Susa: In the following days I started searching information on how the au pair program works. Everybody was saying it is wonderful, that you learn the language on site, new life, it is the only chance to go discover the States, rent and food were included, but nobody was talking about costs.
At the beginning of September I logged in AuPair World and I created my profile. Costs were said to be none, since it was an online website, and the minimum requirements were easy to fulfill (high school diploma, driving licence, being single, having between 18 and 26 years old, basic knowledge of the English language). After completing my profile, I was checking every single day the posts and I was applying to every family I was interesting in.
In the mean time I started telling Mapu about my plan to become an Au Pair, that I already made sure I was suitable with the program and why I wanted to leave. Intrigued by my plan she created herself a profile on AuPiar-World. We had two very different experiences that we are going to tell you right now:
I probably applied to about 30th different families, but the majority of the times the family doesn’t even open the application, doesn’t read your profile and doesn’t answer you. I got only one reply from and American-German family, that after adding me on Skype (because you have to interview via Skype) died. Disappeared. I changed and implemented my profile every now and then, I kept adding pics and description, thinking that I was the problem, but today I think that the truth was simply that the website is not secure and trusty. To confirm my theory, surfing the web I found a lot of stories from girls that had very bad experiences after matching with a family that they met online.
Mapu: I subscribed on the website Susanna suggested me, and I started applying to advertisements posted by Spanish families living in Spain or other European countries because I LOVE the Spanish language and culture. I immediately had a lot of answers, especially because the rules to become au pair in Spain are different then the ones for the States: fist of all it is not regulated by the state law, there is not a minimum wage and there is not a limit for the amount of working hours you can perform. Moreover I would have had to pay the round trip flight. I also applied to other au pair’s websites: easyaupair and greataupair, but even these ones resulted in being pretty useless… I had some contacts, but families were disappearing soon (except for a family that wanted to add me on Facebook, but even this one died soon), so I started to feel very discouraged….
Although the website is not trusty to find a family, the pros are that it gives you a lot of useful and complete information. It is actually thanks to this website that I learnt a lot. For example what the requirements were, the salary in the different states, which needed a Visa and which one no, etc…
So if you have some free time, go take a look.
Susa e Mapu