An excellent option to study a language abroad is through an “Au Pair” program. Being an Au Pair will give you the opportunity to study in another country, know the way families in that country live in their daily basis, learn about their culture, and earn some money that will allow you to enjoy more your experience of living abroad.
By registering to an Au Pair program you will be able to travel abroad and live with a native family from your host country. They will give you accommodation in their house, including meals and utilities, and you will receive a salary from them for taking care of their children and doing some household chore. As an Au Pair, you will have time to go to your language lessons, make your homework, and spend time with your news friends, as you will have free days every week and a certain number of days of paid vacations that will depend on the length of your Au Pair program.
There are several benefits of being an Au Pair. The main advantage is that you will learn and strengthen your knowledge of a second language.
In order to travel abroad as an Au Pair, you must be registered to a language course. However, you will not have to do the application and registration procedures to the language school, as the agencies that offer the Au Pair programs have agreements with a high number of educational institutions and they will do all the process for you.
Another advantage that the Au Pair programs have in comparison to other language courses, is that you will have the opportunity to use the knowledge acquired during your language classes, by speaking with native people. This will help you learn the language faster and to speak fluently. By being an Au Pair you will not only learn academic vocabulary, but, as you will be living with a native family, you will start using everyday language as well. You will realize that by being an Au Pair, your vocabulary and your conversation level will improve significantly; and you will be able to know in depth the habits and the daily life of the people of the country where you chose to study.
As in every experience living abroad, you will have the chance to live the cultural exchange of your host country. While being in class, you will have the possibility to meet people from all over the world that as you, have the dream of learning a second language. You will learn about their countries and cultures, and make lots of new friends.
An important aspect of taking the decision of becoming an Au Pair is to be certain of who will be your host family. Usually, these are young couples that have between one or three children that you will have to take care of when they are not at school or while their parents are working. The agencies that offer Au Pair programs search for working families, that aim to have a committed, responsible and kind person that help them taking care of their children. At the same time, as an Au Pair you can be sure that these families are open to the cultural exchange and that they will not see you as someone that works for them, but as another member of their family.
The families that support the Au Pair programs have socioeconomic levels that allow them to pay the Au Pair a monthly salary, and have previously being evaluated to assure the wellbeing of the student while living with them.
Although in most countries-specially the European ones- is an obligation to sign a work contract between the family and the Au Pair, in other countries this is optional and will depend of both the Au Pair and the family to sign it or not. You should look in detail the possibility of getting a work contract and the terms it should contain.
You responsibilities as an Au Pair will be to take care of the children of the family, and make some household chores that will be agreed with the family prior to your trip. You will also be responsible for paying your language course, your travel expenses, and your health insurance and to take some additional money for other personal expenses. As you will live with a family, you will not have to expend your money in rent, food and utilities, and remember, you will receive a salary that will help you live comfortably in your host country.
If you want to live an unforgettable adventure, don’t miss the opportunity of registering in an Au Pair program. At the end of your trip, you will realize that your language level will be very high but that you had also met and lived with new people, while having the opportunity of working and studying.