We say this ALL the time but it’s so true, so we’ll say it again! Your Au Pair in America experience lasts much longer than the 12 months you spend in the US. No-one knows that more than former au pair Chiara.
My name is Chiara and I am a former Au Pair from Germany. I am currently interning for the U.S. office of Au Pair in America in Stamford, Connecticut. In today’s blog, I have the honour to share my story with you. I’ll tell you why I decided to apply for this program and how this decision has impacted my future in many ways.
The idea of going abroad intrigued me for a long time. During my senior year of high school one of my friends took me to a gap year fair that made me aware of the au pair program. I remember vividly how fascinated I was and shortly after I started my application process to make my dream come true.
SO, WHY AU PAIR?
I decided to become an au pair, instead of doing Work & Travel, because I wanted to see the U.S. I wanted to get to know its culture and its people. In addition to that, I liked to have the security of staying with a host family for an entire year. Whilst having an agency that has my back in case something comes up. The combination of caring for the host family’s children, meeting people from all over the world. And having the freedom of exploring the United States is an extremely enriching experience.
MY AU PAIR LIFE
I was in the US from July 2014 until May 2016, I stayed with two host families and I enjoyed my time with them tremendously. In my first year, I stayed with a host family in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I took care of three children that were six, nine and eleven years old. In my extension year, I stayed with another host family in Fairfax, Virginia. They also had three children that were about the same age. It is incredible to see what a positive impact I could have on the children’s lives. Becoming a role model for them was just amazing. Those two years have changed me remarkably. The friendships I made with people back then, still play a big role in my life today.
2 YEARS LATER…
After almost two years of being an au pair, it was time for me to go home. It was quite difficult for me to go back. I had got so used to the American lifestyle, grew very close with both of my host families and my friends there.
MY AMERICAN DREAM CONT…
My life choices, even after my time as an au pair, have been connected in certain ways to the United States. A country that I truly fell in love with. I got accepted at the University of Heidelberg and decided to major in American Studies. This also allowed me to spend my junior year at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. This is my second long-term stay in America after my time as an au pair five years ago. Right after I finished my junior year, in May 2019, the U.S. office of Au Pair in America has kindly offered me an internship. My internship has allowed me to get an entirely different perspective on this program and the company’s vision.
It will be very hard for me to go back to Germany again, but I am sure that this will not be my last stay in the U.S. I am looking forward to seeing what the future will hold.