Living abroad in a foreign country may sound like an unachievable goal, something that would never happen to you; only possible for the braver ones. But let me tell you that it is a completely realistic dream, and everybody can do it. You just need to organise everything properly and, most importantly, prepare all in advance. The secret is to just go for it!
The two most typical questions that come to your mind when you start planning to go abroad are, firstly, “Where am I going to stay” and secondly, “Where am I going to work?”
Well, for the first question, don’t worry at all! We have prepared a thorough article talking about where to live in Dublin (https://www.yesireland.ie/where-to-live-in-dublin-all-you-need-to-know-about-dublins-districts/) that will make your life easier.
For the second question, let me start by saying that Ireland is a country that offers a huge range of opportunities, especially in its capital, Dublin. However, today I am writing to talk you about the perfect job to start with: Au pair.
Au Pair, what is that?
An au pair is somebody who travels to a foreign country to live and work for a host family. He or she is considered a member of the family during the stay. The experience is very simple: the au pair will be in charge of taking care of the children and maybe doing some light housework. In return, the host family will provide accommodation, food as well as pocket money.
It can sound scary at first, going to live with a strange family, but I can assure you that it is an amazing experience that you will never forget. Furthermore, it is a great option with which to start a life abroad, because you would start it with a house, a job and a family that will take care of you.
In addition, it is super easy to organise, you just have to find the perfect family for you. How can you do it?
Au Pair World
The first option to find a host family is through the website Au Pair World (www.aupairworld.com). It is a site created to bring together au pairs and host families in a very easy way. You just have to sign up for free, enter some personal information about you and your preferences, like the country you would like to go to or the language you would like to learn.
Then, the website will analyse your profile and will try to match you with those families that could like you most. Then you will contact those families to know more information about them. It is very common that the family ask you to do a video call, even a few of them, to see your face and know more about you. You have to remember that, just as you need to be sure about them, they want to be sure that they will have the best host and big brother or sister for their children.
Don’t worry about the language barrier. All the families are aware that you are looking to be an au pair because you want to improve your level in a foreign language, so they will always be patient. I remember perfectly my first video calls via Skype with my host family. I wasn’t able to explain myself properly, because my level of English was very bad. But with signals, gestures and a little bit of google translator research, we could always understand each other.
Also, they will usually give you the contact details of their old au pairs, so you can check with them how the experience is with the family, get advice about life in the country and maybe to get the contact details of some other au pair that already live there.
Another option to find a host family is to search directly in Au Pair Groups on Facebook, like for example, Au Pair in Ireland (https://www.facebook.com/groups/aupairirelandlili/). You will find thousands of posts from other au pairs or families looking for their new au pair, or au pairs looking for a host family. But this page doesn’t work with preference filters like the Au Pair World website, so you have to check post by post, and page by page until you find one family that you like.
It is a little bit more complicated that the first option, but if you are sure that you want to go to a specific country, like for example, Ireland, and you want to do it almost immediately, it is also a good option.
Why be an Au pair?
I think is one of the best ways to start living abroad for many reasons. First, as I said, you would start from the very beginning with a house to stay in, a job that will give you income to the ability to save some money and a family that will take care of you.
Furthermore, these kinds of jobs are very easy to do, and most of them are only a few hours a day, unless you have to take care of a very young baby, which requires more time and attention. But if the children are little bit older, they will spend most of the day at school, so you will have plenty of free time for yourself to study a foreign language, which is probably one of the main reasons you are travelling abroad. But it also gives you time to travel around the new country you are discovering.
Finally, the Au Pair experience in general is amazingly rich because you will:
- Learn to respect and love other cultures and people completely different to yourself.
- Become much more open-minded and confident.
- Make new friends and connections.
- Develop new skills.
This blog belongs to NED Training Centre. Do you want to study English in Ireland and go further in your career? Contact us: http://www.ned.ie ☘ ✈ 🇮🇪 Invest in your Future!
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