A Day in the Life of an Au Pair: Jolie

A Day in the Life of an Au Pair

This week I get to focus on a super cool and sweet au pair here in Finland. Jolie is 17 years old (almost 18!) and is from Germany. This girl can rock green hair like no one I’ve seen before! Jolie is an au pair for a family of eight kids. Yes, you read that right- EIGHT kids. Jolie’s family is also vegan and the parents are from the UK, so they have a different dynamic that I think will be interesting to share! Here is some information about her daily life as an au pair:

What is your typical day like as an au pair?

I start at 10am and usually end at 4:30pm. I will start my day by giving the baby twins porridge and then mostly just taking care of them during the day. I will usually do housework during the day when I can. At noon I take the three year old twins to daycare. For lunch I will make something for all of the children, usually something like sandwiches. The older kids come and go as they need to since they have school and then different activities.

What is included in your contract?

  • Flight
  • Bus card
  • Language classes
  • Food
  • Own room (in house)
  • Extra pay for extra hours

Jolie’s host family also hosts two refugees that live in the lower level with her. She shares a bathroom with them, but they work a lot so she says they don’t really have much contact.

What do you like so far about being an au pair?

I like the family a lot. I also like the country because it is so different than Germany. I am glad I did not pick an English speaking country. My hours are clear and I like that. The family also gave me the numbers of previous au pairs so I could contact them and I really liked that.

Is there anything you don’t like about being an au pair?

Sometimes it’s hard to deal with kids when they don’t listen. (TRUE)

Have you learned anything about being an au pair?

I will hopefully learn Finnish while here. I’ve learned a lot about working with children and also how to make new friends in a different country.

Is there anything that surprised you?

It surprised me how easy it was to feel at home with people you don’t know 🙂

 

Do you have any questions about being an au pair? Let me know!

Also, if you missed my first post about Nicole you can find it here.

XX Chynna

 

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A Day in the Life of An Au Pair: Nicole

A Day in the Life of An Au Pair

One night at one of our favorite Irish pubs in town, myself and some other au pairs in the city were talking about how there was not much information on the internet about au pair experiences. There are a lot of things you should know before signing up for the experience, but for a lot of us you go in blindly and hope for the best. Because of this, I will be featuring au pairs I know and asking them about their experiences as an au pair. Being able to see how all experiences are different will hopefully help one person looking into the experience! So here is a day in the life of an au pair.

My first au pair is Nicole. She is 23 and from Houston, Texas. Nicole has been living in Finland as an au pair for two months. She decided to become an au pair after graduating and getting a job in politics. She didn’t like it so decided to do something different, and so she became an au pair! Nicole au pairs for a family with two kids. The mom is an English teacher, so the kids and parents speak English.

What is your average day like?

I usually wake up around 6:30am to get ready and then I help get the kids ready for school/activities. After everyone is ready, I take them to school/activities. I do chores during the day: dishes, laundry, sweeping. Once a week I do a full clean of the house. After I get the kids from school/activities I take care of them until the mom gets home around 3/4pm. Sometimes I will have to make the kids food during the day or do extra hours if needed.

What is included in your contract?

  • Nights and weekends are free time
  • Extra pay for extra work time
  • Finnish language classes
  • Food
  • Room- Lives in a room in the house
  • Insurance
  • Monthly pay

What is not included in your contract?

  • Flight
  • Bus Pass 🙁
  • Meals out with friends

What are your likes so far?

I really like that the country is so different than where I came from. It’s exciting and new. I really like the kids, when they are behaving 😉

Is there anything you don’t like?

There are a lot of times that my kids misbehave and I get bitten or hit a lot. It makes it stressful.

Is there anything you wish you did before making a decision?

I wish I would have talked to the families past au pairs before making a decision. I talked to some once I got here and the family gave me their contact information. Some of them had pretty bad experiences and I wish I would have known before.

Has anything happened that you didn’t expect?

I honestly was so surprised that I would make friends this easily! I also didn’t expect to have culture shock. When I first got here it was all a lot to take in and was hard at first.

Have you learned anything?

I learned what you really need to survive. You can only pack so much into two suitcases! I also will hopefully learn Finnish 🙂

Would you sign up to do it again?

Yes, 100 percent.

 

If you are interested in becoming an au pair, here is my article on how I became one.
Were you an au pair? What was your experience?
XX Chynna

 

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How To Survive Your First Week As An Au Pair

Au Pair

I arrived in Finland about a week ago and time has gone so fast already! When you first arrive in your new country and move in with your family, you may feel out of place or awkward. After looking back at my first week here are some things to survive your first week!

Spend Time With Your Host Family

If possible try to spend time with your host family and not just the kids. This way you can get to know the parents also. Luckily, the mom was still on summer vacation so she has been able to show me around the city.

Play With The Kids

I don’t speak Finnish and the kids do not speak English so really they only way I can interact with them is through play. I found that this also helps build a relationship with them so they can learn to trust me.

Don’t Judge Parenting Styles

Most likely in a different country they will do things differently than in your country. They may even raise their children differently and have different parenting styles. You may not like it, but they are also not your children. Save yourself the stress and don’t try to judge them. When you are with the kids you can do things the way you want to.

Reach Out To People

I got really lucky again in that my host mom was an au pair herself when she was younger. So she knew that it can be hard to meet people. She contacted people she knew that had au pairs also and gave me their numbers. Because of this I was able to meet other au pairs in the area and have people to do things with. I know this will not be the case for every family, but ask and see if they know of any families with au pairs. Also look for Facebook groups for au pairs in your area. Then after finding people, contact them and ask them to do something! More than likely they want to meet people too so they will be eager to do something.

Have Fun!

As always have fun and enjoy your experience. I realize it may not be for everyone, but give it some time and see how it goes.

Helsinki

If you are interested in becoming an au pair, here is a link for how I became an au pair.

What did you do to survive your first week as an au pair?

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How I Became an Au Pair in Finland

How I Became an Au Pair in Finland

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.

Why Finland?

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?

xx Chynna

 

 

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