When I tell people that I was an au pair for a year in Rome, a lot of people look at me with a blank expression on their face.
What is that? they ask.
Well, working as an au pair abroad is quite simple.
The word ‘au pair’ is actually french but to make this easier, I’m going to give you the english definition, ok?
au pair : noun : a young foreign person, typically a
woman, who helps with housework or
child care in exchange for room and board
Cool. So I worked for a family in Rome and took care of their three children in exchange for a place to sleep and food to eat. Not too shabby!
Finding a family to stay with is easy. There are many credible websites online that basically work like facebook in which you set up a profile complete with a resume and then post it on the website for families to browse. Families do the same thing and you can browse their profile as well. If you like a family’s profile then you can contact them. If they like you they will contact you. Then you exchange emails, Skype one or two times, get references from former au pairs (this I highly recommend), and voila – you are ready to go!
My top favourite au pair sites:
With many au pair sites you need to pay a monthly fee in order to see all the features on the family’s profile AND to email the family. For greataupair.com I paid the monthly fee and although it was useful to send out emails myself instead of waiting around until someone contacted me, it is not necessary. If you have a good profile (ie. photos, a welcoming ‘about me’ section, etc.) someone will contact you which is what happened with aupair-world.net. I ultimately was contacted by someone on aupair-world.net, set up a Skype interview, emailed the old au pair, and then made my decision to move to Rome!
TOP TIPS: ALWAYS SKYPE WITH THE FAMILY. ALWAYS DO A BACKGROUND CHECK WITH AN OLD AU PAIR. MAKE SURE THE PROFILE YOU ARE VIEWING DOESN’T SEEM TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE (IE. 600 + EUROS A MONTH, PRIVATE LIVING SPACE, ONLY WORKING 10 HOURS A WEEK, ETC). THERE ARE CREEPS LURKING ON THE INTERNET SO DO YOUR RESEARCH!!