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Are you ready to learn about all of the pros of being an au pair? I hope so because there are plenty! It can be so easy to focus on the negatives in situations that we forget about the good. With every job we work, there will always be things we dislike. There are indeed cons of being an au pair, but there are more pros!
Being an au pair is a unique and rewarding experience that offers numerous advantages for those seeking cultural immersion, personal growth, and valuable life skills. Working as an au pair allows young adults to travel to foreign countries, live with host families, and provide childcare assistance in exchange for room, board, and a modest stipend.
Beyond the opportunity to explore new horizons, being an au pair brings a wealth of benefits that extend far beyond the typical job or study abroad programs. Whether you’re passionate about cultural exchange, eager to broaden your horizons, or looking to gain valuable work and life skills, being an au pair can be a life-changing experience that you’ll never forget!
Table of Contents
The Pros Of Being An Au Pair
Working in a different country
One of the best parts of being an au pair is that you get the opportunity to be more than a tourist, you get to learn about your new country and live as a local. Working in a different country exposes you to a new culture, customs, and traditions.
You’ll get to see a side of where you live that tourists just won’t get to know; you will truly get to experience the culture and customs of the country that you choose to au pair in.
Making new friends
I don’t know about you, but one of the biggest excitements for me when working as an au pair was making new friends. I’m a self-confessed social butterfly and I was lucky enough to make a fair few friends from all over the world while working as an au pair!
There are sure to be Facebook groups for au pairs or ex-pats wherever you move to, so be sure to look for those groups! One of the reasons you likely want to work as an au pair is to travel your new home. Other au pairs want to explore as well, so making friends with other au pairs gives you new travel buddies!
More bonding time with the kids
There is a special bond that ensues when you live in the same house as the kids. They truly think of you as family and you get so many more moments together.
One of the reasons we choose to work as an au pair has to be for the kids. You either love kids and should work in childcare, or you don’t and you shouldn’t. When you develop that bond with the children, it is so special. I’ll always remember the kids I cared for when I worked as an au pair with a certain fondness, and the kids will remember how much fun they had with you.
No work commute
I think we can all agree that being stuck in traffic or on public transit before or after work is not a way we want to spend our precious time. Living in the same location that you work at means no more commute! While some au pairs do have their own apartments, chances are you’ll be living in the host family’s home, so you can wake up 10 minutes before you start work if you so wish. I may have taken advantage of that…
Come the end of the work day we’re all ready to be home. It’s great when you can just walk upstairs and be done.
Now this isn’t a pro for everyone. In fact I struggled with not having any privacy or time away from the kids when living where I worked, but for others, this is a huge pro to being an au pair!
You Gain Childcare Experience
When you work as an au pair, you learn to care for children of different ages, manage daily routines, engage in educational activities, and promote a nurturing and safe environment. This practical experience and skill set can open doors to employment opportunities in education, childcare, or related fields.
This childcare experience can be invaluable not just for future roles in childcare, but also can be used for personal growth such as empathy for others, kindness to those with children, and even help you decide whether or not you may want to start your own family in the future. I’ve met other childcare workers who said they wanted children before working in the industry, but realized that children aren’t for them after all.
Weekend trips exploring your new country!
Everybody’s working for the weekend and especially au pairs! When you work abroad chances are you’re dying to explore that country, so weekend trips are extra fun! No long-haul flights, no waiting hours in the airport before an international flight, no; you could simply rent a car now. You could take short weekend trips, then pair a week off (every 6 months you typically get one week off as an au pair) with a weekend and have 9 or 10 days on vacation!
Some of my favourite memories from working as an au pair in Australia are from my weekend trips to Brisbane and Sydney, and my week in Cairns.
No rent to pay
While one of the biggest cons of working as an au pair would have to be the meagre pay, living rent-free more than makes up for it.
Think about it, rent prices are becoming astronomical (especially in Vancouver), not to mention the cost of groceries, so as an au pair having the opportunity to live rent-free and have three meals provided daily is considerable. True you likely won’t add to your savings, but getting to live and travel in a different country for low cost is something not everyone gets to do in their lifetime.
Free or discounted language lessons for some au pairs
Different countries have different requirements for obtaining a job as an au pair. This could be due to either the company you go through or the working holiday visa. Every company I’ve seen that offers the opportunity to au pair in China, for example, requires the au pairs to take language courses.
One of the benefits of this arrangement is that the host family typically covers the entire cost of this language program, but occasionally one company will say the host family covers 50% while the au pair covers the other 50%.
Living in a foreign country provides an ideal environment for language learning. As an au pair, individuals have the chance to practice their language skills daily, as they communicate with the host family and interact with locals.
Au Pair Trips
Some au pair companies host trips for their au pairs in different locations once or twice a year. Other au pairs make their own trips with ex-pat friends, but no matter how you’re travelling, getting to go on these trips with others going through the same experience as you, living and working abroad, creates everlasting memories.
While this doesn’t technically count as a “trip” some au pair companies even have monthly group events to make sure that the au pairs make friends and have fun.
One of the most significant benefits of being an au pair is the opportunity for cultural exchange. By living with a host family in a foreign country, au pairs immerse themselves in a new culture, language, and way of life. This exposure allows them to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of different customs, traditions, and perspectives.
Final Thought On The Pros of Being an Au Pair
Overall, being an au pair presents a unique and rewarding experience, combining cultural immersion, language acquisition, personal growth, and valuable childcare skills. It offers a supportive environment, travel opportunities, and financial benefits, making it an appealing choice for individuals seeking an enriching and educational adventure abroad.
My personal experience as an au pair was mostly positive, and the memories I made will last a lifetime. I’m very glad I chose to work as an au pair before becoming a nanny.
Would you be interested in working as an au pair?
What would you find to be the biggest pro?