I am Gretchen Baylon from the Philippines. Before starting this adventure, I didn't have any ideas what an Au Pair was. I just saw a bunch of Facebook photos from my high school classmate when she always travelling in Europe and I was amazed by that. I also dreamt of travelling around Europe. But I didn't message her about how she had been to Europe. So when months and years passed by, a colleague of mine texted me if I wanted to be an Au Pair. So I searched on the internet what an Au Pair is and I suddenly remembered my classmates pictures: that was how she got to Europe! So I grabbed the opportunity. The process of finding a Host Family was quite easy for me. We had some chats through Skype or messenger and also video calls.The first call was very nice, the Host Mum showed me their home. She explained my work tasks and she also asked me when I wanted to travel to Denmark. When I said I wanted to go in August and she said okay, we started processing the contract.
The process didn't take long, it was very easy and smooth. You just have to wait for your contract to be delivered to you and have your passport ready. At this point you are all set to have a biometrics and an interview at the embassy would follow. Yes, there's an interview in order for you to obtain a visa. My interview questions were all about the contract, myself, my family, what I knew about the Au Pair program as well the country I was going to live in. My advice for the interview would be: don't be nervous, be honest in your answers, go straight to the point. After the interview I just waited for just 2 weeks and after that I had my passport stamp with a Schengen visa.
On August 3rd I flew to Denmark. It took me almost 18hrs of flight from the Philippines. It's quite a long travel but it's worth it. I arrived in Denmark on August 4th. My Host Family picked me up at the airport with my host kids. Before heading back home, they showed me around Copenhagen. It was a nice journey because it's very different from where I have been. I only saw the castle just in movies and books but now I was able to experience it. As of now, I'm also studying Danish. I attended class 3 times a week. It was quite hard but if you have the will and determination, you will strive hard for it.
As for my Host Family, I don't have any problems with them.They treat me not just as an Au Pair, but as a real family member, which is why I'm very thankful for them. I don't feel any homesickness because they are there to support me and let me feel a part of their family. The Au Pair program is not just about travelling, it is also our obligation to do some household chores and, if you do well in your tasks, your Host Family would always be grateful for you. For my host kids, I talk to them in simple Danish, but they are still nice to me. If you’re having a hard time, you can use Google translate.
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