Montag, 16. April 2018

AU PAIR GUIDE: WHAT TO REALLY EXPECT









I thought about what and how to write here for a long time. I came to the conclusion a bit structure would be good in here, so i came up with the most important points and will explain them. As ever if you have more input, please feel free to write me. 
And if you want a basic understanding of the requirements and a definiton of the term Au Pair, click here on my previous blogpost: BEING AN AU PAIR: EXPLANATION & REQUIREMENTS


EXPECTATIONS


1. WORKING HOURS


Before you start with a family, you should talk about working hours. Do they expect 20 hours, 30 hours, 40 hours or more than that. There is big fat red warning sign here: Some families tend to still see Au Pairs as cheap labour. Do not let them walk all over you! 
In the next point i am talking about appropriate pay and how to calculate it, so do not sweat about that now. 
When you are working between 0 and 25 hours, mostly (i say mostly because there are always exeptions to the rule) you are categorized as a DEMI AU PAIR. 
A Demi Au Pair mostly gets free board and accomondation for supervising the children. No or a small extra pocket money due to the small amount of hours, he/she is working. Demi Au Pair is a good job for students, part-time workers or backpackers. You have a safe place to sleep and can eat for free while having a ton of free time, to either work, study or have fun. 
As a (regular) Au Pair you are mostly working between 30 and 40+ hours a week. It is considered a full time job. 
If you are working during the week or on the weekend doesn't have anything to do with the amount of working hours. Some host parents are shift workers, so it could be that you work for 2 weeks straight and then have one whole week off, or you are meant to work at night and have the day off. The possiblities are endless. Most commenly you work during the day during the week and have the whole weekend off or even monday or friday. 
BUT in conclusion everything comes down to what you discussed with the family and if their expectations match with your wishes and if you are compatible. Please be assured you do not have to commit to anything you do not like. There are millions of host families out there which are very flexible and will match your desired expectations (well, if they are not too wild). 






   2. PAY     


If you go ahead with an organisation like AIFS or Cultural Care (i will discuss in my next post if this is a wise move or not) then you have a fixed pay. But if you are a professional in childcare for example a kindergarden teacher you get more than the "average" Au Pair. 
If you are doing this on your own (which i did) your pay is what you negotiate or what the family and you agree on. Most families had Au Pairs before you and they will have their pay already figured out and you agree to it or not. Sometimes you get lucky and get payed more than the average but as i said it is what you agreed upon with the family. 
Let me give you a direction: 300 dollars for 40 hours work a week with more than one child or 200 dollars for 20 hours with more than one child is something i came across. 
BUT keep in mind peeps: 
You have to take into account how many kids you are looking after, how many are in school, how hard is the actual work, how generous is your family when it comes to extra pays (e.g. gym membership, eating out with kids, themepark membership, personal use of a car,  etc.) 
AND do not forget you live there for free and eat for free!

So i'd say a normal room in Australia would cost per week: 150-250 dollars (we take the middle with 200). 
Then you have to feed yourself a whole week. I'd say if you live cheep you can do 100-200 dollars (again let's estimate the middle with 150). 

So you have: 
(200 + 150 + 200 (your pay) ) / 20 (hours) = 27,5
which is more than minimum wage in Australia. 

I am not saying this is the golden rule people, but it is something to help you along the way. I'd say everything over 17 (depending on other perks you get) is acceptable. 



3. ACCOMONDATION


You should definitely have your own room in the house with a door you can close. A walk-in and your own bathroom are a plus but is not a must. Some families have granny flats or pool houses, where you live in. With some you even have your own living space. It all depends on the property. In two families i shared a bathroom with the kids. Right now i have my own bathroom. 
But what your room should definitely have is either a heater (if it is cold where you live) or an air-con (if it is hot) and all amenities a home should have. A bed, sheets, towels, wifi, a closet, lights etc. You may laugh at some stuff but i heard stories where the Au Pair would sleep in the garage with no proper heating or that you would have to walk through the garden outside to get to the toilet (imagine this at night). 
So this is why i can't stretch enough: Ask those questions about everything, maybe even ask for pictures. 


4. INFRASTRUCTURE


What i mean by that is where you live, what is around you, how is public transport or if you have a car for personal use. 
Some people advertise to live in melbourne or sydney and people estimate distance like in their home country. Let me tell you something about Australia or America. Distance is not the same! A 45 minutes commute is nothing and completely normal here. So when you are talking to a family make sure to ask for their address and google maps the shit out of it. Where is it. Where is the closest train station, tram station or bus station. How long does it take to the city centre, to the beach or wherever you want to go and then compare families. I live in Caulfield North in Melbourne which is considered an inner suburb with 25 minutes with the car into the CBD and around 35 to 50 minutes via public transport. 
If i wouldn't have had access to a car for personal use in QLD i would have been stuck at home. It was a small town directly on the highway with rare public transport. 
I had a couple of friends which said they would live in Brisbane and then had to commute 50 minutes with the bus and didn't even have access to a car. 
So again people, talk to your hostparents before hand. 
A good way for example if you do not have access to a car for personal use, would be, to ask your host parents to pay for your public transport card or anything. My hostmum here gave me upon my arrival a myki card (which is the public transport card for Melbourne) with a fixed amount of money on it. Which was awesome to get me started! 


5. DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

To repeat myself further your duties and responsibilites would be everything you and your hostparents agreed upon. Some is common sense, some is acceptable, some is not ok. 


Common sense: Everything related to children
This doesn't mean cleaning up their mess, but helping them cleaning it up or encouraging them. Doing their laundry (and if you are on it, maybe pop in your hostparents with it), producing food for the children, could also be preparing their lunches, spending time with the children, playing with them, keeping them safe.



Acceptable work: 
If before hand agreed upon, light housework, like vacuuming, walking the dog, cleaning the dishes, bringing out the garbage is totally fine. Some families may have horses or a farm or require some work like ironing shirts. Everything is really ok if you agreed to it and feel comfortable with it. 

Not ok: 
 YOU ARE NOT A MAID OR A CLEANER! 
One of my friends had to clean the whole house every day, which was not ok! 
Another one had to help in the motel and doing all kind of maid related work, which was not agreed upon beforehand. 
So do not let them walk all over you and discuss what you would be comfortable doing and what not!  


6. SOCIAL LIFE


With social life i mean everything which comes with living in a foreign country with a foreign family. So your host family should make you feel like part of their family. This means if they go to family outings, you should have always have a choice to come along if you want to. But if you need a bit time for yourself they should equally respect that. 
My families always invited me to outings and it was before hand said that if I choose to come along, they pay for me and my expenses (food, entry etc.). That is something for you to talk about and if before hand agreed upon, it will save some embarrassment. 
If you are going to the movies with their kids or to a mall, your entrance and expenses for food should be covered. If you use the car for family matters, they should pay the gas. In my families we always had the deal that if i take the car on the weekend i had to pay for gas myself, but for small journeys during the week for example to the gym, my family would pay. Sometimes i got a credit card with money on for trips with the kids to use or just plain cash to spent for us all (e.g. icecream, lunch etc.). 
If the family goes on vacation and they choose not to bring you, they should have enough food for you and everything else covered. 
If you are sick, you should not feel bad to be sick. They should either stay at home or make it the most comfortable for you. I mean if you have a cold you can still look after kids and have a tv day with them or anything what doesn't require you to run or jump around. 
Also you should have enough time to explore the country and make friends and socialize and your family should make sure you have! So normally after 7 days of working, you should have some free time. In most families the norm is to work during the week and have the weekends off. Some may be shift workers, so it could be working 2 weeks, off 2 weeks. But again discuss and agree to what you feel comfortable.
If this all sounds really bad to you and started you to think twice before doing it - let me assure you, i had good families so far! I‘d do it all over again! 




ALL in ALL your experience as an Au Pair should be a fun one. You should be happy, grow, learn and experience new things and have the time of your life. 
This is what you can expect, a set of things that should give you an orientation, but the expectations may not always be the reality. 
That's why my next post will be about the REALITY OF BEING AN AU PAIR. 
So stay tuned.
And as every, if you have any input or feedback, i'd love to read everything about it in the comments. 



xx, Nad

Freitag, 2. Februar 2018

AU PAIR GUIDE: EXPLANATION & REQUIREMENTS







Hey Loves, 
in one of my last posts I showed you 9 different ways what to do after you graduated from school or university and what I decided to do out of these 9 ways. 


"I will be an Au Pair." 

But what does this really mean and what can you expect when you decide to be an Au Pair too? That's why I decided to write a series of blogposts for you. So if you think about becoming an Au Pair or thinking about hosting one and with that becoming a Host Family, stick with me. 

So there will be more parts to it:

The first one is an explanation and some requirements
Second one will be what to really expect and some of my personal experiences plus some tips.
Third part will be how to get you started, which country fits your criteria, where and how to find your perfect hostfamily.
Fourth will be visa and travel related stuff. 





I want to to address some requirements and what it means to be an Au Pair: 

"An au pair is an unmarried young adult aged 18 to 30 years, who has no children and travels to a foreign country for a defined period of time to live with a host family.
The au pair is considered as a full member of the family during the entire stay. As such, he or she helps the family with childcare and can be asked to assume some light household tasks. In return, the host family provides free board and lodging, as well as pocket money. However, the au pair is neither a housekeeper, nor a nanny."

So I found this definition on one of the Au Pair agency sites. The important parts are bold:

1. For au pairing in America you have to be unmarried due to the law, so that your husband can't claim to also come to the US because of your marriage. With Europe I don't see a problem here if you are married (but please if you have other infos, please correct me). 

2. 18 to 30 years. Simply because with 18 you are no longer considered a child. 

3. No children. I couldn't find a law but I suppose it is the same reason as with the unmarried rule. But if you are between 18 to 30 and you have children they wouldn't be old enough so you could leave them (i know, there can be exceptions to the rule).

4. There is a defined period of time to live with a host family. For the US it is mostly one full year or longer. In Europe, Australia & New Zealand there are all different periods from 1 week (if it is an emergency) to 2 years. 

5. You will be considered a full member of the family. Well at least you should be. You should be a big sister or big brother to the kids and in the best case a friend to the parents. 

6. Yes you red that right. Dudes can be Au Pairs too. They are sometimes called Bro Pairs. Some agencies are listening them as well. Like Cultural Care

7. As an Au Pair your main job will be to look after the children and care for them. 

8. Light household task mean mostly cleaning stuff related to the children. So do their laundry, clean when they leave a mess and things like this. But when someone let you live in their house, it should be good manners to sometimes take the trash outside, cleaning the dishwasher etc. It is all about being polite and appreciating the family. 

9. In exchange for the two previous mentioned points you are living for free in the house with your host family and can eat for free

10. and you get a pocket money, to get by. The range differs by country. 

11. The last one is in pink, because even though mentioned the previous points. you are not a housekeeper or a nanny. So make sure guys that your family doesn't get confused. This arrangement is based on respect on trust. 

In my next post i'll give you an insight in what to really expect, my experiences & some tips. 



xx, Nad


As always i am happy for every feedback, your comments and your own experiences.





//



Hallo meine Lieben, 
in einem meiner letzten Posts habe ich euch 9 verschiedenen Wege aufgezählt, was man nach seinem Abschluss mit seinem Leben anstellen kann und welchen Weg ich im Endeffekt gewählt habe: 

"Ich werde wieder Au Pair." 

Aber was heißt das eigentlich genau? Was erwartet einen, wenn man sich dazu entscheidet als Au Pair zu arbeiten? Um diese Fragen und alle, die noch auf dem Weg aufkommen werden, zu beantworten, habe ich mich dazu entschieden eine Serie von Blogposts zu diesem Thema zu schreiben. Wenn ihr also darüber nachdenkt ein Au Pair zu werden oder auch ein Au Pair zu hosten, dann sind das hier die Blogposts für euch

Ich habe entschieden, das Thema wie folgt aufzuschlüsseln: 

Begriffserklärung und einige Voraussetzungen  
- Was dich wirklich erwartet, persönliche Erfahrungen und einige Tips 
- Die ersten Schritte um zu starten, welches Land deinen Wünschen entspricht, wo und wie du die perfekte Hostfamilie findest
- Visum- und Einreisebedingungen





Ich möchte zuerst ein paar Voraussetzungen besprechen und was es heißt ein Au Pair zu sein: 

"Ein Au Pair ist unverheiratet, zwischen 18 und 30 Jahren alt, hat keine Kinder und reist in ein fremdes Land für eine bestimmte Zeit um dort bei einer Hostfamilie zu leben
Das Au Pair wird während des kompletten Aufenthalts als vollwertiges Familienmitglied angesehen. Als solches, hilft er oder sie der Familie auf die Kinder aufzupassen und kann gebeten werden leichte Hausarbeiten zu verrichten. Als Gegenleistung stellt die Familie eine Unterkunft, Verpflegung und ein wöchentliches Taschengeld für das Au Pair zur Verfügung. Es ist jedoch zu betonen, dass das Au Pair weder eine Putzkraft noch eine Nanny ist."

Diese Definition stammt von einer der Au Pair Vermittlungen. Die wichtigsten Aussagen sind fett markiert: 

1. Um als Au Pair in Amerika arbeiten zu können, musst du laut Gesetz unverheiratet sein. Aus dem einfachen Grund, dass dein Ehemann nicht Anspruch darauf haben kann auch nach Amerika zu kommen. In Europa habe ich dazu nichts gefunden. (Falls Ihr jedoch andere Infos habt, freue ich mich über Input.)

2. 18 bis 30 Jahre. 18 rührt daher, dass du nicht mehr als Kind angesehen wirst in Europa. (Natürlich gibt es auch hier die Ausnahme von der Regel und ich kenne ein paar Au Pairs die erst 17 sind.) Es gibt verschiedenen Visatypen die eine Altersobergrenze haben. Dazu erläutere ich näheres im vierten Teil meiner Reihe, wenn ich über Visa berichte. 

3. Keine Kinder. Dazu habe ich kein Gesetz gefunden, ich denke jedoch, dass es der selbe Gedanke wie bei der ersten Regel ist. Außerdem wohnst du ja bei einer fremden Familie und deine Hauptaufgabe sollte sein auf deren Kinder aufzupassen und nicht auf deine eigenen. 

4. Du lebst auf bestimmte Zeit bei einer Hostfamilie. In Amerika wäre das ein Jahr oder länger. In Europa, Australien und Neuseeland gibt es verschiedene Zeitfenster. Das kann eine Woche (in Notfällen) bis hin zu zwei Jahren sein.  

5. Du wirst als vollwertiges Familienmitglied angesehen. Zumindest solltest du das werden! Ein Au Pair sollte eine große Schwester oder ein großer Bruder sein und im besten Fall ein Freund/Freundin für die Eltern.

6. Und ja, ihr habt richtig gelesen. Jungs können auch als Au Pair arbeiten. Die Bezeichnung dafür ist Bro Pair. Einige Agenturen listen Jungs auch auf ihren Webseiten, zum Beispiel Cultural Care

7. Als Au Pair ist dein Hauptaufgabe auf die Kinder aufzupassen. JA!! 

8. Leichte Hausarbeiten meint alles was mit den Kindern zu tun hat. Zum Beispiel die Wäsche, das Geschirr abspülen oder Spielsachen aufzuräumen. Das bedeutet nicht das Haus von oben bis unten zu putzen! Außer du hast dazu zugestimmt. (Was ich nicht machen würde.) Die meisten Familien haben eine Putzfrau oder putzen selbst. Meine Aufgaben waren von Familie zu Familie verschieden. Ich war beispielsweise für die Wäsche der Kinder zuständig. Es liegt in deinem eigenen Ermessen, welche Aufgaben du für relevant hälst im Bezug auf deine Rolle als Au Pair. Aber bedenke, eine fremde Familie lässt dich in ihrem Haus wohnen, deshalb sollte man zum Beispiel mal abwaschen oder die Spülmaschine ausräumen, einfach nur um guten Willen, Dankbarkeit und gute Erziehung zu zeigen. 

9. Im Austausch für die oben genannten Punkte, lebst du und isst umsonst bei deiner Gastfamilie.

10. Und bekommst Taschengeld. Die Rate ist von Land zu Land unterschiedlich. 

11. Der letzte Satz ist in pink, denn obwohl ich ihn schon vorher erwähnt habe, kann ich ihn nicht oft genug betonen: Du bist weder eine Putzfrau noch eine Nanny. Du bist ein Familienmitglied aus einem anderen Land. Es ist eher ein kulturelles Austauschprogramm, keine billige Arbeitsvermittlung! Bitte stellt sicher, dass eure Familie das genauso sieht! Ansonsten wird das keine schöne Erfahrung für euch! Ich hatte bis jetzt großes Glück mit meinen Familien, aber ich habe auch sehr unangenehme Geschichten gehört. Für mich ist das das allerwichtigste Argument, mit dem die Erfahrung steht oder fällt. 

In meinem nächsten Post werde ich euch einen Ausblick geben, was du zu erwarten hast, was meine Erfahrungen waren/sind & einige Tips.



xx, Nad


Wie immer bin ich über Feedback dankbar und freue mich über eure Kommentare und Erfahrungen. 

Freitag, 5. Januar 2018

BUCKETLIST 2018: NADSABOUTYOU








BUCKET LIST: a list of things to do before you die. 

Well as we are all ambitious people, i am not willing to wait so long to achieve my goals. That's why i decided to do a bucket list every year. 

I've always been one of those people who loves lists. I make lists for almost everything. My boyfriend mostly saves his lists on his phone, so he is very digital with it. I, on the other hand, write them down on paper. 
That's why i have a weekly planner with all my things to do and dates and meetings, which i carry around with me everywhere. He, on the other hand, has everything in his calender on his phone. 
Which type of person are you? 

With this post i want to inspire you to write down your very own bucket list for 2018!
Do it on paper, do it on your phone, heck make a voice mail. But create one! Follow your dreams and don't be afraid to dream big! 


MY BUCKETLIST 2018



1. Snorkel with a giant tortoise 
(Since i am currently in Australia this should be doable.)

2. Travel to New York City 
(After my A-levels i've been an Au Pair in America and i stayed in a suburb outside NYC and completely fell in love with this city. So i am planning on revisiting my favorite city after 7 years again.)

3. Start my master studies aboard
(So i really wanted to do my master studies abroad in a scandinavic country. This now seems to be a challenge to find the right subject and the right city.)

4. Learn to ski
(My boyfriend loves skiing in winter and i ever since said to him, sometimes i am coming with you, but i actually never did. So this one is for you babe.)

5. Learn to speak french
(So i've been on an erasmus semester in France three years ago and i learned french in high school, but i didn't really excel in it. So this year i really want to improve my basic skills, probably using babbel.com, a friend of mine improved her italian with it big time.) 

6. Watch a whale
(I arrived in october in Australia and whalewatching season ended mid of november i missed it. I didn't see a whale. This was actually on my australia bucket list before i ever cam to australia. So since i am staying until april and changing families to melbourne i will be able to see a whale. Actually i hope to see a lot.)

7. Live in the same city as my boyfriend
(Guys, this is a cheesy one, so i don't mind if you skip this one. 
But since i moved to the other side of the world and in the last years, i did a semster abroad in France and he studied in the Netherlands, one of my deepest wishes is to be for once in the same city with my lover, preferable in the same appartment. 
This comes along with bucket list #3 the studying abroad. It is actually really difficult to find a master in informatics and a master in marketing in the same city abroad, which will not bankrup you. 
So YES fellas, as cheesy as it sounds, it is perfect simple, i want to live and study in the same city with my better half.)

8. Ride along the beach
(Since you all know i am a horse girl, one of my oldest dreams is to ride along a beach, without a saddle, hair blowing in the wind, water splashing... 
It is a young girls phantasy and probably just a horse girl can relate to it :D) 

9. Immerse into new sports
(I am regular at hitting the gym and i really tried running but it is kinda not my thing. So this year i am all about trying and really sticking and hopefully loving a new type of sport. 
I thought about either Yoga or Pilates or trying a sports app like BBG stronger by kayla itsines or Asana Rebel.)

10. Cut out meat twice a week
(Don't get me wrong, i love meat! I love burgers and i love my bolognese sauce on my nudels, but as i get older i get more concious about my body and about the environment and i really want to give something back to preserve our earth. I won't go full veggie or vegan even, because i just don't have the strengh to cut meat fully, but twice a week everyone can do!)


So what would be on your bucket list for 2018? 
I'd love to hear all about your goals and dreams and maybe i can adapt one or two! Leave it in the comments! 

xx, Nad
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