au pair

My doubts before going abroad as an Au Pair

by Maryann on Apr 21, 2020
My doubts before going abroad as an Au Pair
Going abroad for a few months or even a year is always stressful. We’re going into the unknown, we’re worried that it’ll go wrong or that we won't be able to adapt to a new country or culture. Moreover, the current Coronavirus health crisis is making things even more difficult. The whole world is in a state of uncertainty and the projects we had planned are completely disrupted. In this article, I share with you my doubts and how I try to deal with them before my departure

Not being able to leave as planned

Given the Coronavirus pandemic, the first thing I wonder is: will I be able to go to the USA? In my previous article about becoming an Au Pair in the USA, I mentioned that I was leaving this summer. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I can leave on the scheduled day and many future Au Pairs may be in the same situation. The borders are closed, the embassy is no longer making appointments for the visas and nobody knows how the situation will progress in the coming weeks. I’m trying to read the news every day to keep myself up to date, I’m talking about it with my Host Family and above all: I’m staying positive! I tell myself that if I can't leave in August as planned, I could probably leave in fall. Our plans are modified, postponed but not completely canceled! We'll still have time to experience it once the world has gone through this crisis

Not making friends

When we go abroad as an Au Pair, we do it alone, without our family and friends. We go on an adventure with no one but ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll be alone during our stay, quite the contrary! Our Host Family will be the first to be there to support us and help us discover the host country. But we'll also have our new friends! Making friends from the host country, from other countries or even from our home country helps us to discover the culture and have fun. However, it's not always easy and one of my doubts is that I can't manage to make friends and that I feel alone during my stay abroad. Through Facebook groups and other social media, I try to get in touch with other Au Pairs and learn some tips. The agency also provides us with a list of Au Pairs already living in our future city. It's an opportunity to contact them and maybe they will become our future friends! 

Not managing my pocket money 

Being an Au Pair isn’t a real job as we don’t receive a real salary. We receive pocket money in addition to food and accommodation. We need to save money to be able to make as many trips and activities as we want during our Au Pair stay. One of my doubts is that I can't manage this pocket money and that sometimes it can prevent me from taking a trip or an activity that I’ve dreamed of doing. After some research on how to manage money as an Au Pair, I am thinking of writing down every week what I earn and what I spend. A good idea would also be to open a second bank account where I put some of my pocket money reserved for travel! 

Being lost with the language 

One of the main reasons that can motivate us to go and live abroad for a while is to improve our level in the language of the country. Whether we already have a good level or just the basics, being immersed in another language every day can be very hard and tiring to live. It can also be scary to talk to native speakers, not being able to make yourself understood or making friends who don’t speak your native language. To reassure myself, I try to practice the language as much as possible before I leave. I watch all my series and films in their original version, I read and try to communicate with people in this language on social media. Once there, there is a possibility - or obligation in some countries - to take language courses, which will help us a lot to improve our skills.

Feeling homesick

Homesickness is an unavoidable feeling when we live abroad for a while. Living in another country makes us miss our family, friends or even the food of our home country. The solution to overcome this is to go out with our friends, travel and talk with our Host Family! Staying in touch with our relatives via video calls and photos is a good way to avoid feeling too homesick. Moreover, living through harder times means that we also live through happy times. Therefore, if you are homesick for a while, you’re likely enjoying the rest of your Au Pair stay

Having difficulties adapting to the Host Family's habits

One of the most difficult things, when we are an Au Pair, is to adapt to the rules and habits of the Host Family. We are going to live with them for several months and it is up to us to adapt to their way of life. The cultural shock can be strong and the best thing to do to overcome it is to talk to the Host Family. From the very beginning, even before the arrival in the host country, it’s important to create a relationship with them, ask questions and agree on the aspects of the stay. Communication is the best way to ensure a successful Au Pair stay! 
 
Having doubts before going abroad is completely normal and you will be proud of yourself once you have overcome them! The current situation can make us even more anxious so don't hesitate to share your feelings in the comments. We are all in this together! You can also have a look at our article about the Coronavirus where we update the different measures taken by each country. Maybe you will find answers to your questions that will help you know what is the best thing to do. 
 
Stay safe! 
 
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Some Thoughts...
Maclee
May, 05, 2020 - 05:05 pm
Thank you for such a beautiful advice and to be frank with you l have never stayed in a foreign land so to me it will be such an adventure for me. And what l have also liked is that this site is so legit. At first when l got to hear about it l had doubts l thought it was one of those human trafficking sites where you get to another foreign land and then get used for cheap labour or sex trafficking but doing some research about this site and getting to read all your commnents and advises l now know that l'm doing the right thing. May God bless you
Julia, Aupair.com | May, 07, 2020 - 10:05 am
Hello Maclee,

Thank you for your comment. We are glad that you have found our website and that you want to start your Au Pair adventure! We can confirm that our website is 100% legal and that the Au Pair program is an official program in many countries. We wish you all the best in your search!
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