old; this is mostly duo to the fact that they have to be over the legal age but at the same time, households prefer au pairs that are young enough not to have many other responsibilities. It is important that au pairs do not have children of their own mostly because they are away from their family for months or even years and they cannot bring their children along. Another important factor is to learn about the culture of the place where you plan to move and realize if that is the place where you want to go. Popular countries that offer this employment are the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, England and more. Learning the culture is important, just as it is to know the language to make your stay a lot more pleasant and be able to socialize more with your host family.

The Good The Bad And The Ugly About Being An Au Pair
Courtesy of John G. Walter at flickr.com

Au Pair Agencies

There are numerous websites that focus just on placing au pairs all over the world. Searching online you can find places specialized in certain countries and families that are looking for the service. This can give access to comments and testimonials about the places as well as the families and how it is to work with them. The Aupair Shop, Au pairs by Avalon, Au Pair agency, Bapaa, Planet Au Pairr and The best Au Pair are some of the most popular sites that provide important information like host family scores and other relevant data.

Advantages to being an Au Pair

Many young people today are taking the option of working as an au pair because this type of employment opens a lot of doors and provides them with a lot of opportunities to grow personally and professionally. In addition to probably learning a new language, you can also exchange your linguistic knowledge with the family, specially the children, creating and true learning and cultural exchange that can greatly benefit both parties. Exchanging services for food and lodging is also a great advantage because it allows you to live in a comfortable environment that you would most-likely not be able to afford being new to the country or to work in another entry-level job abroad. Another advantage is the fact that the job doesn’t really require any specialized training or education other than some small courses that can help you land a better position.

Disadvantages

The job can be a bit difficult because hours may be longer than expected or in some cases, the responsibilities may exceed the expectations of the candidate, however, all of this can be avoided if you have effective communication with the agency from the beginning and understand all terms of your employment before hand.

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