Go Au Pair offers cultural childcare experiences all over the country, but I am lucky enough to share this experience with several families in the RI, CT, and MA area. Au Pairs, aged 18-26 years, come to live with their American Host Families for up to two years while caring for their children, taking classes, participating in local cultural events, and improving their English language skills. These international representatives provide skilled childcare as well as a cultural exchange experience for the entire family! I would love for you to share the experience of becoming an au pair and traveling halfway around the world to live with a new family! What an adventure for a young person! I am not sure I would have been brave and bold enough to take such a huge leap.
Terri, a young woman from Johannesburg, South Africa, has done it and is willing to share some of her hopes, fears and aspirations for her year in America. Here is part of a question and answer session we shared:
Q: How have your expectations (when you were still at home) been met with reality? How close is it to what you thought it might be like?
A: I am really happy and excited to be in the USA as I’ve always wants to come here, however, I am scared as I am in a new country away from my family. I am still adjusting so in time all will be good.
Q: Is there something that has totally surprised you so far about your host family, kids, or America in general?
A: Surprised how welcoming the family is.
Q: What are the places or things you really want to visit or accomplish during your au pair experience?
A: I would love to go to NYC and LA and at least to a few other states. I would love to go to a few of my favorite artists music concerts. And to definitely travel. I would like to learn more about myself, what I want out of life, learn what my goals in life are etc.
Q: What would you tell other young people about becoming an au pair?
A: Things are not always as they seem, they are different compared to back home. Be prepared to be overwhelmed and homesick all at the same time. The 1st few weeks are not as easy as you might think and that is to be expected. You have to have patience and be prepared to give it you’re all as it will work out in the end. Make sure you do research about your area/neighborhood, ask your host family if there are any au-pairs in the area or people your age. Try to make friends before arriving here. Make sure you do a lot of research, be prepared to try something new and always be positive.
Q: What would you say to parents who might be considering an au pair but are not sure?
A: It’s a great program for families looking for cultural experiences.
I want to thank Terri for agreeing to share her personal experiences with me and you, my faithful reader! Stay tuned for more installments as Terri progresses through her year. Is there something you want to know from Terri? I am looking forward to hear more about how she manages to fit into a new family, meet new friends, complete her educational requirements, and spend time visiting all the places she wants to explore while here in America! Go Au Pair Providence is looking forward to learning and sharing with Terri and her Host Family in the coming year. Welcome, Terri!