Becoming an Au Pair in the United States of America is both super exciting and nerve racking!I have one week left before I leave for the United States of America. I have written down what it is like to go through the process.
There was a lot of preparation that goes into it before you can depart. I went through 'Cultural Care Au Pair', the ladies in the offices are really helpful. They help you with everything, and answered any questions I had. Every thing is done step by step so that you don't become overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to take in. The ladies at the Cultural Care office have done this many times and some have even been an Au Pair themselves so don't stress.
When you first begin, you will be asked to do a profile, answer everything truthfully and to full extent, as the Au Pair families want to know what you will be like with their kids, they need to trust you. You will also be asked how many kids do you recon you will be able to look after. Tips for photos to show:
Photos with kids you have looked after and family (siblings & cousins) This is a good profile picture
Be a bit conservative/respectful (no party pics)
Travel picture in your home country are always interesting
Activities you do (sports, art, music, dance, acting)
Any achievements/awards you have got in the last couple of years (sporting, academic, musical, community)
You will then have an interview just so Cultural Care can get to know you and what you are like in person. It is really easy to talk to them, they just want to know what you have written down in your profile is what you are like. Once you have been accepted you will have an online profile, this is when you go into the matching process. On the same profile page you will have links to information about becoming an Au Pair, cultural changes and differences, program information and tips on making if a successful adventure. I would recommend that you read all of the information they give you because every bit is always helpful. You will also have to make a short video of yourself and why you want to become an Au Pair, there are heaps on YouTube to get ideas from. Make it fun and interesting because the children of the families usually see it and its important that they like you too. Deciding to become an Au Pair was a mix of excitement and nervousness, leaving your family and your normal day to day life for a year or more can be really daunting. So when it comes to choosing a family to go with, ask lots of questions! If it doesn't feel right don't try and force it. These will be the people you will be living with for a whole year, you will need to feel comfortable around them. Always try and have a phone or Skype conversation with them as well as email. I found that Skyping with my Au Pair family match has made me feel more comfortable around them and the same with them around me. This will be good when we meet them in person we really already know each other quite well. If you ever have any issues or need help, call the Australian office in Sydney, they will help you in any area you need. If you have any other questions just leave a comment and I will get back to you in no time!!