For about five years ago I was going on a big adventure.
I wanted to be an au pair in California after the graduation, I became an Au pair but not in California, in Switzerland.
Before you go, you need to be sure you have the right insurance, often if you away for one year or less, the most natural thing is to add an extra travel insurance to your current coverage. It is also essential to proper read the contract.
I moved to Zürich with worries in my veins.
What gone happen to me? How long does it take to learn a language? Will I be Homesick? Will I find friends? Will the kids like me? That is some of the questions which were popping up in my head on the trip to Zürich. And yes, you will be homesick, you will learn the language, and you will have many questions! Let's get the basics.
When you have arrived your host family, need to fix a residence permit to you. They also need to give you a language course and a salary. The amount of pocket money depends on the country the au pair is in and the age of the au pair. The pay is usually in Switzerland of 500 to 990 Swiss francs (net) per month.
How much do I need to work and how often can I go on Holiday? It depends on what your contract says, but you should have one day off every week. Of course, there is regulation how many hours an au pair is allowed to work every week, and in Switzerland, you are allowed to work 30 hours/ week.
When you are planning to go on Holiday, please talk to your family before you are booking, avoiding misunderstandings. You should have 4 or 5 weeks holiday/ year.
How do I get through the first time? To begin a new thing is always hard. It is further routines to learn, that's takes time and energy. The first month is at all times hard, doesn't matter what kind of job or education it is. When you have the patience, you will manage it. My tip to you, be open and tell your family how you feel. You will solve this together.
How was the first time as an au pair? It was hard, I felt alone and was missing everything about Sweden. The months passed by, then the new life was the reality, and I was so glad I had the patience to do this adventure.
How do I find friends? If you want to get to know new people, start a language course or search for a playgroup, you can go to with your Au Pair kids, use google. In almost every country, there is an Au Pair group. Once a week they have a meeting with au pair. They talk about, how to get to know the city, what you do if you have a problem with your family and much more. For me, I went to the Swedish church, with my kid's to a playgroup and also to the Au Pair meeting. It was here I meet my friends.
If you are an Au Pair and have any question, don't hesitate to send an email to me or comment what you would like to know. I will try to answer your question.
Hope you liked my intro how the Au Pair life works.
Next Up: A typical day as an Au Pair.