The Life of a Global Au Pair in the USA

person_outline Carla Bolton
Jan 29, 2019

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For anyone who may not be familiar with the term Au Pair, its providing live-in childcare to a family abroad! 

This experience has been life changing in so many ways and I’ve learnt more than I ever imagined. I am beyond grateful to have had this experience so I wanted to share my journey and hopefully encourage others to do the same. This is just a little taste into my year and what to expect when working as an au pair.

Related: The Complete Guide to Au Pairing Abroad

I hope you all had a chance to read a little about me on my blog and understand that I have a HUGE passion for travel, cultures and meeting new people. Since graduating high school in 2015 I have worked at a summer camp in the USA and travelled to a few other places. To me, there is no better feeling than experiencing a different culture than your own and making international friendships.

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Why and how I became an Au Pair

The reason I chose to be an au pair was I wanted to experience living away from home and I love working with children, so the two just seemed like a perfect match! I heard about au pairing through a great company based in Queensland, Australia. They are called The Global Work and Travel Co. They were an outstanding, organised and encouraging team that helped me reach my goals of working overseas.

They had excellent staff, amazing programs available and it was such a supportive and fun way for me to kick off a new adventure! If you are interested in working or travelling overseas at an affordable cost I would highly recommend checking them out.

How it all works

When beginning your au pair adventure you get to make a profile which will give you the opportunity to talk about yourself and why you want to be an au pair. Families get to see your profile and if they like what they read about you then you get to talk with them and if you both like each other then you get to match!

This process is very exciting but can also be stressful as you want to make the right decision for yourself. My advice to is to take your time. You are going to be living with your host family for one year (potentially more) so don’t be shy to ask questions and allow yourself to be patient with this process.

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My host family are wonderful, I have two incredible, down to earth host parents and I'm looking after four energetic but beautiful host kids. You can say I have my hands full for sure! Every day I get to spend time with fun and happy kids and it fills my heart with so much joy.

The wonderful thing about my host family is that they really make me feel a part of their family and include me in everything they do. I attend any and all social/family events with them and even get to go on vacation. My host family also love learning about Australia and how I grew up and they now want to visit the land down under!

It’s such a great feeling knowing you have a great connection with your host family and it just makes this experience all the better. Maintaining a healthy connection with your host family is very important in order for the year to be successful. I’m a huge believer in “communication is key” so always be communicating any chance you get!

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Daily duties as an au pair

For those interested, I’m just going to walk you through some of the daily things I get to do as an au pair. Every week I am given a schedule with the times I’ll be working.

My schedule is always given to me before the week begins which makes it super easy to plan ahead with friends! My morning routine usually consists of preparing breakfast, packing lunches and driving the kids to school.

Then I get to spend the rest of the day looking after the youngest and I take him to the park for fun activities. I will also do some general tidying of the play area and the kids bedrooms. If needed, I prepare dinner, and then I’m all done for the day.

In my off time during the week I go to the gym, catch up with friends, I’m always getting frozen yoghurt and sushi!

Make sure you make the most of every opportunity you get as time will go faster than you think!

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Travel & free time

The great part about this program is when you first arrive in the US, you are required to attend a three-day training academy in New Jersey where they give you the opportunity to go into NYC, which is the first place you can tick off the list for the USA! You will have the opportunity to meet many new people from all around the world and also connect with people who are going to the same state or even area as you.

At the academy, I met people from Mexico, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Italy, South Africa, Thailand, Poland and Sweden – just to name a few… I think it's so cool to be in a room filled with people from all around the world. The world doesn’t seem so big when you are surrounded by all different people and instantly make connections that can last a lifetime.

My schedule allows me to have every weekend off and this is when I get the chance to explore the most. As I have access to a car this has been a great advantage in getting to see new places. So far in my 11 months, I have been to so many new places, I have them written down but the list is very long.

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The support network

Being an au pair doesn’t just teach you about looking after children. Throughout the year you will learn and experience so many things that you would never expect to. Even though you are moving into a new home and are provided with a room and getting paid every week, you still need to be independent. You are now not living at home and need to make decisions without the immediate help of your usual friends and family, which can be scary. However, this encourages you to go out and meet new people and put yourself out into the big world! It’s such a great feeling knowing you are achieving so much in just twelve months! My advice is to be open to everything and don’t be afraid of trying new things and talking to new people.

None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the Global Work and Travel Co. This company has awesome programs available and provides you with so much support and are with you every step of the way.

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The support doesn’t stop when you are on the plane leaving the country, you are assigned with a coordinator that will be with you even when you are not in the country. My trip coordinator was absolutely incredible. She was super positive and helpful when I started my journey and is always answering any questions I have. She makes me feel like I can do anything and I have already planned my next trip with the company! One of the best parts about the company is they make everything affordable and easy. I am not a patient person when it comes to travel so when I get an idea in my head I just want it to happen right away, and with The Global Work and Travel Co. that is possible!

If anyone is interested in being an Au Pair or living away for a year but has some hesitations please don’t be afraid to message me. Taking on a big journey like this can be scary and sometimes we don’t know how to get started. For me, moving away and doing something like this has taught me so many valuable life lessons and I’ve gained so many new friends and experiences! I am going to post many photos of my year below so you can see just how amazing it has been! Thanks for reading and remember, you could be gone tomorrow, so are you spending what could be your last day doing what you want?

Carla x

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Get ready to fall in love with the world as you head somewhere new as an au pair. The people you’ll meet and the things you’ll see will make it unforgettable.

Start your overseas au pair adventure today by clicking the lovely green button below.

I want to Au Pair!

Carla Bolton

Carla Bolton

Carla is currently on an Au Pair Trip in the USA with The Global Work & Travel Co. She’s from Adelaide, South Australia and has been living and working in California for the past eleven months.