When you work as an au pair… …you increase you knowledge in a foreign language …you learn more about another culture …you experience a different environment …you meet new people …you get work experience …you visit new places …you get a memory for life Working as an au pair is a rewarding experience because you learn to stand on your own two feet and take care of yourself. Tasks The most common and important task is to take care of the children in the family. It often involves making them breakfast, driving them and picking them up from school, play with them and help them with their homework.
The job also contains some housework, such as doing the dishes, the laundry and the cooking. The tasks varies a lot from family to family, and that’s why it’s so important that the employer and employee agrees over the assignments before the au pair starts working. Requirements The law in Sweden says that a person that applies for an au pair employment abroad needs to fill in the following demands: Between 18 – 28 years (If the person is older than 28, her or she can apply for a job as a nanny) Experience from babysitting
References from other jobs are also valuable, especially those that involves being a leader in any activity for children, like teaching a theatre group or being a swimiming teacher. Speaking the language Of course the person needs to speak and understand the laungage that exists in the country were the employment takes place, although it is not required to speek it fluently. Different au pair-agencys choose to add some more requirements, such as: A drivers license At least an upper secondary school education
Free from marking in the police register Non-smoking Personal qualities like independent, positive and having easy adapting to new environments The muturity, motivation and responsibility is of course very important. Interview with a former au pair The idea of me doing this assignment about au pairs originally came from my substitute teacher, who worked as one when she was eighteen years old. I decided to do an interview with her to see how she experienced it. She worked for six months, for a family that lived outside London in England.
Why did you want to work as an au pair? Because of many different reasons. The main one was to improve my english, but also to travel and get away from home and from Sweden. I also wanted to get in contact with travel agencys, so that I could become a tour leader. What was your tasks? My main task was to take care of the familys son, who was six years old. I drove him to school which was kind of hard since I just recently had got my drivers license, and I wasn’t used to drive on the left side.
I didn’t to the cooking because the wife in the family owned a catering firm, but I did do the laundry. I also took care of the dogs. It wasn’t hard at all. Huw much were you paid? If I remember correctly – it wasn’t much – about 200 swedish crowns per week. But I didn’t have much expenses, since I lived with the food and laundry was for free. How was it to live with another family? It was interesting because I got close to another family and heir life-style. It was a different habitat. I got to appreciate my own family much more after that, and I got a little bit homesick.
I had to things that I never used to do when I lived at home. And how was it living in a different culture? It was exciting but also a bit lonesome. There were some scandinavian girls who lived in the same area, but I choose not to see them because I only wanted to speek english. What do you consider to be the best and worst advantages with this job? The good thing about it is that you get to know the english life-style, and you get to see everything about it, not only the things you see as a tourist or read about.
The fact that I didn’t have much expenses was good to. The worst thing is that you have to live so close with your boss. It’s not like a ordinary job where you sit opposite someone from 9 – 5. Here I had to be around them all the time, so you hardly get some work integrity. Did you enjoy it? Something to recommend? Yes, I enjoyed it a lot, in fact: I wouldn’t have had it undone. I recommend it to everyone, although they shouldn’t be to young, and don’t do it for a long time.