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Au Pairing Watch

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    Who's done it? How was it? Anyone planning to do it? Tell me you stories/advice/plans!
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    I've au-paired before, in Madrid. Overall it was a good experience living in a foreign country but I don't think working with children is for me!

    If you have any more specific questions I'd be happy to answer.
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    I've au paired with 4 families in Paris, France. Good and bad experiences! Any questions, shoot
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    I've been looking into au pairing recently and think i want to do it at some point not sure really how to get involved though..
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    i'm an au pair so yeah if you have any questions i'd be happy to answer them

    I used aupairworld.net, completely free and not an agency or anything.

    it's hard work but it's good fun
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    What companies did the rest of yous use? And have you had good experiences? I was looking at smaller earth and they charge £350 is that normal?
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    (Original post by stargirl_)
    What companies did the rest of yous use? And have you had good experiences? I was looking at smaller earth and they charge £350 is that normal?
    None, I used aupairworld like the user above. Don't see why you would pay someone else to do what you can easily do for yourself tbh!
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    None, I used aupairworld like the user above. Don't see why you would pay someone else to do what you can easily do for yourself tbh!
    Cool. And you've never had a bad experience or anything? How do you pick a family?

    I signed up earlier and I've had loads of replies already! So I think I'm going to do it
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    (Original post by stargirl_)
    Cool. And you've never had a bad experience or anything? How do you pick a family?

    I signed up earlier and I've had loads of replies already! So I think I'm going to do it
    I totally agree with xmarilynx, don't use any company it's a waste of money and you can't talk with the different families before choosing which one you like the most.

    I also found mine through aupairworld, it's probably the best website. Take a look at kangarooaupair.com as well if you don't find a family in the other one.

    I was an aupair in Ireland the last two summers and it turned out to be a great experience. In fact, the second time I went back with the same family and we still keep in touch and I've visited them a couple of times throughout the year (oh, and the 9 years old girl and I are penpals! haha). You should have no problems at all as long as you exchange several emails and skype with them before making a final decision. Just follow your intuition and I'm sure you'll find the right family for you
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    I have been looking to do au pairing in Spain and was just wanting to ask some advice.

    How does the process work? I am looking to complete around a month in August but just am not sure how to even know if I am going down the right road :s

    Any advice would be appreciated
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    (Original post by caralouable)
    I have been looking to do au pairing in Spain and was just wanting to ask some advice.

    How does the process work? I am looking to complete around a month in August but just am not sure how to even know if I am going down the right road :s

    Any advice would be appreciated

    Well I just used the website they all said about above: www.aupair-world.net and I found a family that I think will be great in Barcelona in about two weeks (it was a stressful two weeks of emailing and Skype 'interviews' though lol)

    I'm going for the whole summer but several families just wanted people for a month or two.

    Hope this helps
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    I au paired in Switzerland for 3 months.
    I'm not trying to put you off or anything, because this was just my experience, but I was treated quite badly. I worked every day, all day, with half a day off (maybe less) on friday. It was mentally and physically exhausting. Not only did I look after the 2 children (who were little monsters, bad parenting!) but I was expected to cook and clean most days too. I was paid little, and treated badly. When I asked to leave at the end of my contract, I was threatened and shouted at, because they hadn't found my replacement yet. In the end I left on bad terms, and that final month I was paid half my salary. I was basically cheap labour, and taken advantage of. It's not something I would personally ever do again.
    As for Switzerland, I really recommend you look for work there! Despite the crappy family I worked for, the swiss are the nicest people I have ever met and I felt welcomed by everyone.
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    (Original post by klipsan)
    I au paired in Switzerland for 3 months.
    I'm not trying to put you off or anything, because this was just my experience, but I was treated quite badly. I worked every day, all day, with half a day off (maybe less) on friday. It was mentally and physically exhausting. Not only did I look after the 2 children (who were little monsters, bad parenting!) but I was expected to cook and clean most days too. I was paid little, and treated badly. When I asked to leave at the end of my contract, I was threatened and shouted at, because they hadn't found my replacement yet. In the end I left on bad terms, and that final month I was paid half my salary. I was basically cheap labour, and taken advantage of. It's not something I would personally ever do again.
    As for Switzerland, I really recommend you look for work there! Despite the crappy family I worked for, the swiss are the nicest people I have ever met and I felt welcomed by everyone.
    A friend of mine worked as an aupair in Switzerland and she also had an awful experience They would complain if she went out once a week and they expected her to be available at all times in case they wanted her to look for the children Also, they were reeaaally dirty and the house was chaos.
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    Unfortunately there are some families that get an au pair for all the wrong reasons - ie, they want cheap slave labour and have picked a young foreign girl at a fraction of the price they would have to pay for a nanny.

    Know your rights in terms of hours/pay (it varies according fom country to country), get a contract, and interview them as much as they interview you when discussing the position. The demand does outweigh the supply so you can afford to be picky :p: Lastly, if possible try and pick a city where lots of au pairs go. My first family was horrible (7 kids :eek:), but I was lucky enough to find a lovely one ten days later, which wasn't difficult because so many families in Paris need au pairs.

    Be assertive and don't let anyone take advantage of you as there are lots of lovely families out there
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    Just wanted to share my au pair experience:

    I was an au pair last summer in reaaally rural Germany (think village of <1000 people, about 30-40 minutes by bus to the nearest town haha). I looked after three kids, including a one-year old baby boy, and it was the most wonderful experience ever! My family was super lovely and treated me as a part of the family – they took me along with them (& paid for) meals out, family parties, and even a 2-week holiday in Croatia! I was paid slightly more than the minimum wage for au pairs in Germany, which is €260/month. I got two days off per week, but I got longer holidays off to go explore other places in Germany (e.g. I had a weekend off to visit Munich, and a week to see both Hamburg and Berlin). All in all, it was one of the most amazing experiences ever, and we still keep in touch! (In fact, they just sent me a gift for my birthday last month )

    Basically, working as an au pair is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to travel & experience a new culture – so long as you find a family that really fits you!
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    260€ a month in Germany? really? :eek: That's ridiculous :confused:
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    (Original post by Colpejafort)
    260€ a month in Germany? really? :eek: That's ridiculous :confused:
    May just be a coincidence but I've noticed the typical "language learning" countries have the lowest pay. Au pairing in Belgium to learn French or Austria to learn German actually pays better

    You can also negotiate higher than the minimum wage, as generally the number of families looking outweighs au pairs. Personally I wouldn't settle for less than €100/week for 30 hours/week.
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    Supply does outweigh the demand so you can afford to be picky
    Wouldn't that mean you can't afford to be picky...
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    (Original post by manchesterunited15)
    Wouldn't that mean you can't afford to be picky...
    Well spotted, I meant the other way around! :facepalm: It's been a long day...
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    May just be a coincidence but I've noticed the typical "language learning" countries have the lowest pay. Au pairing in Belgium to learn French or Austria to learn German actually pays better

    You can also negotiate higher than the minimum wage, as generally the number of families looking outweighs au pairs. Personally I wouldn't settle for less than €100/week for 30 hours/week.
    Well, you wouldn't get less that 100€ a week in Ireland and its also a typical language learning country. Also, I met a few aupairs here in Spain and they said the weekly average wage is 70/80€ which is 280€ a month. That's more than the average in Germany even though they make twice our salary.
 
 
 
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