Nine Steps for an Au Pair

  1. With or without an agency?

      • That is a big question each person must ask herself. Do you want to save money? Is an agency a wise choice? These are questions you must answer for yourself.

      • Without an agency you save yourself some money, but the process is more complex. It is difficult to find a family on your own, but not impossible.

      • With an agency everything is much easier. When choosing an agency, however, it is important to know what services are important to you and which agency appeals to you the most.

  2. In which country and for how long?

      • Combine work with the country of your dreams, because there will always be time to travel or enjoy the landscape.

      • Whether you need a passport or an international driver's license depends on what your destination is and how long you want to stay. Make sure your passport is valid long enough. Some country's agencies or embassies require that your passport is valid for 2 ½ years after your arrival. Be sure to ask at the agency or embassy.

      For more information click here.
  3. Choosing your guest family

    • Do not choose just any family. You will be living with these people, day in and day out, for quite some time. It should be a family that suits you.

    • If you search for a family on your own, then you have free choice.
    • If you are working with an organization, they send your details to the families. The agency tries to contact families that can suit you. After you have telephoned with them, you can usually choose between them. Take this as an opportunity. It is a two-way street: you alone do not have to suit the family, it has to suit you, too.

    • A tip: take notes while telephoning. This will help you make your choice. Once you have found the right family, you can be on your way.

  4. Is a visa needed?

    If you need a visa and what kind of visa, depends on which country you want to stay in. If you are planning your stay with an agency, they will guide you through the application process. Otherwise, you should contact the embassy of the country of your choice for information regarding a visa. Remember that the application process can take some time and be expensive.
    For more information look for the specific country information.

  5. Is health insurance needed?

    Health insurance is indispensable. Find out for sure if you need additional coverage. If you are staying in Europe, your own health insurance covers the costs in the event of illness. Most of the time you need additional health insurance coverage if you must apply for a visa. Be very careful that the insured amounts provide adequate coverage.
    For more information click here or continue on health insurance.

  6. Travel plans

    Depending on your destination, you need either a plane, train or bus ticket. If an agency is making the arrangements for you, they will also help you with the plans for the first few days. For example, pick-up service from the airport, orientation sessions, travel to your guest family.

  7. Further information

    • Do not forget to cancel or suspend contracts. For example, mobile phone, apartment rent, memberships, insurance policies.
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    • Decide if you need a credit card. The application for this also requires some time.
      For more information click here

  8. Packing

    • It is best to make a list before packing. Find out if things you need or do not wish to live without are available in the country of your choice. For example, medication, cosmetics or snacks.

    • Do not take too much with! You will probably buy many things during your overseas stay. All this has to be brought back home somehow.

    • Pay attention to weight and size limits of luggage. (Check the regulations of the airlines you are flying with).

    • It is always nice to take a present to your guest family. It is best to bring something that is characteristic of your home country.

    • When flying, always check what you can carry where in your luggage. For example, what can be in your carry-on, what must go into the luggage you check.

    • For more information click here

  9. Do not forget to relax and look forward to your new experience!