Hi! Can you tell me something about yourself?
My name is Ambre, I’m 22, (I was 20 when I left for the USA, in October 2012).I’m from France and I spent my year as an au pair in Seattle, Washington state. I took care of one girl, she was 3 1/2 when I arrived.
Why have you chosen to be an au pair?
I wanted to be an au pair, because I was very attracted by the USA, and I wanted to improve my english, as all of the other au pair I think But I also wanted to live in another country, to discover my boundaries and what I was able to do. I needed to proof to myself that I was able to live my hometown for a new country and a new family.
Which agency did you use?
I was with Cultural Care Au Pair
Did you feel homesick?
Never. Oh maybe one time, but that was fast. For like 2 days, when my mom and my sister left Seattle, after visiting me. But that’s all
Did your english improve? How good(or bad) is your english when you arrived there?Hi! Can you tell me something about yourself?
I had a pretty good english, I was able to understand pretty much everything, but I had hard times with grammar and tenses. After 1 year, I can say I have a good english, almost fluent. I can totally understand english, and I can talk fluentluy and easily without thinking before. I’m still making some mistakes (and more now, because I’m back in France since 3 months, so I lost my english a little :() but it’s waaay better than when I left for the usa.
What was your big challenge?
My big challenge was to be the first au pair of the family. My host kid was very tough with me. She had a lot of huge dramas, she was out of control. I had a hard time for 5 months
oh.. and how have you managed that?
Well, I never gave up. I show her I was the one in charge. She finally understood that wasn’t my fault if her mom had to live to go to work… and we both learn how to live together. Finally, she was like a little sister for me, I really really loved her, and we had such a great times together. I think the hard times made our friendship stronger
Have you ever had problems with Host Family?
Not really. Sometimes I worked more than I should but I had a strong relationship with my host mom, so we talked a lot and she always tried to make me feel at home, and she gave me lot of free time to travel. Also, she took me a lot in her family trip with them.
you are a lucky au pair!! I heard lots of bad stories.. a lot of au pairs “matched” 3/4 months before their arrival and then they don’t know how often they have to write with their HF.. can you tell me your experience?
Well, I matched only 1 month before my departure date. So I had a really short time for the visa, bags etc… So we skyped 3 times (one time before the match, one time when we matched and one time one week before the D Day). And we talked by email 3 or 4 times. But we were both really busy, she was working on my arrival and I was taking care of my departure, so I didn’t really think about that.
ok!! Every family is different, and this is why I want to publish every story.. can you give an advice for future aupairs?
Choose your host family wisely ! Don’t match with the first one just because you’re eager to leave ! I looked for a host family for 5 months ! I heard to many stories about au pairs who had to rematch because they match too fast. Also, don’t rematch too fast. You’ll need 2/3 months to adapt to your family and especially to the kids. I never gave up, even if I had hard times for 5 months. This adventure is not a relax trip, you’re here to work and it’ll be hard, very hard sometimes, but if you choose right, your family will help you and your friends too ! Don’t think you’re going to a vacation !Being an au pair is an amazing adventure, but it’s also very tough ! I miss my au pair life, and I miss like crazy my host kid. Enjoy your year, you’re lucky ! You’ll live the adventure of your life. And: don’t forget to travel, as much as you can !
Thank you! Bye bye!