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How to be an Au Pair

How to be an Au Pair and work as an Au Pair

Are you thinking about the possibility of becoming an au pair and thus being able to spend a year abroad without spending too much money? Here you will find many suggestions that will help you make your dream come true and become an au pair.  


  • Thorough planning is very important in order to become an au pair
  • First, make sure that you fulfill the au pair requirements
  • You should be willing to spend a long time abroad without seeing your friends and family


Becoming an au pair  is actually very easy and has many  advantages . There are very few requirements that you have to meet to become an au pair. Being an au pair gives you the opportunity to spend some time abroad without spending a lot of money. For example, after finishing high school, before continuing your studies, you could spend a year abroad as an au pair and improve your language skills in a foreign country. This will also improve your opportunities in the job market. As our world is becoming more and more connected internationally, the most attractive jobs usually involve knowing at least one or more foreign languages. Think globally,  become an au pair.
As an  au pair abroad  you also have the  advantage  of living with a host family and becoming part of an already established social structure. This means: you won’t have to worry about getting an internet connection or about where to do your laundry. Your host family will provide these and many other things for you. Furthermore, as an au pair, you will immediately be part of a social network. With your host family, you will have people with experience on your side who will help you and explain their culture to you. Your contribution to the family – taking care of the children and doing easy house work – usually leaves you a lot of  free time . As your family pays for your accommodation and food, you have the  pocket money you get at your free disposal. So you won’t have to worry about unforeseen  expenses as an au pair . Altogether, this is exactly why being an au pair is so attractive to young people.


If you want to  work as an au pair , it is essential that you have experience working with children and/or in  child care . Of course, you should also enjoy working with children. Parents want to be sure to leave their children with an experienced person. Therefore, it is important to have some work references and include them in your resume to show how important it is for you to  become an au pair . You don’t have any  experiences in child care  yet? Do not worry! You can gather experience doing an internship in a day care center, working as a tutor or a baby sitter, or as an assistant coach in a sports club. You have many options. Make sure you receive a written reference afterwards as this is important if you want to be an au pair.

Also, working with children before going abroad as an au pair, you will be able to see if you really will enjoy working with children every day.


You should  plan  your  time abroad as an au pair  very well: As the preparations for your time abroad or your year abroad as an au pair will take a while, make sure that with all the  planning  you won’t forget your real goal of becoming to au pair. First, you should make sure that you fulfill the formal and personal  requirements  for an au pair job. Second, you have to decide in which country you want  to be an au pair . This usually depends on what language you want to learn or improve. After you have decided upon a language, you can choose a country or a region where you want to work as an au pair.


Where do you  want to be an au pair , in the countryside, in a  small town or in a big city ? You need to decide this before you start looking for a host family abroad. Your  work as an au pair in the countryside is very interesting but you might feel lonely every now and then. However, if there is public transportation, it is easy to get to the next big town.  In the country, you usually live in a house with a yard, which can be very helpful for you work with the children. If you prefer being an au pair in a big city, you should gather a lot of  information  about the respective city and consider the pros and cons.


Be an au pair  – yes, but when should you start? The best dates for starting your  work as an au pair  are in August/September and January/February. As the host families come back from their vacations for the new school year, the late summer is a good time to start your au pair work abroad. The demand for au pairs during this period is especially high. Also, the language schools start again after the summer break and offer  language classes for au pairs . During the summer months of July and August you have less chance of getting a job as an au pair. The  language school s also might not offer classes during the summer. However, there are exceptions; some host families are looking specifically for a summer au pair  who can take care of their children during the vacations.


There are two ways for you to  find a host family : looking for a family online or finding a host family with the help of an au pair agency. Both methods have their  advantages  and disadvantages. If you hire an  au pair agency , you have to pay them but you also have a contact person. Watch out though! Many agencies will just help you until you and your host family has paid them. Unfortunately, in this field there are many fake agencies that don’t care about you or your needs as an au pair. In the last couple of years it has become more and more popular to use special  au pair websites  in order  to become an au pair. This option is very cheap, both for you as an au pair and for your host family. Using an internet platform as an au pair, you create a profile so host families can find and contact you easily. 
At the same time you can also look for host families yourself, as these usually also have a profile. This way you can contact the host family and soon the  first phone calls  and video chats will follow.


Look carefully at the host family where you want to  work as an au pair. Try to gather as much information as you can about your host family beforehand. Don’t be shy! Ask all the questions you want. That’s the only way to find out if it’s the right host family for you.  Ask about the children : what do they like to do? Ask about their life : What does a typical day in the family look like? How do the parents work? Where and how will you be staying? Is there a good language institute close? All these questions should be clarified before your au pair stay.