Official Au Pair in America blogger Jessika is back with an update after her first month in the USA. She’s talking about Orientation, meeting her host family for the first time, culture shock and lots more!
Time goes fast, it seems like it was yesterday that I was packing my bags to embark on this adventure.
As the door to the airport hall opened, I found one of the funniest people I had met so far, we were all greeted with great enthusiasm and I felt totally welcomed into this wonderful country. I would describe the Orientation hotel as the world in one place, so many different nationalities, languages, faces and smiles. It was amazing being able to be in this place which provided learning, new friends and so much fun. Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to those we’d developed great friendships with over just a couple of days. It felt just as difficult as when we had to leave our families at the airport. It’s good to know that we can make friends wherever we are.
MEETING MY HOST FAMILY
Nervousness, racing heart and sweaty hands define this moment. My whole host family came to meet me, there they were waiting for me with the Brazilian team shirt and big smiles on their faces. They welcomed me, hugged me and my host father said – “Are there two kisses on the cheeks in Brazil. Right? “- and I said ” Yeeees!” I felt welcomed from the first moment, we all travelled to their home and I continue to be well treated and I keep thanking them for choosing me as their au pair.
I think everyone who is taking part in an exchange program should know what this means just in case they experience it themselves. In this first month besides the difference in language and customs, what caught my attention the most was the food, everything here is “Big”, the portions are immense (Family Size), they cost very little and often the taste of the food is different to what we are accustomed to. Also the cars are “Big Monsters” too, but the education they provide on driving in the U.S and with the pedestrians is incredible. The culture shock for me serves as a good thing that makes me a better person, adapting to the differences and still being myself is wonderful for me and will only help me to grow as a person.
ADAPTATION AND HOMESICKNESS
For me adapting was not difficult. I dreamed so much about this moment that everything that has been happening every day is a reason to be thankful for being blessed and to have found all these wonderful people. My advice to the future au pairs is if you really want to do this, get ready, plan and stay focused. Never let someone stand in the way of you achieving your dreams!
THINGS THAT WOULD NOT HAPPEN IF I WAS NOT AN AU PAIR:
- Visit Times Square, Central Park, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center, Greenwich Village, SOHO and Radio City Music Hall
- Open an account in the Bank alone and speak in my second language with confidence and no assistance
- Fly over NYC by helicopter (the most incredible views!)
Do you still doubt if you want to be an Au Pair? Next month I’ll tell you more about where I’ve been living here, so stay tuned for my adventures and more motivation!