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Is being an Au Pair for me?

Who is an au pair and what do they do? An Au Pair is a young adult, who moves abroad and lives with a host family, typically for 1 year, for a cultural and language learning experience. In return au pairs are expected to help the family with childcare and light household chores like cooking for the children, ironing, doing laundry, help clean up after the children etc. It basically means you are a very helpful and responsible auntie or big sister to the children in the family. Au pairs do not receive a salary and do not work full-time, but get a legally predetermined monthly allowance or pocket money from their host family. In Germany the predetermined monthly allowance for au pairs is 260 euro. Some families might offer you a higher salary at their discretion, but they are required to pay you no less than 260 euro per month. Please do keep in mind that being an au pair is a responsible job. The family is not “adopting” you, but is relying on you to help them with the house and children. Au pairs also have a legally binding contract with their host families, that you should read, ask questions about and sign before arriving in Germany. Is being an au pair something for me? Becoming an au pair is one of the easiest ways for young adults to move abroad. But there is a lot more you need to think of before starting the process of becoming one. Do you like children? Do you have experience in looking after them? Are you comfortable moving into a house full of people you have actually never met? Do you feel ready to leave your family behind and not see them for a long period of time? These are just some of the questions you need to think about before applying for an au pair program. Luckily there are a lot of people sharing their au pair stories and experiences online, as well as how they found their families/agencies and tackled different legal requirements.

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