Nearly three years ago I had my first experience working as an Au Pair at age 20. At the beginning- I had no idea that being an Au Pair would have would have such a great impact on me and my future endeavours, and I could not be more thankful for how everything has turned out since then! For this post I decided to reflect back on some of the best things that have happened as a result of my Au Pair adventures.
1. Being immersed in a new culture.
Living in a place like Indonesia was definitely an eye-opener for me. Before arriving, I knew barely anything about the country’s history, geography, or customs. While living there, I got to see many different sides of the country… From spending time at some of the most luxurious places in Jakarta and Bali, to islands filled with beautiful nature….. and then also witnessing a large amount of people living in poverty. It was a very unforgettable experience to live in this incredible country, and it really made me appreciate everything I got to experience while there. WIth Germany it was also very amazing getting to celebrate all of the holidays ‘European Style’ and also becoming familiar with the lifestyle of living in a big European city, where everything seems to be connected!
2. You can travel the world!
While being an Au Pair, I often got to travel with my host families during their vacations or work trips. Some places I went to with my host families were: Singapore, Bali, Yogyakarta (Indonesia), Zurich (Switzerland), Berlin (Germany), Gothenburg (Sweden), and London (England). On my own time I also had plenty of chances to go off on my own to other countries- which definitely was my favourite thing to do! 😛 To see more about all of the places I have been- you can click on the travel button on the top menu or click HERE. 🙂
3. Lifelong friendships
When you move to a place knowing absolutely no one, at the start it can be quite lonely not having any sort of social life. Luckily I soon made plenty of great friends who come from all around the world! (Most of my friends were other Au Pairs, travellers, locals, or expats!) Even after being away from Europe for nearly two years, I still regularly keep in touch with lots of my friends there- and have already made plans to catch up with them in the summer when I go back! Another cool thing about having international friends is that they can one day visit me here in Canada, or I can visit them in their home country some day! (I stayed with my friend Marnize in Australia, my friend Aranza in Mexico, and my friend Kaja in Norway- who also came to visit me when I was living in Vancouver!)
4. Opportunity to learn a new language!
When living in Germany I got to learn a lot of the language (although my listening is much better than speaking!) and in Indonesia I got to learn many common phrases such as “Selamat Pagi/ Malam”, “Nama Saya Jackie”, :Saya Dari Canada”, “Terima Kasih”, and more! It’s always nice getting to learn new things like that- especially because the locals often appreciate when you show an interest in learning their language. 🙂
5. An Awesome Host Family.
I was lucky enough to have had two amazing host families in Germany and Indonesia (pictured) who welcomed me into their home, and truly made me feel included as part of their family. It was such an amazing feeling to form close bonds and friendships with them, and I hope to go back one day to see them again! As for my host family in Germany- I will be visiting them in May 2016!)
& Bonus: Au Pairs get paid!
While being an Au Pair you don’t have to worry about paying for accommodation, food, internet, transportation, or even your cellphone. Additionally- you either get weekly pocket money or a monthly salary paid by your host family to spend on your own time off for things such as restaurants, trips, shopping, etc! 🙂 Sometimes your host family will even pay for your flight home- which mine did!
**Disclaimer, 10 Million Indonesian Rupiah is equal to just over $1000 CAD. (And I actually saved this money over the course of a few weeks to spend towards my trip to Australia…. I didn’t actually spend it all at the mall :P)
Lastly- below is a video I filmed the day after I arrived in Indonesia (Feb 15, 2015)! It’s a quick tour of my amazing room in Jakarta :D!
Thanks so much for reading!
For more info on being an Au Pair- feel free to ask me, or check out AuPair World. 🙂