What is an Au Pair?
Au Pair is French for “at par” or “equal to”. A person, usually a young woman but men can be au pairs too, moves to another country to integrate into a foreign family. In exchange for room & board as well as an allowance, the au pair will help with the children and light housework.
The concept of having an au pair is a simple one. Host families are able to learn about other cultures and practice their desired language with a native speaker. The au pair gets to learn about the culture and the language while exploring their new home.
No au pair experience is the same but it offers an amazing opportunity for young people to get out and explore for little to no cost.
This Summer I am living in Madrid, Spain, or more specifically Alcalá de Henares, as an au pair.
How I Got Started
Becoming an au pair is a very simple process. People can look for a family on their own or they can sign up with an agency. I did the former. I set up a profile on Au Pair World and soon I was conversing with several families about the chance to come live in their homes. After interviewing with two families, I found my match and then a contract was exchanged several times before we came to an agreement and I booked a flight to Madrid.
My [Host] Family
I arrived in Madrid on April 30th, after missing my flight from London, to my host dad (HD), Sergio, and two little boys, Pablo and Jorge. They’re a small family of four that live in a cute apartment (also known as a ‘flat’ in this part of the world) where I have my own bedroom and an extra bed for any guests.
Unfortunately, I have yet to nab a photo with my HD but he keeps the kids from riding their bikes and skateboards in to the street and I am extremely grateful for that.
This is my host mom, Ana, and she has been the best at helping me settle in.
I am absolutely obsessed with the boys and they seem pretty enamored with me as well. This is Jorge. He just turned 8 and has the cutest accent when he is speaking in English. I got a declaration of love and hug from this little dude today because I bought him juice. They’re so easy to please at this age.
Then there is little Pablo. He is 6 and a total character. I could write a book with all of the hilarious things that he’s said to me over the last few days.
What We’ve Been Doing
School was out today (Monday) so we spent most of Sunday and Monday at parks. I love watching the boys play together because they’re so sweet and considerate of each other. Here are some photos:
So far, Madrid and being an au pair has been great. The boys go back to school tomorrow so I will have time to explore Alcalá de Henares and Madrid which I am really excited about. I can already tell that this is going to be a fantastic summer.