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  • Writer's pictureThe Next Step

What happens after my au pair year?

First - have a look at these 7 steps we've put together for you to plan out a successful year as an au pair.

Second - it is important to decide what's next for you in general - do you want to stay in Germany? Go to another country? Return home?

In this post we will be looking at your main options should you decide to stay in Germany.

The most popular options for former au pairs to stay in Germany are:

1. Voluntary Social Year (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr or FSJ)

This means you`ll be working as a volunteer in the social services sector (schools, kindergartens, nursing homes, social centers, with disabled people etc.). There are many organisations who organize these volunteer programs and they have different criterias you need to meet.

This kind of working experience is a good way to improve your German skills and learn social services related vocabulary (this is especially useful if you plan to further your career in any of these fields).

As a volunteer you get a monthly allowance and sometimes also meals/accommodation allowance or they might even be provided.

Here you can have a look at some of the FAQ`s about social year.

2. Apprenticeship/Ausbildung

Ausbildung means you apply for a work+study program with a company or trade school that offer them (a lot of big corporations have these programs available). You will learn a trade whilst already working in the field and getting practical experience.

There are different qualifications you need to meet for these programs, so closely look into the specifics of each program to see if you qualify.

You can download a guide to Ausbildung for non-EU citizens here.

There are also specific visa regulations you need to meet for Ausbildung as well as proof you can support yourself financially.

3. University studies

We have gathered a lot of information about studying in Germany into this article, into our Advice for Students section and there is loads more on the internet.

What you need to know about student+Ausbildung visas for non-EU citizens is that you need to be able to prove your ability to finance your studies and cover your living expenses. For this you're required to have a specific sum of money (for 2020 this is around 10 200 euro per year ) on a blocked bank account. You are then only allowed to draw a fixed monthly sum from said account.

A lot of universities also require a relatively high level of German knowledge from their students. Those are 2 of the most common reasons why former au pairs usually first extend their stay with a social year - it gives them the opportunity to better their language skills before applying for higher education.

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