So, look for programs in Au Pair USA, Au Pair Germany, Au Pair Canada, Au Pair Netherlands, Au Pair Norway or others and check their requirements. The main ones I have collected below. To begin with, what should know a potential program participant? Almost everyone can take part in the Au Pair program, there are still certain conditions set by the contract.
Participants are required to:
Good level of knowledge of the country's language.
Age from 18 to 26 years.
Absence of children and spouses.
Ability to get along with the baby.
The following criteria are not a requirement, but if you do not smoke, have a driver's license and pedagogical skills, the likelihood of being accepted into a new family increases. What's more, it increases your chances of receiving a maximum of € 600 a month from your family. And if you can present a certificate of no criminal record, health status, and good performance from the teachers of your university, then "respect" in the future host family is guaranteed.
What is required of Au Pair participants?
Take care of the children.
Help around the house.
Attend foreign language courses twice or thrice a week.
Work in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Note that participants receive an Au Pair visa in the host country.
Upon arrival, the following conditions must:
Make a residence permit in the institution that deals with this.
Apply for a work permit.
Get a medical examination (optional).
Extend your driver's license six months after your stay in the country (only if you use a family car).
What are the responsibilities of the host family?
Provide you with free housing.
Hold you completely.
Pay for your health insurance.
Provide pocket money.
Provide fare to the school where you will attend language courses.
Pay money to extend your visa.
What does Au Pair provide?
Opportunity to make money and further employment or enter a foreign university.
High language level.
Opportunity to go to volunteer paid programs.
Ability to get a formal job as a junior nurse or nurse.
No restrictions for travel in the Schengen area.
At first glance, everything seems almost perfect: a year or two of free-living abroad, getting to know the country from the inside, a new culture, and pocket money to get closer to that culture. However, what will you have to give in return? And how not to become a nanny-cook-servant?
The first one: the contract
Before you officially go to gain experience abroad, you need to sign a contract. By this time, you need to get as much useful information as possible about the host and find out the details.
Trust the agency that will help you get everything legally correct. To be completely confident in your trip, carefully research the scope of your work, the list of responsibilities and establish as close a relationship as possible with the host family. The signed contract is like crossing the Rubicon. Then you will have to come to terms with all the conditions.
The second one: the amount of work
When signing a contract, find out how many hours a day you will have to do your homework. I asked when your "second parents" work, and when you will have to work. Don't you have to spin for several days or a week without rest? How is the absence of days off compensated and will it be possible to get a day off not on the schedule?
The third one: a to-do list
Before signing the contract, specify what will be included in your list of responsibilities. If you are caring for children, find out what the host party is investing in.
Cooking breakfast for children, playing with them, preparing dinner together. The family is ready to share their "meal" with you or you will be your own chef. Do you have to clean the rooms, walk pets and wash the plates for family members? Or maybe you are just expected to have a few hours of conversation?
No matter how unnecessary, at first glance, all these details may seem, be sure that they found out before the cultural exchange turned into a service for the staff.
The fourth one: the relationship with the host family
If you run away from university/work from "harmful" colleagues and acquaintances, there will be nowhere to run abroad.
Before choosing a family, carefully study what each member does, what human values are important to them, how they like to spend their free time. Ask everything down to the smallest detail: does the new "dad" like to talk in the evenings, does the "mom" do sports, do they travel a lot, do they like noisy companies or quiet family evenings?
Correspond with your future family via social networks, call via Skype and try to get closer before you arrive. If you see that you find more and more in common, you can think about signing a contract. If the family does not make contact, do not rush to make a deal. Eventually, free housing becomes unnecessary if there is no one to talk to.
So, I suppose Au Pair is a great combination of child care and multicultural exchange. I am thinking to participate in it as well, so, please, find the useful link here https://www.aupairworld.com/de. If you participate in the Au Pair program and hope that by blocking the funds for accommodation, the road in both directions and even receiving pocket money, you will be able to "walk to the fullest" - close this page, go to the site of your favorite agency and book a tour Europe. Continue only if you are ready not only to receive but also to respond :)