If you have read my about me page, then you would know that I am going to be an au pair in Finland this August! Since making this decision last October I have had many questions on what lead me to do this as well as how I did it. These questions leads to this blog where I will tell you all about how I became an au pair in Finland!
Why Did I Choose to Become an Au Pair?
I am really passionate about traveling and learning about other cultures. It is seriously so fascinating to me! My goal is while I am young to go out and see the world around me as much as I can because I don’t know where I will be later in life and if I will be capable. But I do know that right now I have nothing holding me back. I also really love kids. My Bachelors Degree is in Elementary Education, so working with kids is something I want to do. I really did not know that being an au pair was a thing. One New Years Eve I was introduced to a woman who was also a recent graduate from IU that studied Elementary Education that was currently an au pair in Vienna. After talking to her about her life abroad, I wanted to know more and starting researching!
How Did I Find A Family?
There are multiple sites that you can use. I used AuPairWorld and really liked the format that they used. You can select the countries that you are interested and the length of time and then look at families profiles that match those. When choosing a family make sure that you find one that you think will best fit you. You will be living with them! (unless they pay for your own apartment) Trust your gut. Even if the family lives in your dream location, if you don’t think you will be happy with them don’t do it! Also make sure you Skype with the family a couple times before making a decision along with discussing what they expect from you and what you expect from them. I also asked for a sample contract to look over.
I get this question a lot. At first I really wanted Paris or a city in Spain, but when I Skyped with the families I did not feel a good connection. When my family from Finland contacted me I really felt like I could live with them! When we discussed what we both wanted, we really matched up. So, no Finland was not my top choice but I have been to France and Spain and I think this will really allow me to experience a new culture.
What Do You Do and Get As An Au Pair?
This depends per family, but in our agreement I take the kids and pick them up from school. I also do light cleaning along with once a month a deep cleaning. I am really there as a nanny who will also help their children learn English along the way. For my nanny services I get to live there for free, a monthly stipend, language classes, a bus pass, half of the flight, and a phone. What you will get paid monthly is not a lot, but the family is paying for you living and your food. Some families will pay for an apartment for you to live in, but I found that this is pretty rare. That’s why I stress that you try to find a family that you think you will get along with.
Do You Need a Visa?
It really depends on the country you are going to and length of time. Finland has an au pair visa that I had to apply for. I also had to pay for this along with go to LA to get fingerprinted. I made a weekend trip out of it, but something to consider and talk to your host family about.
What Are You Going to Pack?
I HAVE NO CLUE. If anyone has any tips, send them my way please! I will definitely post what I packed after I do ;). If you are going to Ireland I do have a packing list here.
Are You Excited?
YES! I’m also nervous about moving somewhere I don’t know the language and I won’t know anyone, but that’s all in the experience right? I am really excited to also travel to other places if I get the chance. If you have anywhere that is perfect for a weekend trip, let me know!
I am excited for this journey and cannot wait to share it with you guys. Have you every lived abroad?