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  • Writer's pictureThe Next Step

My host family is not a good fit - what do I do?

The first thing to think about is what is the root cause of this feeling:

  • Is being an au pair completely different from what you thought?

  • Are you homesick?

  • Is your host family mistreating you?

  • Are you simply not a good fit as people?


If you became an au pair without looking into what your job would entail and now feel this is not for you, a decision has to be made - do you want to stay, or go back home? Changing your host family might make it better, but also might not. For example - if you love babies, but now look after schoolchildren, then finding a family with a small baby might be the solution. If however you don`t like kids at all - then being an au pair simply isn't for you.


Feeling homesick often makes people see everything as bad. People treat you bad, the weather is bad, the food is bad, your bed is bad. It is worthwhile sitting with your feelings to find out if your situation really is something you are not happy with, or if you feel better after “treating” your homesickness.


If your host family is not treating you right, then leaving absolutely is the right choice. If they take your passport, make you work more than you should, keep things like food or other essentials from you, or abuse you in any other way - let your agency, parents and the authorities know straight away. If you do not have an au pair agency, report them to the website you found them at after notifying the authorities, The Next Step and any friends you have in Germany, to make sure they cannot post ads for au pairs in the future.


If none of the above describes your situation, but you simply feel this place and this family is not for you, then probably they feel the same way too, and you`re just not a good fit mutually. This happens sometimes and is not something to feel ashamed of. Simply contact your agency and calmly and politely talk to your host parents. Your agency will help you match with another family. If you do not have an agency you are responsible for matching with another family yourself.

At the end of the day your host parents want to have an au pair who “clicks” with their family, and wish for you to feel welcomed and looked after as well.

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