Is Europe is one of your dream destinations? Do you love to travel? Do you enjoy playing with kids? Well, I guess you found the one of the best ways to explore Europe!
Become an Au Pair in Europe- A Great Way to Work Legally and Travel
Have you heard about au pair program? I am from the Philippines and under au pair program right now, currently residing in Denmark. I’m au pairing now for almost 2 years and enjoying it. This can be another way to travel in Europe!
In Denmark, I met a lot of Filipinas who are under this scheme but most of them are from Visayas or Mindanao and loving this chapter of their life. This is a good opportunity for everyone especially if you like to travel, or if you wanted to do a soul searching. This program will let you travel to Europe, learn new language, discover new culture and meet people around the globe.
But let’s start with the question, what is an au pair?
Au pair is a foreign person, typically a woman who will travel abroad, learn new language, live with local family in exchange of baby sitting and/or light housework. An au pair will be living with a local family (your host family) where they can have their own private room, free meal, chance to travel and a pocket money in return you will be part of the family and be the big sister.
At first I was having second thought if I should do this. I never wanted to work overseas, but on the other hand, I would like to see Europe. So I gave it a try. After 21 months in this program, I didn’t reject pursuing it, I love it to the bits!
Au Pair is a good deal
Why is this good deal? Au pair scheme is not categorized as “work” it’s in between of work and study as the au pair will have the chance to attend language course. An au pair will be working 25-30 hours a week (5-6 hours a day). You will be provided enough time to go to a language course and free time to enjoy your host country.
Benefits of an Au Pair
- Travel: An Au Pair will have 5 weeks (depending which country you are) paid holiday per year. This will be your chance to travel around Europe or visit home.
- Language course: Let’s say you are au pairing in Germany, learning this language will be your advantage, not only that you will understand what’s happening around you during your au pair time, but also this will be a good asset for your CV in the future.
- Insurance: I love this part! We all know insurance is very expensive, this benefit will give you peace of mind without worrying that you have to pay loads of money. It covers health, emergency, travel, accident and death insurance. Now you will feel secured and stress free!
- Chance to learn new culture: Culture is very rich in every corner of the world. Before I enter this program, I thought I was open minded enough. But this experience showed me something amazing; how huge the world is, why people act differently, how many opportunities I have in my life.
Au pair is not:
- Maid or Housekeeper: No, you don’t wear any uniform. Yes you do housework, but only for the kids. For example, doing kid’s laundry, making up their bed, preparing snack for them, clean them up, tide up their room and such. No, you don’t take care of the parents. Vacuum cleaning is also normal or helping to set up the table. You are part of the family and eat with them.
- Cheap labor: Unfortunately, some families think that au pair scheme is cheap labor. They will ask the au pair to clean the whole house or do gardening or working long hours. Don’t agree with anything like this.
- Slave: Some families won’t even let the au pair go for holiday or go to language school. It’s important that you will let them know that you are aware of your rights. Au pair is a secured program, but you yourself should know how to take care of yourself.
Who can be an Au pair: (It may differ from countries to countries) This is Denmark’s rules.
- You should be in between 18-29 years old at the time of application.
- You should not be married or living with a partner
- You should not have kid/s or expecting one.
- You should not have held a Danish residence permit before.
- You should not have stayed in Denmark before as an au pair.
- You should not have same nationality as your host parent/s.
- You should not be related to one or more member of the host family.
- You should at least speak English or the host country’s national language.
How long can I stay with my host? When is my day off? And who pay for transportation?
In Denmark, an au pair can stay from 6 to 24 months. You are also have the right to change your host family in case things won’t work with your current one. In terms of day offs, you can have an agreement with your host family which days you wanted to have your free days.
Normally, the au pair shoulders the airfare going to your host country, but your host parents should pay for you flight tickets going home (in Denmark, if the au pair’s home country is outside EU, the host will pay for the ticket). In addition, the host and the au pair will share for transportation going to the language school if needed one.
Can an au pair do other part-time work during free time? And when can you have your paid holiday?
No. Your residence permit is not a work permit. You are not allowed to work other than your host family unless for example, you volunteer to your local church or other groups without pay. Working for someone else is a big risk; you will be deported back home and risking a banned entry to your host country for certain amount of time or worst in the whole Europe.
You and your host can have a talk when can you have your paid holiday. Normally, the host would like you to use your paid holiday during summer season or when the parents will have their holidays too. Remember to communicate with your host parents all the time.
I enjoy being an au pair in Europe and work with the kids. Whilst I’m really after with the chance to travel Europe, my host family and host country also gets close into my heart. This experience made a big impact with who I am today from myself two years ago. Becoming an Au Pair in Europe is a fantastic experience for me to know myself more.
I encourage young people to take step out of their comfort zone and challenge yourself, let yourself see the world and grow. Safe travels!
NEXT ARTICLE: How you can apply as an Au Pair in Europe and some tips! Feel free to ask your questions in the comment below and we’ll try to answer them on our next articles!
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About the Writer:
Hello! I am Mary Charie Ramos Ylagan I’m a bookworm, ice cream hyped (only chocolate flavour or something with chocolate on it, ah, I don’t even know why I’m babbling about this), writer and a traveller. I am a private person, like very. One of my friends even said that maybe I was a hooker before. But if you are highly curious about my personality (which I profoundly doubt), we should travel together. I’m sarcastic in an annoying way but my very close friends love it, though! Pulling some jokes is like a hobby to me, although this gives me hard time to open up my feelings. That’s why I looove my blog, it lets me express myself in a different angle.
Join me on my adventures here amaryroad.com.