au pair

Things to know before you become an Au Pair in Japan

by Anika Raschun on Jul 05, 2024
Things to know before you become an Au Pair in Japan
Hey everyone! I'm Anika, and I've called Yokohama, Japan, home for a while now. During my time here, I had the incredible experience of being an au pair. Living with a Japanese family and caring for their daughter opened my eyes to Japanese culture in a whole new way. Are you also interested in becoming an au pair
 
Here are some things to consider based on my personal experience as an au pair in Japan:

It is difficult 

Standing out for an au pair spot in Japan can be tricky. There aren't as many families looking for au pairs yet, so make your application sparkle! Show off your skills, your unique cultural background, and your love for Japan. The truth is, it can also come down to a little bit of luck! Sometimes, a simple connection can make all the difference. For example, I once landed an interview with a Japanese family and mentioned my pet rabbit named Donut. Their little daughter (who was 7 at the time) thought the name was hilarious and wouldn't stop giggling! Believe it or not, that was the final reason for the child to choose me.

Language Barrier

Japan has a relatively low English proficiency rate. This can be daunting, but it's also a fantastic opportunity to learn a new language! (If you want to know how to have free Japanese classes in Japan I also wrote another article about this topic.) Although my host family was Japanese, they actually were an exception and spoke fluent English. Even the kid spoke fluent English since she has been in an international school her whole life. This was convenient but personally, it limited my Japanese learning progress a bit. 

Foreign host families

Many au pairs in Japan find themselves matched with foreign families. In fact, many of my friends were caretakers for foreign families. These families specifically seek out caregivers who can communicate with their children in their native tongue. While this can be a great cultural exchange, if your heart is set on living with a Japanese family, be prepared for a longer search. Remember, the wait will be worth it! (I found mine in the end). 

Tiny living

Japan has a high population density, meaning living spaces tend to be smaller than what you might be accustomed to. Embrace the concept of minimalism and see it as an opportunity to get creative with storage solutions. 100 Yen stores like Daiso or Seria are my personal lifesavers! They offer tons of smart and practical storage solutions at unbelievably low prices. You'll be surprised at how much you can organize with a little creativity, and you get used to living in a smaller space much faster than you think! 

Takeaway 

While securing a Japanese host family might require more perseverance than in other countries, tackle the challenge head-on.
 
Being an Au Pair on a budgetby Jingxuan on 05 Jun, 2024Read More »
How to learn Japanese for freeby Anika Raschun on 22 Jul, 2024Read More »
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