You may be wondering how I ended up here, in the middle of Holland, living with a nice Dutch family. When I graduated college I knew I couldn’t go into the workforce quite yet. This is the perfect time in my life to NOT settle down. I’m 22, love to travel, and just wasn’t quite ready for the 9-5. So I started researching my options. Wwoofing(World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) seemed cool, but I knew I wanted to be close to a big city, for easy travel in my free time. I’d also considered continuing my education, but the idea of continuing to study after 18 years of it seemed a little bleak. Then I found Au Pairing.
Before I had started researching, I didn’t even know what an Au Pair was. An au pair is a young adult from another country who lives with a family for a year and provides in-home childcare. When I started to research places to go I used a site called AuPairWorld.com. The site was simple, almost like a dating website but for families and au pairs. I had exchanged messages with some families and even skyped one but something felt a little off. I was hesitant to pack my bags and go live with a family I knew so little about. I then found an American agency(link to the one I used below) that worked with other agencies all over the world to match au pairs with families. These agencies do things like background checks, detailed applications, and required me to get multiple child care references.
Once I was matched with my family, we skyped and got a feel for each other. Things went well, and after speaking to some of the family’s past au pairs via email I decided this was the family for me! The agency was also great for making sure I was on track for what I needed to get done.
Fast forward four months to August. I’ve packed my bags and said my goodbyes and hopped on a plane bound for Amsterdam. The first few days were rough, between the jet lag and moving in with a family I’d skyped once, there was a bit of an adjustment period, but my host family has been nothing but great. I’m their 14th au pair! So this isn’t their first rodeo. They know exactly what they’re doing which is nice for me. Even one of the past au pairs lives here in the Netherlands, so it was nice to talk to someone who’d been in my shoes. The family consists of my host mom, host dad, and two children, a boy (15) and a girl (10).
Now, after two weeks of being here, I’ve finally begun to settle in. In the mornings I take the youngest to school, and in the afternoons I pick her up and spend the rest of the day with her. I’m free to explore and do what I like while she is in school after I get some household chores done. The best part is, I have weekends free, so I plan to take full advantage of the European budget airlines 🙂 So stayed tuned as I begin to explore what the Netherlands has to offer.
American Au Pair Agency (If you sign up say I referred you and we both get $25 (; ) – https://www.interexchange.org/