7 ways to make friends as an au pair
Have you ever wondered how you`re supposed to find new friends as an au pair? Well, so have we. And here are 7 tried and tested way to get you started.
1. Attending language courses
A big part of your au pair year is learning the German language. In fact your host family is supposed to spend 50 euro per month for you to attend language classes.
Lessons are also a good way for you to meet other foreigners new to the country and going through similar things to you. So don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with your classmates.
2. Taking up an activity or hobby
Everybody has things they like to do. What are yours? If you`re interested in singing, maybe there is a local music school where you can take lessons, or a choir you could join? If you like a specific kind of sport - say football - maybe there are amateur teams in your area you could join? It's a great balance between having something to do on your free time and meet new people you already have a little in common with.
3. Asking your host family or local school for introductions
Do your host parents have friends who also have au pairs in the are? Or children who are your age? It is also good to keep your eyes open on the school run (if that is part of your tasks) - are there any other au pairs, who pick up children from that school? This is a good way to make friends in your immediate area, so you can meet up during the day, when the kids are at school, or simply take a walk in the evenings.
4. Looking up different Facebook groups
Meeting people online has become super normal and something that happens every day. It is no different for au pairs. Most major German cities, or at least every region has a Facebook group for local au pairs. Join them and post about what kind of people you'd like to meet.
There are also all sorts of different interest groups - groups for foreign students, exchange students, expats, people interested in knitting, or workout groups.
Find the ones that interest and apply to you and don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
Just remember to stay safe when meeting up with people you do not know.
5. Search for relevant #-s on Instagram
If Facebook isn't really your thing, turn to Instagram! Search for #-s you think other au pairs might use, to find people to reach out to. For example, if you´re based in or near Berlin, try #aupairberlin or #berlinaupairs.
6. Foreign student meetups
Like we said, different interest groups meet up all the time. There are au pair meetups, expat meetups, young professionals meetups etc. But every major city in Germany also has a number of foreign students or exchange students. They are probably also on a weird and ever-changing schedule (like you might be), they have a similar budget range (because it is sad but true, young people are pretty broke) so you don't have to worry about being in over your head. They also might give you a lot of insight into what student life in Germany is like - should you choose to apply for higher education after your time as an au pair.
7. Expat meetups
Expat groups and meetups are becoming increasingly common. There are many GGI (Girl Gone International) community groups on Facebook for major German cities plus a growing number of other expat groups. Look them up to see if those people and meetups would be something you'd like to participate in.
We hope these tips are helpful in getting you out of your comfort zone and actively looking for new friends in Germany. It is very important to have good friends around - your mental wellbeing is greatly improved by having close confidants and relationships around.