Hello! My name is Ola, I’m from Poland and I’m currently an au pair in New York. I would like to introduce you to one of my articles from my own blog ‘alesandra in the usa’. As you can probably tell already, it’s about 13 reasons why it is worth to become an Au Pair in America. These are not all of my motives, but I hope you will enjoy it nonetheless and that it will help you come to a decision about your own journey.
1. LEARN A LANGUAGE WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS
I started learning English when I was six so, almost eighteen years ago already. I spent a year and a half in the United States, and I tell how much my English has improved! Especially in terms of my grammar and my accent. Before I decided to come to the United States, I was an au pair in Spain. So even back then, I learned more than for example at college.
Becoming an au pair is giving you the chance to improve your language skills a lot – and not only in English! You are going to meet people from around the world, and this can definitely help you with learning a new language.
2. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A NEW CULTURE
As an au pair, you have the amazing chance to truly get to know and live the American culture. The United States are a beautiful place with many different people and traditions. For example – if you would like to try Ethiopian food, and you live in Warsaw, Poland, there is only one restaurant. The closest places to Warsaw where you can find them are in Belgium or Berlin. But in New York City, there are at least 10! Should I keep going?
3. GAIN EVEN MORE CHILDCARE EXPERIENCE
Which I’m sure we all need… especially those of us, who are studying or want to start study a subject that is somehow connected to working with kids. Plus every au pair can prepare herself for becoming a mom one day. But you have to remember that taking care of kids is not easy at all. They need lot of patience, understanding and love!
4. ESTABLISH NEW FRIENDSHIPS
Here you can meet new people almost everywhere and everyday! In the park, at the gym or while you’re out getting grocery. Additionally, in your cluster, there will be many au pairs that will need a friend just like you! Of course you don’t have to get along with everybody, but it’s worth giving it a shot! One of the reasons why it’s good to have au pair friends from different countries is the possibility to visit them in their home countries in the future! Thanks to my au pair adventures I met three amazing friends – Milena, Gracjana and Ola:
5. SPEND A YEAR IN THE USA (LEGALLY!)
Each of us realizes that coming to the States is not easy. Even having a visa is not a guarantee that you will be allowed into the US. By becoming an au pair, you can be a legal (temporary) resident in the US for up to two years! Which gives you a great opportunity to visit this beautiful and culturally diverse country. Arriving here has always been my huge dream and the program has given me a chance to achieve it!
6. BECOME MORE CONFIDENT, BRAVE & RESPONSIBLE THAN EVER BEFORE!
You’ve decided to move to a foreign country / to another continent and trust people that you met through the Internet. If that’s not brave, what is? Someone might say that this is foolish and this logic doesn’t quite add up, but in my opinion it is one of the best ways to prove to yourself (because remember, it’s not worth proving anything to others) that you can do EVERYTHING. The trip will test your resourcefulness, ability to cope with new situations, and independence. I was scared, stressed, at times I was even crying, but it was all worth it in the end. Now I know that I am courageous, strong and I can move mountains if I want to!
7. PAID HOLIDAYS INCLUDED!
Please, name another program that without hesitation ensures that you get a two-week paid vacation. In addition, if you speak with your host family and they’re exceptionally generous, they can give you some extra days to go out and explore the world. Is there anything better than lying on the beach and knowing that you won’t have to worry about money for two days for doing nothing?
8. YOUR CV WILL THANK YOU
No, this is not a joke. Many girls, after returning from the US, take quite a few good positions in companies precisely because their au pair experience in the US has made a good impression on their employers. You will ask: why? After all, it’s no art to take care of children. Well, I have to surprise you – the work is incredibly challenging and this is what impresses others. In addition, each au pair must earn credits at an American collage, which adds extra points.
9. EXPAND YOUR HORIZON
I come from a small town in the east of Poland. I have never hated other people (although my friends may disagree), and I consider myself a very tolerant person. But only after arrival in the states, I truly started to understand what diversity means. In Poland, everyone watches and comments on your appearance, your behavior, etc. Here, and especially in New York, this is normal and I like it very much.
A weekend in Washington D.C.? New Year’s Eve in Miami ? Why not! A few months ago, it was so unattainable for me that it did not even occur to me to dream about it. And now – I’m not dreaming anymore, I’m counting down the days to see the places that I care most about. Thanks to your weekly stipend, you can set aside a pretty good sum and visit parts of the world in two years.
11. FIND A SECOND FAMILY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD
Of course, not literally. Many girls are not as lucky as me and the families they come across significantly differ from the letter or Skype conversation they’ve had with them. For me personally, it could not get any better; I feel like I am in a second home and I would not exchange my host family for anyone else. It was my perfect match!
12. LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM
So … Christmas like in ‘Kevin Alone At Home’, Halloween as we see it in movies and traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. In the au pair package, you can also get a taste of American delicacies such as: mac & cheese or grilled cheese! Unfortunately, they usually come with an additional 83975 kilograms… However, do not worry, there’re plenty of gyms literally right around the corner! So is Starbucks though…
13… BECAUSE IT MAY TURN OUT TO BE THE BEST DECISION OF YOUR LIFE!
Which is the “story of my life”. Despite a little bit of homesickness for Poland and my family and friends, this trip to the States was one of the best things that has happened to me so far. I definitely recommend it to all who are still hesitating – it is worth to break out of the gray reality and try to live your American dream for just a moment.
If you want to see more of my “American dream”, I would like to invite you to my Instagram, where you can see all of the places that I’ve traveled to already:
.. and see you soon in US!