Dear Au Pairs and Host Families, enjoy Malena's Au Pair story and the questions we asked her!
Malena's Au Pair story
My name is Malena and I wanted to share my experience being an Au Pair in Bucharest, Romania. I am from Argentina. This is my first time working as an Au Pair.
When I made my account on AuPair.com I knew I wanted to come to Europe but honestly Romania wasn't on my list of countries I wanted to visit
. It is very far away from home and I didn't know much about the place.
The process to choose a family was very easy and quick. Even though I wasn't convinced about the country, the family was perfect. They contacted me and through video calls I was able to meet both parents, the two girls I was going to take care of, and even their lovely dogs.
To me it has been an amazing experience. I am very happy I chose to come to Bucharest in Romania because living in a country so different from home gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about their culture, language, food, and even religion.
The Host Family knew it was my first time as an Au Pair and one objective I had coming here was to visit Europe. They are very supportive, and we were able to arrange our work schedule, so I could travel every few weeks to a new place. Like this, I was lucky to visit a lot of countries and also get to know different parts of Romania. We also did many trips together. Although I can't travel now, because we are in quarantine, they've been very supportive during this stressful time. I am very thankful to have chosen this family.
I would definitely recommend this experience, I would tell people who are indecisive about doing it, not to be afraid, even if the place you are traveling to is very different from your home. The most important thing will be the family that you choose.
I learned a lot of new things and most importantly, I gained a new family on the other side of the world. It helped me grow personally and gave me amazing memories!
Did you like Malena' story? If you feel inspired, register now and find the perfect Host Family for you!
Our questions to Malena
Since Malena's story got so many feedbacks from you, we decided to interview her
and to deepen some aspects of her Au Pair experience. Just keep on reading!
Why did you want to become an Au Pair in the first place?
I wanted to become an Au Pair because I love traveling. I was traveling before, and I found out about the Au Pair program and I realized it is an amazing opportunity to get to know, not only new places, but to learn in deep about their culture.
Have you already lived abroad before becoming an Au Pair?
Yes, I lived for a year in California before I found out about Au Pair.
Did you need a visa to get to the Host country? Was it easy to get one?
I do need a Work Visa to be able to be an Au Pair in Romania. I was able to get to know the place and the family for the first three months and then I had to go back to Argentina to present the contract in the Romanian Embassy to get the visa. The procedure was very easy and quick. I was able to visit my family and after a week the visa was ready, and I was able to come back.
What were your fears and your doubts before leaving?
Going to a country so far away from home and where I didn't know anybody was a big concern. It was my first time traveling to Europe. I was also worried about the family and what would it be like to live together.
Let's talk more about your Au Pair experience, when did your stay begin?
My stay begun July 16th. (2019).
How long have you looked for a Host Family before finding the perfect one?
I made an account but didn't use it for a while. When I was ready to look for an Au Pair family and travel soon I started contacting families that I was interested in. It took me maybe two or three weeks to choose this family.
How is your relationship with the Host Kids? Did they accept your presence right away?
The host kids were very loving since the beginning. They are also very young. The youngest is 2 years old now and she was very playful since the beginning but it took some time to built the confidence because she was a baby and still very attached to her mom. The other kid is 4 years old and she was very loving and accepting since the beginning.
How is your relationship with the Host Family? Do you get along well with both the parents?
My relationship with the Host Family was better than I imagined. We ended up having a lot of things in common and they took me as part of the family since the first day I arrived.
What’s a typical day of your Au Pair’s life like?
Right now we are all doing quarantine. So the days are not typical.
My work schedule is from Monday to Friday, so a normal weekday I wake up and we all have breakfast together. After I take a shower and get ready I play and do activities with the girls for a couple of hours until their lunch is ready. After eating lunch the youngest normally takes a nap and I stay with the four-year-old doing the activities and homework sent from the school. After, I prepare a snack for them and then we play and do some more activities until around six or seven when both parents are home. After that I am free and we all have dinner together.
From Argentina to Romania, it's a long trip! Tell us something about the foreign culture. What about the foreign language? Was it hard at the beginning to communicate with the family and the people of the place? Have you attended a language course?
The language was never a problem in the house because both parents speak English.
It was a little complicated with the oldest kid at first but now she speaks English perfectly and that's the language we use in the house. Nevertheless, the mom talks to the girls in Romanian and the father in Italian (since he is from Italy). So living with them I got used to listening to both languages and now I understand most of it.
Right now I am studying Romanian because I think it is very interesting.
Have you ever felt homesick or alone during your Au Pair stay?
I feel homesick sometimes. Especially now with everything that's going on with the virus. I was very lucky I was able to visit my family after the first three months here. But we keep a strong communication doing video calls every week.
Was it difficult for you to make friends abroad?
Making friends was one of the hardest things since culturally speaking we are very different. Doing extra group activities like studying the language or even the gym can be really helpful.
What didn’t you like about the experience?
The hardest part about the experience is to manage my schedule in a normal way with the family and with personal activities.
Did you travel a lot during your stay? What’s the favorite place you visited?
Luckily, the main purpose of my initial decision of being Au Pair was to get to know new places. My host family was very supportive and they helped me to arrange the schedule and be able to travel a lot. The favorite place I've visited it is Italy, especially Lake Como. It is a place I've been wanting to go for many years.
Thank you, Malena, from the all AuPair.com team!
Do you have some more question for Malena? Getting a first hand experience is always the best way to approach something new like the Au Pair program. Feel free to leave us a comment below and ask Malena whatever you want!