Have you always dreamed of going abroad after graduation and immersing yourself in the everyday life of a foreign culture? Are you interested in making friends from around the world, but unsure of how to make it happen? Do you hope to become more confident, independent and self-sufficient? You can achieve all these goals and more when you become an au pair!
Being an au pair is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a new corner of the world, learn a new language, study at a local university, and have fun! It’s a year (or more!) of your life that you can spend focusing on yourself, and who you want to become.
As an au pair, you’ll live with a host family and care for their children. In exchange, your accommodations and meals are completely paid for. You’ll also be asked to take care of some smaller tasks in the household, such as cooking for and cleaning up after the children, doing their laundry, and doing some grocery shopping. Working hours are usually set at 7-8 hours a day, with a maximum of 10 hours a day.
Important: The money you earn as an au pair is a weekly stipend of $195.75—which, for most people, becomes pocket money you can use to finance leisure activities and travel. Living abroad with a host family, immersing yourself in a new way of life, improving your language skills, and cultural exchange are the most important parts of being an au pair.
Benefits of an Au Pair Year After High School
When you’re an au pair, your job is to care for young children. It takes responsibility to be a good au pair! This and many other aspects of your au pair experience will have a positive effect on your personal development. For instance, as an au pair …
- You become much more self-sufficient and independent
- You become much more responsible
- Your language skills improve significantly
- You gain important intercultural competences
- You learn to solve problems and conflicts alone in difficult situations
- You can travel to different cities and get to know the host country more intensively
- You get to meet people from all over the world and build an international network
- You find a second home and second family
Au Pair After Graduation: Requirements
Whether you decide to go to the USA, Canada, France or even Australia to work as an au pair abroad, you must meet some important requirements. The most important ones include:
Please note: You must be at least 18 years old before the date of departure to legally become an au pair. In addition, you must have a school degree, a clean criminal background, and often a driver's license is required.
No matter where you choose to go, basic knowledge of the national language is essential. In order to work as an au pair in the USA, you’ll need sufficient language skills to communicate easily with your host parents and children.
PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE
Of course, the most important thing is that you have experience in caring for children, such as babysitting, volunteering in a church group or a sports club, or looking after your younger siblings. It should also be noted that being an au pair is a full-time job that requires responsibility. It is therefore only recommended for those who really enjoy working with children and feel comfortable with this task.
Au Pair in the USA
Aside from Canada and Australia, the USA is the most popular destination for post-graduates looking to become au pairs. Living with an American host family allows you to fully immerse yourself in the authentic American lifestyle. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Independence Day and more, there are countless holidays and opportunities to experience American culture with your host family and the many new friends you will make on your program.
An au pair year after graduation in the USA also allows you to travel the United States. From New York and Miami on the East Coast to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle on the West Coast, the possibilities for an adventure are endless. And for those who are drawn to locations off the beaten path, Canada and South America are no more than a few hours away.
Another benefit of becoming an au pair is, of course, that your English skills will improve. Since you’ll need to use language daily—when you play with the kids, go shopping at the store, or talk to friends and neighbours—you will naturally perfect your English. You will learn vocabulary from everyday life that you probably never heard in class. Also, you will quickly notice that during your au pair year you become a better version of yourself—one that is increasingly independent and self-confident.
Want a way to realize your personal American dream? Spend a year (or more!) in the USA as an au pair with Cultural Care Au Pair. Cultural Care operates exclusively in the USA, is one of the largest au pair agencies worldwide, and has 30 years of experience bringing host families and au pairs together to have a meaningful and successful cultural exchange experience.
Agencies and Visas
If you decide to become an au pair after leaving school, it is also highly advisable to go abroad with an experienced and reputable organization. You need a visa to enter and work in the USA legally as an au pair. An au pair agency will advise you in detail on how to do this and will help you with all the logistical steps in advance. A good au pair organization will continue to support even when you’re abroad with your host family. To avoid stress when preparing for your au pair year, you should contact an organization at least 6 months before your desired departure date.
Are you interested? What are you waiting for? Live the American Dream and become an au pair in the USA today!