An Au Pair in the USA
by Christiana Souza
In the beginning I wasn't sure if what I was doing was the right thing for me because it would be my first experience working abroad and I hadn't had contact with anyone who had gone through the same experience before. But then, I thought "hey, why not?" and I came. Now, looking back, I see that it was one of the best choices I could ever have made.
I've been living in the USA as an au pair for over a year and I have always lived with my host family. I have to admit that sometimes the lack of privacy is a minus in this job but, on the other hand, if one is lucky enough to find a nice host family, you will be friends forever.
If traveling is what you like to do, coming to the US as an au pair may be a nice way to get to know this country. Even though traveling around is fairly expensive, if you live on a budget (US$200,00/week), there's always the Greyhound bus to take you everywhere and plenty of hostels around. I've traveled around with friends - mostly by bus and staying at hostels - and we had a great deal of fun. I've made contact with people from all over the world and that's what I think makes this whole experience worthwhile. I've learnt a lot not just from the local culture but also about other places such as Slovakia or Turkey. One certainly ends up making friends from all over, not just from here.
Taking care of kids is not always easy, sometimes the opposite: it is a very demanding job. But being abroad makes it a lot more interesting, because everything is new for us. I recommend it to everyone I know and I certainly would do it again. Of course there's a chance that something may go wrong, but that's nothing compared to all the fun and excitement you can find in another place.
Image courtesy philcampbell