Living Abroad, Au pair Style: Top 10 Pros

 

If you are just reading this without reading my blog post, “Now is the time: Why I Moved to Spain”, you might be wondering what an Au pair is.  As stated in my previous post, an Au pair is a young foreign person, typically a woman (however I know many guy Au pairs) who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room and typically some pocket money.  

As an Au pair of almost 2 years with more than one family in Spain (live-in and live-out), I can tell you the good and the dirty of the the job.  This post will just be dedicated to the pros and another entry will be put on the cons.

So are you thinking you might want to be an Au pair?

My collection of the top 10 pros:

1. It’s a unique and once in a lifetime experience. You are up close and personal each and every day with the family and you learn all about their culture, habits, etc.



 You also get the opportunity to teach them about your culture!

4th of july party with au pairs

The 4 American Au pairs in the neighborhood having a 4th of July Celebration with the Spaniards

2. You will forever have a family in Spain. For me this is the most important one because I am so in love with my crazy, insane little Spanish family (I don’t have permission to put the family/kids on the website).  They will forever be apart of my life.  I have a strong friendship with my family and they will always be my second family.

Merry xmas YoliAndri

My Spanish Brother and Sister on my first Christmas abroad

3. If you are open to trying new things you will get the opportunity to try lots of different kinds of food that you may not of been open to trying in your own country. In my first 5 months especially, I tried all kinds of new things I would have never tried before like lots of pork products, frog, horse, duck, lamb and many many other types of spanish dishes.

trying new food

I always make them tell me what I am eating AFTER I actually eat it

4. Not only do you get to eat new things, if you have a family who is awesome enough they will teach you how to make new types of food, Spanish styleI have had the opportunity to learn how to make all the “typical” Spanish dishes.

5. You will be introduced to other regions of Spain, typically where the family of the parents are from.  Every part of Spain is different, so you will get even more lessons on different cultures.

2 Weeks in the south of Spain with the family

2 Weeks in the south of Spain with the family

6. You will get the opportunity to travel to many different places.  My biggest tip is DO NOT be afraid to ask to take an extra day to travel for a long weekend.  Flights are super cheap and you will be able to have many wonderful long weekends in other countries on the cheap.

Trip with Au pairs to Portugal (less than $50 Round trip flight)

Trip with Au pairs to Portugal (less than $50 Round trip flight)

7. You will get the opportunity to learn Spanish fluently and practice with Spaniards and foreigners that are learning.  In my city, most people don’t speak English so getting the opportunity to practice is not hard.

Party in the park with different Au pairs and foreigners from all over the world

Party in the park with different Au pairs and foreigners from all over the world

8. If your family is good about giving you free time like they are supposed to, then you should have free time to get a second job.  I teach 13 extra hours a week and charge between 12-15 euros per hour.

One of the kids from my part time weekend job teaching English

One of the kids from my part time weekend job teaching English

9. You will get the opportunity to study super cheap in the local official language school.  Courses are offered at my school 2 times a year (February and September) and you can study for a whole semester for less than 130 euros (10 hours a week).

My spanish class having a party and trying new dishes from different countries

My spanish class having a party and trying new dishes from different countries

10. You get to see for yourself the real deal of what it’s like to raise a family.  This could be good for someone younger who so desperately wants a baby very young. Spend a few months as an Au pair and think again.

It’s the best form of birth control.

Baby messy house  

Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comLiving Abroad, Au pair Style: Top 10 Pros