Wonder about au pairing in a neighbouring country?
You did it! You’ve finally decided to become an Au Pair! The question remains: where will you go? You could be au pairing worldwide in countries like Australia, Canada, China or almost anywhere in Europe. However, if going too far is not your thing, au pairing in a neighbouring country
is also an option like going from Germany
to France or from France
for example, but is it worth it? I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to help you make up your mind.
Neighbouring countries rock - here’s why:
You are never really that far from home - which is good given nowadays' pandemic situation
- but you can still become independent
. You’ll have the possibility to go back home or have friends and family visit you while you’re au pairing. After your experience, your Host Family could also visit you at home or meet you halfway. Besides, it’s much easier to cross borders than to fly across an ocean after all. Not to mention that you would save money on travel costs and it is also more environmentally-friendly
Traveling and living in Europe
If you are a citizen from the EU, you are entitled to freedom of movement in the EU zone which is great if you want to visit other countries during your time off
. Plus, time zones
wouldn’t be a problem between your au pairing and home country making it easier to keep in touch. Moreover, there will be no visa
needed in that case either which means less paperwork to take care of. Overall, neighbouring countries are also perfect for a short stay or even a summer Au Pair! However, remember that a few things have changed for becoming an Au Pair in the UK
so be sure to look into that.
Going on with your daily life
You would experience less of a culture shock
while au pairing in a neighbouring country. The same would go for the language barrier
so conversation would flow more freely. However, that doesn’t mean that everything will be the same as it is back home. You will gain a unique experience, encounter many different viewpoints and learn to adapt to specific situations. Those skills will not only apply to your personal life but later on they could also be extremely valuable in your future job. Finally, you will make friends
from all over the world. Landscapes, traditions and way of life will be different so keep an open mind!
Neighbouring countries - things you need to consider:
Of course, being close to home can be good if you have the opportunity to go back sometimes but is it worth feeling homesick
while also feeling like you haven’t really left? What if your experience and surroundings remind you of home and you can’t help but wish you had gone to a far away country? So, you guessed it, if you’re looking for a complete change of scenery
, this might not be the right choice for you.
Is it different enough?
Maybe you will find the language, culture and lifestyle too similar
which could take away from your Au Pair experience
. If you want your Au Pair stay to bring something completely different to you personally or professionally you might want to pick a country with a culture you don’t know very well just yet for example.
Plus, if you do, learning everything you can about the place, the culture and the language could be a challenging but rewarding experience! My last tip would be to maybe ask yourself if you could have gone to the place you are thinking of without au pairing and see if you would choose differently.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you! Do what feels right and suits you best and you’ll be able to make the most out of your Au Pair experience. And, who knows, these first steps could lead to bigger adventures in the future!