Looking for a chance to get away from the UK, have all your living expenses covered, and also develop your language skills? Working abroad as an au pair can deliver all of these benefits and be a unique enrichment of your time as a student. Native English language speaking au pairs are often in particularly high demand with families in some other European countries.
The au pair stay is based on a simple win-win cooperation between a family with young children and a young person who wants to experience life in a foreign country.
The young person helps with the family's childcare needs while the family gives the young person a place to live in the family home and a kind of "big sister" (or brother) role in family life. And au pairs also receive pocket money from the family to cover everyday expenses. The stressed parents have the help they need for managing the demanding daily routines that come with having young children. The young person has a perfect base for discovering a new country, developing language skills, and bonding with her (or his) new host family and their kids.
For many courses of university study, having an enhanced level of international competence can offer significant advantages. Au pairing lets you develop these skills - in connection with becoming truly bilingual and also acquiring practical intercultural proficiency. Au pairing involves learning by doing in a highly direct, hands-on sort of way. By being in a foreign country, you get total immersion language training. By living with a family, you experience a foreign culture in all of its variety and everyday specificity - styles of communication, national cuisine, early childhood education and socialisation. You're finding out about all of this every day and learning how to make the best of it!
Au pairing gives you a chance to enter a new, non-university world in a foreign country simply and easily - with a clear way in and a regulated way out.
Au pairing platforms such as AuPairWorld give you the tools you need to make contact with families that are looking for an au pair to help with childcare. When you place your au pair profile on such a platform, you can specify in which countries you would be interested in having an au pair stay and what dates you will be available.
If you're aiming to take a semester off, a stay of 3 -6 months with a family in another country can provide a unique opportunity to clear your mind and at the same time let you develop useful skills for when you return to your studies. And this is also the case for the long summer break between semesters. Over the summer months, many families need extra help taking care of the kids during the school holidays.
For many students, a gap year experience can provide them with a change in perspective that helps to refocus and to make important decisions for overall career planning. This can be the result of making new contacts in a foreign country, of discovering new ways of living and looking at the world in a different culture and also of having direct exposure to young children (who have their own special lessons to teach). Au pair alumna Maëlys reports, for example, how her various au pair stays (with 6 different families over several years during her studies) gave her a love of travel, an appreciation of life as a digital nomad, and helped with her decision to study law and comparative law.
AuPairWorld has been helping young people arrange their au pair stays by providing simple, user-friendly web-based resources for 20 years. The website let young people quickly and easily set up a profile to make contact with host families completely free of charge. It also provides detailed and up-to-date information about au pairing rules and regulations in 21 countries around the world. And if you need help during your search for a host family or during the au pair stay itself, there are experienced staff to give you information - by telephone or by email.
Of course, au pairing requires a serious commitment. But if you're ready to really engage with a family and their children for a set period of time, it has never been so easy to take the step and see the world.
AuPairWorld is the most popular website for arranging au pair stays on the internet and has opened the door to hundreds of thousands of young people to arrange a stay abroad in its 20 years of operation.
be prepared to feel lonely.. children can be very demanding...its not a brilliant job
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