After receiving many emails interested in how I landed myself this scary, invigorating, surreal, brilliant, once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity au pairing abroad, I decided to write a series on the ABCs of Au Pairing. I, by absolutely no means, am an expert on au pairing. However, I would love to share some advice from my own personal experiences and help others in joining the au pair adventure. Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the post's comments.
Important note: your country, as well as the country you wish to au pair in, have requirements and regulations that you should read before beginning your process. Also, some countries may require that you use a specific agency or site. This is a great list of countries and their regulations
I did my search from the perspective of:An American au pair looking for a family in Europe.
When I started looking for potential families to au pair for, I signed up at three different sites. I wanted to get my name out there and was, quite honestly, not sure of which sites were most promising. I found the most luck with the sites Aupair World and GreatAupair.com. Both offer a plethora a participants and have a relatively simple setup.
Also, both sites have basic and premium memberships. I used the basic membership (because i
was am sans credit/debit card and poor college student) and it worked well.
If you can manage to build a facebook profile, filling out your profile information on either of the aforementioned websites should be fairly easy. However, unlike your facebook profile on which you may withhold various information like your "activities" and "hobbies," take the time to fill out your au pair profile thoroughly and be extremely honest. It is important that the family gets a real, very personal sense of you as a person.
The questions usually range from everything like your height to your life 'ultimate' goals. Don't write anything you don't feel comfortable including, but put yourself in the position of the families: they are trying to find out as much as they can about a complete stranger they are considering bringing into their family's lives for a year. Also, you want to know as much as you can about potential families. You'll be more drawn to completed family profiles, as will they.
Tip: include many photos of yourself (face) in your profile.
Upcoming post: Where in the world.