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Your Au Pair Program experience

Au Pair Program experience Having found a Host Family and having all your documents prepared will make you feel excited like never before, but which things do you have to bear in mind to make your Au Pair adventure an unforgettable experience?

Embrace cultural differences

Even if you decided to do your Au Pair stay on the same continent, you will soon notice the cultural change. You will have to adapt to many different things, like what time people have lunch or what time shops close. 
 
What is most important and will probably be the hardest thing will be the people’s way of living. Don’t get angry if you find the people very serious or don’t panic if someone you just met comes to you and gives you a hug. 
 

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We all know that the Au Pair program could be an amazing opportunity to discover new cultures and learn new languages (or improving the ones we already know). For Au Pairs the program is a great way to travel and explore foreign countries. It’s true that joining the Au Pair program and adjusting to completely new conditions could be challenging, but new challenges always let us improve ourselves and reach for better things.

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Along with the cultural change comes respect. Some countries are more religious than others, or maybe your Host Family is more devoted than you expected. You have to be open-minded and respect the host country’s traditions. 
 
This will help you appreciate the country better, see things from another perspective, therefore it will help you feel more comfortable there. 

Teaching your culture

Going abroad is also a great opportunity to show your Host Family things from your country. It’s not a one way road. Both you and the family will have to learn from each other. 
 
Moreover, teaching your Host Family about your culture will also help them understand you better. 
 
There will be moments when you will miss your country, your family and friends. You have to be ready for these moments; however, to counteract feeling homesick, you can learn how to cook a typical dish from your country for example. Also, there will probably be other Au Pairs or people from your country living there. Try to contact them through social media whenever you have the need of feeling home again.

Screening the Host Families

Finding a Host Family that matches what you’re looking for might be more difficult than it seems. There are some things you should keep in mind when you’re screening the family’s profile:

Photos

It is important that the Host Family has uploaded pictures. If there are no pictures, maybe you are dealing with someone who is not really interested in the Au Pair program, or who does not take his/her research seriously. 
 
The more pictures the family has, the more you will know how interested they are in finding an Au Pair.

Description

A description with just one sentence like “we need an Au Pair” or no content at all, doesn’t tell you anything about the family. If the Host Family provides a full description of themselves and what they are exactly looking for, it will help you to know if this family could be the perfect one for you.
 
Consider also the answer rate- on the Host Family’s profile there are three circles. One of the circles contains a number with a percentage. It indicates the answer rate of the family, that is how often the Host Family answers the messages sent by other Au Pairs. If the answer rate is high, it’s a good sign of the Host Family’s commitment.

Host Family’s whereabouts

Obviously you can select your preferences in your profile (Big City, Countryside and so on). However it is also important to ask the Host Family about a specific location. 
 
Sometimes a Host Family might live in the city, however the bus or subway connection is not very good, or it’s too far away from the place where you take the language course. Take into consideration the pros and cons of the location where the Host Family lives, and don’t hesitate to ask the family about possible transportation means.



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