As an Au Pair you get to travel to a new country and experience a new culture. And while this is very exciting, adjusting to a new environment can be hard
. Feeling lonely and homesick during your first few weeks as an Au Pair is perfectly normal. The best way to overcome this feeling of homesickness: Finding friends who are going through the same thing. Here is how I found friends in my area during my Au Pair stay in New York.
Au Pair meetings
As an Au Pair in the US, you will have a counselor by your side to help you if you have any issues. Once a month, they organise meetings with the other Au Pairs they are responsible for. My counselor Paula would organise breakfast meetings, bowling nights or sightseeing tours. We even went to a baseball game together once. Although these meetings are usually obligatory, they can be a lot of fun. Your counselor should be the first person to talk to if you want to find new friends. They usually know a lot about the Au Pairs in your area and will be able to introduce you to people with similar interests.
Host Family and their former Au Pair
The next person I asked for help was my Host Family’s former Au Pair. She had still been in New York during my first day, so I was able to ask her a lot of questions. She was very helpful and gave me the phone numbers of some of her friends who would be in the US for a little longer. My Host Family also introduced me to some families with Au Pairs in their neighborhood.
Another great piece of advice that the Au Pair before me gave to me was looking for friends on Facebook. Just type in “Au Pair in” plus your town name and you are very likely to find tons of other Au Pairs in your area. Post in this group to find people with similar interests. I found a friend of mine there because she was looking for someone who would go to a concert with her. The concert got cancelled, but the friendship remained.
Something very typical for Au Pairs in the US are coffee meetings. Once a week, in my case on Wednesdays, Au Pairs would meet at a local coffee shop, sip on a freshly brewed cup of steaming coffee and just talk about life. These meetings were usually without a counselor and completely optional.
As an Au Pair in the US you will need to gain some college credits
to fulfill the visa requirements
during your stay. Going to college classes is also a fantastic way to meet people your age! I decided to take so called “travel classes”. This way I was able to travel to New Orleans with a group of like-minded Au Pairs. It doesn’t matter what kind of classes you take, as long as you get enough credit points. If you love to dance, consider a ballet class. If you would like to improve your English, take a language course. Whatever you decide to do, you will be guaranteed to meet people with similar interests
The most important part of finding friends as an Au Pair is being active
. So join that facebook group, call other Au Pairs and get ready to have a great time with your new friends! As an Au Pair, you will be able to get to know people from all over the world. Embrace this once in a lifetime opportunity
and meet amazing people. If you want more tips on how to make friends abroad
, check out our Au Pair Wiki!
Until next time,