Host Family Interview -Work edition

Waiting *patiently* for an email saying that a host family is looking at your profile and wanting to interview you is something even I had a hard time with! It is important to really have a chat with the family and have a list of questions that you don’t have to ask in a formal fashion but need to know.

You don’t have to do this:

Family: Hi, so nice to meet you!

You: Hi, nice to meet you too. I have a list of questions that I would like to talk about.

Do it super casual but there are some IMPORTANT things you should know before matching with a family. This will focus on the job aspect of being an Aupair and the more “culture” aspect will be in a different blog. 


  1. What precisely are your expectations of me?
  2. How do you see an au pair fitting into your family?
  3. Describe your perfect au pair?
  4. What type of au pair are you looking for?
  5. Do I need to drive? If so, how often?
  6. Will I have private access to the car?
  7. Have you had an au pair before and for how long?
  8. How did you find that experience?
  9. Is it possible to get in contact with your previous au pair?
  10. What part was your favorite part about hosting an au pair?
  11. What are you excited about more to host an au pair for the first time/again?

It is also very important to talk about kids and family dynamics. It shows that you care about the children and family and really, that you are not selfish and there for the wrong reasons. Some things that you can ask are:


  1. What are your kid’s personalities like?
  2. How do your kids get along with each other?
  3. How do your kids get along with you?
  4. How do your kids get along with other people/friends?
  5. What do they do in their free time?
  6. What are their favorite activities?
  7. How can I participate in their favorite activities?
  8. What are the kid’s schedules like?
  9. What is a typical day like for the kids?
  10. What languages do they speak?
  11. Can I teach them the language from my home country?
  12. Do you have any house chores set in place?
  13. Do you have any house rules set in place?
  14. What disciplinary styles do you implement?
  15. What do you want my role to be in your household?
  16. What would you say is the most challenging thing about your children?
  17. What would you like me to do more with your children?
  18. Are there any different activities you would want the kids to do?
  19. Are the kids potty trained?
  20. Do they have any allergies?
  21. Do they have special needs?
  22. Do I need to prepare meals for the kids or the rest of the family?
  23. Do you have any pets?
  24. Have you had an au pair before?
  25. How do the kids feel about having an au pair?

These are just some of the things that you should consider asking and finding out before matching with someone. Also- remember that there are a lot of families out there so don’t take the first one just because you are scared to wait. There’s a great family out there for you. (also- why does it sound like I am giving relationship advice?)

However, if you think the first family is good and what you want you really should match them. I matched with the first family and I don’t regret it! I am going back to them this year which tells you a lot about the relationship I have with them. 

Remember that the kids are your first priority so you need to ask questions about them, you need to be interested in them! Everything else can take a back seat and visited at a later stage. 

Do you follow me on Instagram?

READ MORE: What to pack for a year of Aupairing


Tagged :

Costs – Aupair in America

Today we talk about the costs involved in the WHOLE process. What got to me about the whole application process is that the agency did NOT tell me about it. They made it simple.

All you pay is program fee; admin fee and visa fee then everything is done. Right??



That’s the thing, they never tell you the nitty-gritty things and honestly, a lot of it was out of our budget because all those costs add up. Today I will share everything that I remember spending money on. I won’t give a value on how much I personally spent on it because of currently differences but in Rands, it was close to 10k.

1. Program Fee

The agency does actually tell you about it. This fee varies from agency to agency and from year to year. The agency always tells you this at the beginning of the application.

2. Application Fee/Admin fee:

This is a fee you pay to the agency for helping you do everything and the admin (DUH) that is involved in the process

3. Visa Application

This literally changes as the currency changes between your country and The US.

4. Dr visit

You need to get stuff signed off from your doctor so you need to see him and if you don’t have insurance (like most people in SA) you have to pay cash for it

5. TB Testing

Here again, if you don’t have insurance you have to pay for your TB test in cash. Sometimes your insurance does not cover it so again, cash

6. International License

You need to convert your license to an international one and guess what? That also costs money.

7. Photo’s

You need photos for your international license as well as your visa and they are different ones (yay) this is just an example of how the little things add up.

Upgraded Insurance: You are able to upgrade your insurance while you are in the States OR take out extra insurance for your travel month. This is worth taking out

8. Tour

You get the chance to go on a tour on Tuesday night when you are in training school which costs about $70. Personally, I do not think it is worth it but if you don’t live in New York or close to NYC then it probably is worth it.

9. Spending money

You generally do not get paid on your first week and you need money to do all the cool things that are in NYC. Everyone takes something different and it is totally up to you on how much you take.

10. Gifts for your host family

This is not something you HAVE to do, but it is fun and it costs money too.

I think that is it, you cannot forget toiletries and typical food you will miss as well as treats and money for coffee and food at the airport. It all adds up. You make the money up in your first month which is cool but you do have to lay out a lot in the beginning.

Follow me on Instagram 

Have you read my other blogs on The Application; Legal Agencies and some Facts about Au Pairing in America? Be sure to check them out!


Tagged : / /

Application Process – Aupair in America

Hey everyone and welcome back! Today we will be talking about the actual application process of being an Au Pair. I will just be discussing the application-specific to Au Pair in America as I have recently completed my second-time application. I will also be giving you some tips and tricks when it comes to specific things.

Your application is broken down into specific sections and each section is broken up again.


Application Form

So this is just the part where it gives you space to fill out basic information such as name; age; birth date. It also asks you about your hobbies; family life, etc. This is a large chunk of your application so my suggestion is to take it slow and answer the questions truthfully and in as much detail as you can.

Childcare Experience

This is when you suck up to everyone whose children you looked after. It says that you should have 2 references, but my suggestion is to have more than that. Your family does not count so what I did was have 3-5 references and one of them was family. You can add as many childcare hours as you want (as long as they are not made up) and add a reference where applicable. The more diverse your childcare hours are, the better the applications look when it comes to a family’s perspective.

Dear Host Family Letter

This was probably the hardest part of the application for me. In the beginning, it was because I didn’t like essays, now it’s like ugh, I have done this so many times, do I REALLY HAVE to do this?? The answer is simple: Yes. This gives the family a front seat into your head and to see what you expect from them and what your real reason is for going to America. Is it to travel? Is it to sit in bed and watch Netflix every day? Obviously you will not say that to them but they can judge you by the way your letter is written, which is why this is the scary part for me.

This is what the agency says when it comes to writing the essay

“This should be more than 600 words long. Things to include are:

  • Who you are (your family and friends)
  • What your hobbies and interests are
  • Discuss your childcare experience and the children you cared for. Explain why and how you enjoyed the experience and what you learned from it.
  • Tell them what you hope to gain from your experience in the program. What interests you about American families, children, and culture?

This is your chance to show off your personality. so make it something you can be proud of.”

If you want to read my various letters (I have a bunch) comment and I will do a separate blog post on them. I also think it is super important to always redo your letters once a year or whenever you apply because you change so much over the year, especially since you look after kids; your preferences might change and that is okay. Just be open and honest.

Fun Fact: The last letter I just did, I had to do TWICE because the first one did not save and my laptop crashed midway. I was in a cafe and I literally threw my phone down and gave up. That essay was 1000 words so yeah, I was not happy.


The agency always suggests loading about 4 photos. None of them should be posed. Action shots are the best shots when you are with kids and it shows that you are interactive with them and not actually just posing with them.

1- Family photo

2 + 3- You with some kids

4- You with friends.

This is an important one: Look at your social media. Does it have photos of you drinking? Wasted? Doing something that doesn’t seem too good? You should probably delete it. Before you get angry and tell me that ‘everyone drinks;’ ‘everyone has a crazy night sometimes.’

Yes, this is true. Look at it from the parents view though, would you be happy with someone who is drunk a lot and proudly shows it off on social media looking after your kids? Would you be okay with someone who smokes, look after your kid? It seems a bit judgemental but there have been cases where parents actually ask for a rematch because they saw their AuPairs getting completely wasted on social media.

At the end of the day, don’t friend your host family on social media when you are there and clean up your social media. People look at it and that is actually how my current family found me, by going on my social media and reading my blogs.


Yes, having a video is an actual thing and it is vital you ACTUALLY have one for a lot of agencies. I can’t say much more about it, but basically what I did was talk about the same points that I had in my “Dear Host Family Letter.” This is what APiA says about it:

“Your video clip should be 1-2 minutes long. IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT exceed 3 minutes. If your video is more than 3 minutes, it will be rejected. Use your video to tell host families something about yourself, such as details about your childcare experience, what you like doing in your free time, or why you can’t wait to be an Au Pair in America.”

Other Documents

There are some other things that you need that do not really fit into anything else.

1- Character Reference: You need someone to basically tell everyone that you are actually a decent person and would be good to look after their kids. You cannot have a family member do this so the best is probably a friend or someone at work/a teacher.

2- Criminal Record: This is fairly simple, you have to go to the police and take your fingerprints. They will then send you a certificate saying ‘yay, you are not a criminal’ and that will be that. If you have a criminal record for any reason, you will NOT be considered into the program.

3- Drivers License: You need a valid license to be able to Aupair as most of America runs on driving cars from A to B

4- Medical Report: You need to go to the Dr to be cleared and viewed as fit to AuPair. It is fairly simple and the Dr just has to sign some stuff and you will be on your way.

That is about it when it comes to your application. It seems like a lot and in all honesty, it is but fairly simple to get done quickly which is great!

If you have any questions about it or are currently doing your application, feel free to message me and I will be able to help where I can! Also, check out my last post here. It talks about all the LEGAL agencies!


Tagged : / /

Legal Agencies – Aupair in America

Today we talk about agencies. There are roughly 11 legal Au Pair agencies in the world. I will obviously only talk about the ones I have had experience with (yes, there were multiple) and whom I recommend. Here are some I know about:

  1. Au Pair in America
  2. Culture Care
  3. Au Pair Care
  4. Easy Au Pair
  5. Au Pair International
  6. Inter-exchange

In South Africa, you can go through YDP, OVC and Carla’s AuPair’s which all work through a partner agency. Basically they are the partners for Au Pair Care and Au Pair International.

As a point, a male can also be an Au Pair and they are often wanted when the family has all boys. Culture Care and Inter-exchange both take male Au pairs.

Personally I would highly recommend Au Pair in America for a number of reasons.

  1. They really are such a great agency and will always help you out when you need it.
  2. They are very proactive and always make sure the Au Pairs are okay and happy in their families. Obviously there are different stories and not everyone will agree with me, but that really just is the experience I personally had.

Another agency I will recommend is Carla’s AuPair’s. I have actually never worked with them but I recently reached out to Carla specifically about an issue I had in Holland (she sends Au Pairs out all over the world) and was so helpful and amazing even though I personally am not under her.

With regards to agencies in South Africa- I do not recommend OVC at all. They were so unhelpful and just rude to me the entire process. I applied with them as they were the cheapest at the time and were at my career day BUT they were not so nice once I handed over my money.

Basically OVC goes through two au pair agencies in America. One is Au Pair Care and the other is Au Pair International. I was not allowed to sign up with Au Pair Care because at the time I had recently been put on medication for high insulin and they said they cannot accept me so OVC went with the other agency.

Now, if you are on chronic medication, you are actually allowed to be signed up to an agency as long as the medication does not affect you. I could have fought them on this point but at the time I had not done my research or anything, I instead believed these people because they were ‘adults’.

I was with this agency for about 7 months with not a single-family interested in me. They always gave me the excuse that I was either too young, not experienced enough, or that I had not had my license for that long. Let’s just have some facts for a second. At 18 I had about 5 000 hours worth of childcare. Yes, 5 000 hours. That’s a lot, I know. The minimum is 200 hours so that was an obvious excuse on their part.

Most American’s have Au pairs that are around 18/19 years old, so again, another excuse. The only thing they could put on me was the fact that I just had my license. I eventually signed up with Au pair in America while I was still with this agency and when I emailed them stating I had found another family, they did not even have the decency to say good luck or anything. So rude.

That leaves YDP. I never did approach them when I went through the American program, but I did go through them with my Holland program. It was honestly the WORST experience I have ever had. The agent I went through was incompetent and caused more trouble for me than I needed. She mad errors on her part and blamed me. It got so bad that their partner agency here in Holland called her up and told me to treat me like a person (yes, it was that bad!) I will get more into that when I talk about my Holland experience.

That’s basically my experience with the different agencies in South Africa! I have had friends that went with the above-mentioned agencies and had great experiences. I think it all comes down to your interviewer and how they treat you.

In my next post I will talk about the application as a whole. From start to finish. Although it is a very long application, it is a relatively easy application.

Until then.

Follow me on Instagram


Dealing with conflict with your host family

Tagged : /

Introduction & Facts

Hi and welcome to Weirdlife of an Aupair. Today I will introduce you to being an Aupair and some facts about being an Aupair in America. Many people know that I was an Aupair in America. I left South Africa when I was 19 to pursue this amazing adventure which has changed my life in so many different ways. I’ve always recommended people who don’t know what to do, to do this program. You get paid and have no overheads (such as paying rent and buy food etc). You get to travel and you get to flipping go to America. What more do you want?

I am always being asked questions about the whole process of being an Au Pair, so I thought I would do a blog on it. That way anyone looking for information can get it and I don’t have to repeat myself and forget very important information like I often do. It’s a problem! 

Here are some facts about the American program:

  1. There are around 11 different official agencies that you can go through
  2. It is a government-regulated program meaning the government sets the rules for your year or 2 in the States
  3. There is a 3-day orientation that happens close to Manhattan. 
  4. You are only allowed to work up to 45 hours a week and allowed 1,5 days off a week as a regular Aupair and 30 hours as an Educare Au Pair, 
  5. You typically only get $195,75 a week which isn’t a lot but it can get you far if you save
  6. There are plenty of Aupairs around you from other countries that you can meet.
  7. You can get some really bad families, but you can also get really good families
  8. If you are not happy, speak to someone!

Most of all, being an Au Pair can be fun! There are ups and downs which I will speak about, but I loved it so much!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment! Be sure to follow me on my journey on Instagram

Follow me on Instagram


What to pack for a year of Aupairing

Tagged : /