What really motivates them to become Au Pairs?

by cv harquail on May 3, 2010

Very few au pairs come to the US because they want to take care of kids. They can do this in their home countries, with a lot less drama and zero homesickness. While many (let’s hope, most) au pairs like kids, and think they will enjoy caring for kids for a year, this is usually *not* the main reason they become au pairs.

choosing

But what are the “real” reasons that au pairs come to the US?

Other Motivations to Become an Au Pair

    See the USA

  • improve English
  • see Las Vegas/New York/California
  • learn about US culture
    Escape to the USA

  • immigrate illegally
  • meet a future husband/wife
  • get a green card through future husband/wife
  • switch to different kind of visa once here
    Escape home

  • escape repressive government
  • escape bad economic options
  • escape overbearing parents/divorce/abuse
  • escape bad social situation
    Don’t know what else to do with self

  • no interesting job prospects
  • no romantic prospects
  • can’t decide on school or career
  • at least it will be an interesting year
    Find herself/himself

  • create a challenging adventure
  • establish independence
  • get another year older, more mature
    Have fun!

  • party
  • drink
  • travel & sight-see
  • date people your parents would disapprove of
  • experience wild social life without reputation concerns
    Learn skills to get a better job at home

  • improve English so you can use it at work
  • learn about American culture
  • learn about American education system
    Other reasons

  • save up some money
  • send home some money
  • shop, shop, shop
  • meet Britney Spears
  • get discovered as a model/actress/whatever

choosing an au pair

I’ll bet that virtually no au pairs come here to take courses other than in English.

Why do these other reasons matter?

When parents assume that au pairs are here because they like children, these parents are missing the big(ger) picture of what’s motivating their au pairs. And thus, parents aren’t able to anticipate concerns, meet the au pair’s needs or help him/her meet them, and manage the situation so that everyone is happy and the kids are well cared for.

Have you been surprised by the reasons why your Au Pair(s) chose to spend a year here?

Have you been surprised to discover that, in addition to liking children, your au pair had additional reasons to become an au pair?

What kids of reasons have you discovered?

When have these other reasons really seemed to matter?

Photos:
Lee on the Fire Escape from NYCArthur
Styling escape from Grant MacDonald

{ 47 comments }

FormerSwissAupair May 3, 2010 at 10:12 am

For me, I left the US to go to Switzerland as an aupair because I wanted to learn German and travel around Europe. Having worked as a preschool teacher and nanny here in Colorado for years during and after college, I knew that I was great with children and had a lot to offer a family. I also went the aupair route because I am exceptionally close with my own family here and wanted that with another. I just moved back to Colorado about 3 months ago after 3 years in Switzerland and I speak German fluently, traveled to almost every European country, and feel as though I have two other families that I am a part of! Though it definitely had its’ rough moments, I am so thankful I took the opportunity to do it!! I did notice though that being an AP in Europe is so different than being one in the US, from what I have read on here.

NJnanny May 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm

you took the words right out of my mouth! did you go it alone or with an agency? I’ve been looking for an aupair job for this next school year on greataupair, but haven’t had much luck, even with 5 years of nanny experience and 7 years of away-from-home life experience. I wonder if an agency might help…

MTR May 3, 2010 at 10:20 am

My first au pair, with whom we rematched after 5 months, had no questions to ask me after our first phone conversation. I was a inexperienced hostparent and matched with her anyway. In retrospect, now, she would not have passed the application stage with me.

When we were looking for our third au pair, after two rematches and feeling very down on the program, we interviewed our current au pair. By then we had more experience on what to look for and also had all the tips and help from this blog.

Anyway, my current au pair, when we were interviewing her, never stopped asking questions. We talked on the phone about a dozen times over 2 weeks. We emailed almost every day. And she always had more to ask. First it was about us, our family and kids. Then, about our house, her room and her schedule. Then, about colleges/school in our area. And then about social life in our area, accessibility to big cities, ability to travel, when she may be able to take her vacations, what is there to do in the area, etc.

All these inquiries told me things about her. Yes, she was interested in our family and wanted to have a very good idea of who we are, what kids are like, what our day to day lives are like, but she also wanted to make sure that she will have time for personal life, be able to have fun, travel, and enjoy herself.

Any au pair that is only interested in kids and family is a red flag to me now. I am no naïve in understanding that au pair comes here for many other reason other then to look after my kids. And I want a girl who is responsible enough to acknowledge these reasons and be able to handle both the work and the fun part of the au pair year.

BTW, we just extended with our au pair for the second year and she has truly become a part of our family.

HRHM May 3, 2010 at 10:39 am

I was surprised to find that AP2 came to US to get out of having to go to school or be a waitress (no other qualifications) back home. She wants to stay here permanently and is looking to a student visa for next year since she’s already extended (with another family). She has previously mentioned marrying if the student visa doesn’t work out, and I have little doubt she could find the right sucker, er I mean man, since she is very pretty and a good actress. :) With her current HF, she packs a lunch for a 12 year old, makes sure he gets on and off the bus and polices the TV in the afternoon. This is the ideal life in her mind but I don’t think she realizes that once she’s on her own here, it will involve more work!

English Aupair...x May 3, 2010 at 11:33 am

For me working as an Au Pair in America is something i am looking to do next september and although one of my primary reasons is because i enjoy looking after kids you are right in thinking it is not my only reason. I am currently working as an Au Pair in my home country of England and absolutely love it, i love the freedom and responsibility i get from this job aswel as the love and respect i get from the host children each day. I have been to America 5 times as a tourist and have always envisioned myself living there one day but not yet. My main reason for going besides the childcare would be to get the American family experience (something i have always wanted to experience), with an added chance of checking possible performing arts schools and making a bit of money. Ofcourse i would not be there to improve my english as it is my first language but i know the culture and values is so different in America to England, i’d love to experience that :)

ExAP May 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Actually, one of the main reasons fr me to become an Au pair in the US was to take care of children.
I also wanted to improve my English and get to know the American culture/way of life.
Plus I didn’t want to start college right away after 13 years of school (in Germany you get your high school diploma after 13 years of school). 13 years was enough- I needed a break ;-)
I wanted to become an independent adult, too.

West Coast Mom May 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I can add, show your ex boyfriend that you’ll be fine without him. I guess that would go into your “escape” category.

Which is not a very good reason. And once current AP realized what she had gotten herself into, for an entire year, she had a mini breakdown. Doesn’t help that she doesn’t really seem to enjoy taking care of children.

There was really no indication of this in her application or interview, but the one hesitation I had when matching is that I didn’t really understand her reasons for coming. It was a red flag I should have paid more attention to, and will this time around.

franzi May 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm

i wanted to become an AP because i wanted to see the world – in a safe and fun way. i love working with kids and the fact that there is a host family to provide support, guidance, and an AP agency that keeps it all in check just seemed like the perfect fit.
working with kids always came first on my priority list and that is very important for me to this day. i am still close to my host family because they knew i genuinely cared about them.

why did i do my year when i did it? in a way i needed the break from home and like ExAP mentioned, i was sort of in between finishing school and “the life after”.
it was the right timing for me.

Au Pair in CO May 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I honestly don’t know what it is that made me wanna be an au pair. I stumbled upon one of the agency websites, read everything on there, and fifteen minutes later I had applied. There was just something about it that felt perfectly right, but it’s hard to put my finger on what it was. Knowing myself, it was probably a combination of wanting to do something challenging, exciting, and completely different from my (great) life in my home town:)

PA AP mom May 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Our AP now said that she wanted to be an au pair for a few reasons:

1. The kids
2. Travel–see new places, work on her English
3. Prove to herself that she could live independently for one year.

Our last AP was the opposite. The last week here, she admitted that she doesn’t even like kids and that she thought mine were “brats”. She told our LCC that the only reason she did it was because she was never going to have another opportunity to see the USA.

Now, I am sure to ask, in several different ways, on several different occasions, why an AP is becoming an AP. If I don’t like the answer, I move on to another applicant.

Amelie ex au pair May 3, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I went to the US simply because I wanted to live there for a while. I have always been always crazy about travelling, getting to know new places and new people, speaking other languages… But travelling is just too expensive (before being an au pair, I went to study in NYC for four weeks in 2008, and I had to save money for a whole year to do that!!!), so I decided to be an au pair. Not because I desperately wanted to take care of kids full time for a year.

During my au pair year, I travelled to a lot of places within the US, I went to Europe and even saved money to take an international trip after I wnet back home.

But even though my priority was the travelling and the new experiences, I never forgot that the main reason my host family had taken me into their house was that they needed quality childcare. So for the whole year I was there, I tried my best to do a good job. I love kids – I always did -, I really get along with them, and I’m sure I was a great au pair

And, what’s funny, even though I have a lot of good memories about my trips, the people I met and everything, it’s my kids and my host parents that are in my mind all the time. Meeting these people – and some people I met trhu them – was the most valuable part of the au pair experience. I’m home for 3 months now and I think of my host kids all the time. I also really like my host parents, and hope we can be friends for a long time.

I think that it doesn’t matter exactly why you became and au pair, as long as you do a good job as one. =)

aussieaupairgirl May 4, 2010 at 5:36 am

My biggest reason for being an aupair is working with children, its what i am qualified to do, its my passion, its my life, I work in a child care centre here in Australia. As much as I love working in group care my real love is working with a few children in a home setting and being an aupair. Which is why in june i will begin my third aupair year, second in the usa Yes its a dramatic pay drop, but the chance to to work with children and live in the usa again with the support of the family and the agency was to great not to take up again before I am out of the age bracket.

Aria May 4, 2010 at 6:09 am

I became an au pair because I had already lived in the country for a year studying, and I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t manage to apply to school in time. With my visa I was able to apply to school as a resident which is infinitely easier than doing it from overseas. And my best friend lives here!

Anonymous May 4, 2010 at 8:04 am

Our current AP came to study International Business. She really didn’t have access to that program in her home country. When she leaves here after two years, she will have completed her Associate’s Degree at a local community college as a Dean’s List student, and will be able to take that back as an addition to her schoolwork in her home country. On top of that, her written English (her spoken English was already excellent) has improved dramatically as a result of taking college level courses here that have involved a great deal of writing essays/reports.

hostmom May 4, 2010 at 10:09 am

We are now on AP #5 and i did not ask the right questions early on. #1 came here to prove to her boyfried/now ex that she would/could. she did fine but i don’t think she was extremely happy during her year here (is doing great now with a new baby of her own :-) and i think she appreciated the experience) and #2 flat out lied, turned out that her boyfried was in the US on a year student exchange (I did specifically ask the bf question given #1). he was done in May so she just left with him even though she had 3 more months with us.

So after that i make sure i ask directly why they want to come, what they plan to do when they go home (ie how their experience here in the US will benefit them and their long term goals). I think most APs don’t mind taking care of kids, but i don’t think that is reason #1 to come. I am OK with that as long as reason #1 isn’t to to party, try to find a way to never go back home, etc. To experience new cultures, live away from home, study English or some subject are all OK reasons.

I just make it very clear that taking care of kids is hard work and not always fun. Most APs don’t have full time childcare experience so i have found that to be biggest shock. it is not babysitting for an hour or 2 here and there, it is a full time JOB. being upfront about this and discussing this aspect generally weeds out the ones who only want to come to party or think this is the easy way to the US.

My 2 cents May 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

Couldn’t agree more. The best way I’ve found to find a responsible AP without an ulterior motive is to emphasize how being an AP is not at all like being a babysitter. I tell them the job is going to be the hardest they have had thus far, and probably for their near future even after they go home. We also look for candidates that have demonstrated experience caring for children for over 3 or 4 hours at a clip, and for more than a 3 or 6 month stint (so no summer break daycare employees).

tm May 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

My 1st and 2nd AP didn’t have any kind of experience to cared for my kids. My ex-AP were honest enough about their agencies helped them to creat their profiles. Girls from Taiwan and Japan paid $2500 – $3000 to the agencies. I was shocked about those agencies arranged for building up day care experience, creating resumes, returning e-mails and phone interviews. How can HF find any good AP with made up info?? Also, they were told the fee covered airtickets and they can leave the HF at anytime. They paid a lot to be here and they are here for a good time.

AnnaAuPair May 4, 2010 at 10:23 am

From what I heard from other AuPairs, the main reason is to get away from home. Especially AuPairs from Europe often want to spent some time abroad to get more independent and get away for some time.

I think you should add to the list “finding a second home”… :)

Another Aussie Aupair May 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

You can add following a boy here to the list too.

I never planned on being an Au Pair again (which I had done in my home country 5 years before, when I first left home).. but a friend presented the idea to me after my American boyfriend of 4 years broke it off with me rather abruptly (via email from all the way across the world) and in left me in Australia right as we’d planned on marrying and moving to the US together (he had left a little earlier than me so I could finish classes).

I considered the idea and went on and off several times before matching with a wonderful family and deciding to go with it. I have experience working with children and the program did actually appeal to me, it just seemed almost a “step backward” after being out of home for so long, living on my own (with said ex boyfriend) in several countries as a “grown up” with jobs etc and also having planned on marrying and thinking about having my own children such a short time ago.

I wasn’t forthcoming with my host family about this during matching. I realised how crazy it would all sound (and that it could quite possibly put them off). I did feel partly guilty but I also reminded myself that what matters is that I do actually want to be there and I am a good Au Pair with only good intentions and a lot to offer a family.

I came clean on night 3. I did apologise and explain my reasoning. They took it well (thank fully!) and were very understanding and sympathetic. I think they also looked it as the important part being that I actually want to be there, plan on staying a year no matter what happens and am a good with their children.

As far as the boy goes… I had not seen him face to face since he (spinelessly) broke it off and moved back in with his mother (his age makes this part funny!). We planned to meet for dinner about a month ago I arrived, with was very hard for both of us. The support I got from my Host Mom was overwhelming – amazing and more than I ever expected.

I am glad definitely I did it (as opposed to just being left where I was and not facing him, as he seemed to have expected). I needed something real to be able to move on and I decided he after everything he had put me through it wasn’t worth trying to save anyway, as much as it hurt and sometimes still does.

I actually met another boy (who everyone, especially my host family, agrees is a great guy) not long after that and even surprised myself being able to move on. 5 months and so far so good :)

And my Host Family is so much more than I imagined when I entered the program. I really love them and am thankful for the little twist of fate that brought me here, which is really where I want to be here right now!

Italian Au Pair May 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I went as an Au Pair to the US because I would never be able in my whole live to pay for an holiday-trip there.
I wanted to get to know a big part of the world. Thats my reason, I want to see the world and get to know different livestyles.

But that does not mean that I am not doing a good job. I do my best with my host-kids and I like them a lot!!! I behave like a family member in my hostfamily, that means that I clean, do some grocery shopping, help out in my freetime and try everything to better my english to make sure we can communicate.

And during that time I am saving money for weekendtrips and my big trip at the end of the year.

M in NY May 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I came to USA almost a year ago because I wanted to get out of the rut I was stuck in back home. I was going to the same places everyday, seeing the same people everyday and I was just getting sick of it, actually.
I needed a break, and since my work contract was running out and I didn’t just want to go here for vacation, to work as an au pair seemed like a good idea. I’m the first one to admit that working with children wasn’t my first reason to come here, but I knew that I was going to be a good au pair and that I was going to experience real American culture if I was staying with a family and taking care of the kids – so I did it, and I don’t regret a single second.

I think it’s sad when young girls come here to escape from a bad situation, an ex boyfriend, or to get married and stay here – it never really seems to work out well. You don’t have to have child care as your first reason (though, you should recognize that it will be your JOB), but don’t run away from your problems…

More than 'au pair' May 4, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I wanted to be au pair to discover a new country, a new culture. To have my own money ( easily earned) and to spend them without thinking about. I don’t like that other au pairs are not honest. I can’t imagine that somebody likes children that much, no matter how spoiled they might be, no matter their age and so on! And the more they say they ‘LOVE’ playing with children, the more they want to have free days or they hate every second spent with your child.
I simply wanted to be au pair to live in UK. I dreamt about this since I was 8 and when I heared about this ‘job’ I thought it’s the perfect way of making my dream come true. And because this dream was so strong, I can stand 2 hours doing the dishes or changing 10 nappies a day without complaining or acting like a foolish teenager. I’ve spent almost one year in UK and I still can’t believe that I’m here and that I had the chance to see The Big Ben on my own.
And I also knew that once I leave the house, my family will appreciate me more and realise how clean and perfect it was everything. Now I just love the idea that my lazy brother has to deal with the laundry or the bills ( while I travel around the world. haha).
For me it’s like this : if I can live one year in another country, far away from friends and family, and if I can live well and be HAPPY and I can build relations with my hostfamily, then I don’t need anybody to survive in this world, but me.

aussiegirlaupair May 5, 2010 at 5:46 am

I can’t speak for everyone, but I am being Honest when I say, I LOVE children and working with them. Yes some days are hard and draining and you are happy for the day to end, but It is a very rewarding and enjoyable job. I know I will always work with children in some way.

Au Pair in CO May 5, 2010 at 10:13 am

I actually do love playing with my kids. How can I not love a job that lets me have water gun fights in the pool, playing soccer in the park, jumping on a trampoline and reading the books I love, all with two kids who are having just as much fun as I am?:)

theGermanGirl-FutureAP May 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

I really don’t think you should be going around telling people that APs are lying when they say they love taking care of children. It might surprise you but there are actually girls ou there who think the children are the best part of their year abroad.
I think you should consider this before generalizing.

Indi Au Pair to be May 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I agree with the comments above mine. When you LOVE something it doesn’t mean that you find no stain/break/fail in something or someone, it means that you know about it but you’re willing to take it because for you the cons are worth dealing with for the pros you find in something. Do I love my family? YES. Are they perfect? No, but I’m neither. Same with taking care of children, they’re human beings, they need a grown up guidance, love and yes, respect. Do I sweat while taking care of them? Oh yes, I ain’t Stepford wife and they’re not the kids in the picture in the back of a ceral box but that’s what makes people loveable, being real.

Az. May 4, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Firstly I’ll say I wasn’t au pairing in America – I was in Germany, and au pairing in Europe seems to be approached much differently! For me, deciding to become an au pair was a very spur-of-the-moment decision. I had taken a year out before going to university and my original plans of volunteering in a Latin American orphanage had fallen through. I couldn’t find a job in the UK and was starting to get desperate when I heard about my cousin’s new au pair. I was intrigued and started researching more; and the same night I signed up on Au Pair World (which is like a dating site, but for au pairs/families – no agencies involved!) I figured I would see how things went; if I saw a family I liked etc. The family I ended up choosing were one of the first families to contact me, and the more we emailed the more I thought we seemed like a good match. Three weeks later I moved to Germany.

As for my reasons….I wanted to spend time abroad. I was originally planning on studying German at university (although I’ve since changed my mind) and I hadn’t studied it before, so I thought it would be a good way to learn some before I went to university. I had contacts in the city I went to. I needed something to do on my gap year.

And yes, I did like kids and am considering going into teaching as a career, but I’ll be honest – it wasn’t my primary motivation, and I had no experience with them other than occasional babysitting for my cousins and a week doing voluntary work in an African primary school. * I know now that au pairing wasn’t the right job for me (not that I didn’t try! I looked up loads of activities online, but the kid was a bit of a nightmare.) I didn’t think it through enough. And before I get blasted for it – while I didn’t particularly enjoy it, I did do a good job while I was there and my host parents told me shortly before I left that I’d been one of their best au pairs.

* European experience requirements are FAR more lax than American ones. I wouldn’t even have the required hours if I wanted to au pair in the USA, even after three months of au pairing!

Chev May 6, 2010 at 10:49 pm

The main reason i came was because i love kids. There were other reasons too but that was the main one. I find it funny when i meet other au pairs over here and they ask why i came since being Australian i already speak english and have good colleges back home, as if those reasons are the only reasons for coming. Or i get asked if i’m here looking for a husband – I’ve recently started saying yes just to see the reaction i get :P

some Au Pair May 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Dont get me wrong, I think its fantastic that you are a Au Pair because you love it to spend time with kids!!

But, why arent you working as a (better payed) nanny, kindergarten teacher, teacher, social worker…. in your own country?

What made you choose the US?

Aupairgal May 7, 2010 at 6:24 am

My situation was a bit different than I think most aupairs. My initial sole reason for aupairing was the language. I had already studied a year as an exchange student and wanted to stay in Germany and continue studying there. To do that you have to pass a language test, but at the time my German was not good enough. So, the only option (that doesn’t involve being rich) to stay in the country and improve my German was aupairing. I am luckily the type that can also make something good out of something and generally have a positive outlook. I am also %100 positive that I want kids in the future and that was basically the reason I found aupairing a fun job with which I would get a lot of good experience. It’s not always cherries and roses but that is just how life is. Plus, I think after this job I will be prepared for just about any job. :)
I was/am always fascinated with the German culture and found living with a German family a great way to learn more about it.
I was also very pleased that I was honest to my HP when they interviewed me as to why I wanted to work as an aupair and they were also very honest to me as to what they expected from me as their aupair.

Aupairgal May 7, 2010 at 6:31 am

Oh yes, CV could you perhaps open a thread as to the motivation of a family for getting an aupair? It would be interesting to hear it from the other side.

Previous au pair May 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

I think what motivates a family the most to get an au pair is for someone to help around the house and with their children especially if they are both fulltime working parents as well as introducing there children to different cultures :)
I could be wrong though?

cv harquail May 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Have you snuck a peek at the posts scheduled for next week? Or are you just reading my mind… on it’s way. (brace yourselves, au pairs!) cv

FormerSwissAupair May 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Especially because then they can have the AP’s work various hours and be more flexible than a normal nanny would be. And it is more affordable. HF’s also control more of an AP’s life than they would be able to get away with with a nanny.

Host Mommy Dearest May 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm

HFs sound horrible and controlling!?!

Az. May 8, 2010 at 9:35 am

Not always :P But there are some things I can’t imagine you could get away with if you had a nanny, like giving them a curfew the night before they’re working, for example.

Lucky 7 HM May 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

True, not for a live out nanny, but you could for a live in nanny. For a live out nanny though, if she were showing up all tired from partying all night, the family could seek out a new nanny at any time, and fire her at any time as well. On the flip side, if the family were bad to work for, if the nanny wanted she could look for a new job and quit at any time. Agencies make it harder for the AP to switch families and the HF to switch APs – whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on the scenario.

FrenchAupair May 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I can recognize myself in a lot of reasons you gave in your list :

– Improve my english
– Learn about US culture
– Escape home
– Can’t decide on school or career
– Get more independent (and more confident)
– Save money

Those were probably the first reasons. But I definitely chose to be an Aupair because I love working with kids, playing with them, watching them learn and grow. I’ve worked with kids since I was 16 and I know I want to work with kids in the future too. So I’m also getting more experience.

As I decided to extend for another year, some more reasons came up :
– Learn about American education system; this is one. I might want to study in the US the future.
– Take a couple more classes. I enjoy studying here probably more than I did in France. I took two classes this year (Sociology and Politics) and I love them.
– Be a part of a family too.
– Keep growing. I think I am way more confident than when I arrive. I also have more self-esteem. I would recommend going abroad to study or work to every young adult. It is an amazing experience, that gives you a lot and sharing that with a family makes it even better.

FormerSwissAupair May 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I didn’t say that, so please do not add words to my posting. I merely said that American nannies would generally not agree to terms such as a curfew, etc. HF’s can impose such rules on an AP and they are more accepting of them due to the dynamics of the job and family-like relationship.

cv harquail May 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Thanks for clarifying that. Some HP *are* really controlling– but most of us just want our au pairs to be safe, happy, and great with the kids. cv

cna training May 8, 2010 at 1:18 am

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

former extension au pair in CA May 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

My reasons for becoming an au pair:

– I really really really wanted to come to California (because, yes, i have watched too many movies and am very fascinated by the lifestyle here) I had been here before as part of a 4 weeks language course and loved every second of it.
– Despite what some au pairs on this thread say, I *do* love to work with children and I always have fun doing it.
– I wanted to be FLUENT in English
– I did not want to stay another second in my hometown because I was unsure of what I wanted to study and I had pressure from my parents to just “pick something” or get a job.
– I wanted to travel and get away from everything

That would be my main reasons, so pretty much the same as other people here say

Darthastewart May 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Did it meet your expectations? Was it what you thought it would be? Just curious since so many APs want to go to NY, California, or Florida.

aupairtobe May 19, 2011 at 8:27 am

My reasons for wanting to do Au pairing for a year are for a several reasons
1. I generally do love children and hope to become a teacher one day. I volunteer at my local scouts hall working twice a week with a range of ages. I also do a course called Learning with children were I help teachers at schools during the term time four hours a week.
2. I want to travel see more of the world before I knuckle down again.
3. Meet new people. A second family?
The more I read up about it the good and the bad the more I want to go.
I am at the moment still getting a few forms signed in as I am doing it through au pair in america. But cant wait.

aupairtobe May 19, 2011 at 8:30 am

I am so excited by the prospect of it all I have all ready found websites with things to do/make with children. I have also looked at places like Colorado (which is where I secretly hope to go) websites seeing the kind of things they have going on locally. I have come up with tables and things that allow me to update them every night and to leave some where for the HF to read if they have a busy work schedule.
I could carry on but I wont:)

Indi Au Pair to be May 20, 2011 at 12:16 am

I must say my motivation to be an Au Pair was expressed right here. Other Reasons -Meet Britney Spears. That’s right folks, consider me BUSTED. Hahahaha thanks for the good laugh. On a serious note, my motivations are: improving my skills in photography, children portrait and lifestyle photography to be specific. I don’t have many options neither the means to support myself to study a second bachelor’s degree in my country and I think the States are always a step ahead in trends for that. I’m plain straight about this fact in both my application and my video, so no lies here.
One thing that still susprises and bothers me it’s the ammount of girls that DISLIKE working with children let alone taking care of them. I always feel bad for the poor Host Kids as they’re NOT deserving of people taking advantage of them, sometimes I think those girls don’t realize that by involving themselves in such situations they may even put the child’s life at risk as they’re not performing a good job because well, they don’t enjoy it!!
Personally, I like to be prepared and I did a lot of research and I took those bitter comments coming from both HF and AP wih a grain of salt. I do keep in mind that even if I find the perfect match, things are not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, I’m exited for this adventure and while the right family comes I’m collecting crafts, activities, books, tips and whatever stuff I think might be useful and help me to be the best Au Pair I CAN be… We’re humans and the best thing I can do it’s to keep a positive attitude and an open mentality for the challenges that every job implies. Respect is something that’s hard to gain and quick to loose, specially if you happen to be living under the same roof with your eomployer-employee.
ps I am a HARD BONE fan of Britney Spears and my little 13 year old heart would stop if I happen to come across her.

Indi Au Pair to be May 20, 2011 at 12:21 am

Oh and just a few more things. I’ve worked as an English teacher at a kinder garten, I was being paid around 49 dollars per 5 hours of work, 5 days a week. Do the math…not nice. Don’t take me wrong, I LOVED it, but at the end I had to let it go because I found a better payed job. The groups were from 6 kids up to 18. I rather form a PERSONAL relationship with the kids I’m taking care of and the higher pay rate is also a nice touch btw.

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