Sophie and her au pair experience!
Sophie is currently an au pair for a host family in Virgina. Below she tells us about her experience as an au pair so far:
"Cultural care has been fantastic to work with from start to finish! They gave me lots of help in filling in my application, finding my family and settling in when I got here! And constant contact with my LCC in my local area means they always know how I am doing.
I was fortunate to be placed with my perfect family first time, however I do know of some Au Pairs who picked their family based on where they live or the extra’s that the family offer (such as they offer the Au pair their own car and bathroom or the family doesn’t have as many children so the Au Pair thinks they will be working less) and their experience here has not been enjoyable due to conflicts with the family. It’s important you pick your family based on things you have in common with them, and if you feel a connection. You are going to be living and working with your family the entire time you are here, so you could be in a million dollar apartment on Central Park south, if you don’t get on with your family you are not going to enjoy yourself. I live in Chesapeake Virginia and care for 4 children and 1 on the way and I couldn’t be happier with my selection!
As the training school is a Visa requirement, it’s not going to be the most enjoyable time of your year in the USA. They need to try and cram so many hours into such a short time so that you can be placed with your family as soon as possible! You do however meet some great people there. And you are roomed with people that are going to be living in the same state as you. One of my friends from the training school and I are always in contact with each other and going on road trips. Plus you get to spend the afternoon in New York City so where is the downside in that!?
The important thing to remember about being an Au Pair is it is a job as well as a year abroad! So if you are willing to work as well as have the opportunity to explore this extraordinary country, then Cultural Care is definitely the agency to go for.