Fourth of July 2019 | Weird Life Of An Aupair

When you hear ‘Fourth of July’ you immediately think:

Pool Party
Drunk American’s


This is all stereotypical but all true! There are always fireworks. There’s always BBQ’s and there most likely is a pool party and you’re most likely going to drink.

Yesterday was just that. Normally people go all out but my friends and I decided not to do that. We decided to instead, just chill by the pool and have a relaxed day because looking after children can be really hard, and in all honesty, who doesn’t like to chill by the pool? We threw on our bathing suits, ate too much food, and chilled in the pool for the majority of the day which is exactly what we needed. No screaming children, no socializing with people you don’t know and being referred to as ‘the Au Pair’ just a quiet time with friends talking about how different our culture is, about the types of things we like to do and just about life itself and it was honestly the best.

There isn’t much else to say about my Fourth but it was good! What did you get up to? Did you have to work? I have had to work most holidays so this was really relaxing for once!


READ MORE: Aupair Conversations with Charlie

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Dealing With Conflict With Your Host Family

Today we are talking about conflict and how different people respond to conflict. It is easy to be caught up in the moment and to just want to pack up your stuff and leave but remember to try think about it logically and through someone else’s eyes and see that you are a stranger living in their house which can be pretty scary if you ask me. This is a story time of one Au Pair that I know. She’s amazing and dealt with this in a very mature fashion. Let us know your thoughts below.

Au Pair In America

I have been an Au Pair in America for almost 5 months. I live with and work for a family in New York and since I arrived last year in November I have really enjoyed working for my host family. They have been super welcoming and really accepting. They have done everything they can to make me feel at home and even before I came to America I knew that I would fit in perfectly with their family. We spoke for about 2-3 months before my arrival and we got along from the start. We always had so much in common. The day my host dad picked me up at the orientation and I came to their house they decorated my room with pictures of me and my family; my cat and a book from my favorite author. The kids made “Welcome to the USA” signs for my door and I just immediately felt at home. I was an Au Pair in The Netherlands in 2011 and I never received such a warm welcome when I arrived there. So this was just so heart-warming and an amazing feeling.

My host dad and I immediately got along as I see him much more than my host mom. Although I have an amazing relationship with her too. I feel like I can always speak about anything with her. She is very understanding.

Different Cultures:

Unfortunately, we sometimes get caught up in the idea of going to a new and exciting country and we are so excited about the adventure that we forget about some important factors and one of them is that we live where we work. This means that we are in each other’s company 24/7 and this can (as with your own family) sometimes get a bit much. Arguments are bound to happen and we need to remind ourselves that we live in another person/family home. It can sometimes feel like culture change doesn’t really exist seeing that we are all so excited in the beginning and still getting to know each other. And then when conflict steps in culture change can really become a big factor seeing that we all grew up different from each other, in different countries and situations and we all handle conflict and certain situations differently. Just like with everyone you encounter in your life – everyone has a story and a past. And every person has his/her reason for being the way they are.

I have had to deal with conflict with my host dad a few weeks ago. He and I had an argument. It started with something very small but escalated pretty quickly. It ended where he and I were screaming at each other and I ended up in tears and just walking away. I felt that he approached the situation completely wrong and it could’ve been so much different. Now, don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t doing the right thing by screaming back at him either. But I guess that is what happens when you feel like you are being attacked and you just try to defend yourself.

Two days later my host mom, host dad, and I had a meeting and we spoke about the incident and we all said how we felt. We then buried the hatchet. I am very happy and thankful that thereafter our relationship has been the same as before the argument and we get along just fine. Conversations with him were always enjoyable because I feel that we can speak very easily. I have also in the meantime sat and reminded myself that he has a reason for dealing with certain situations the way that he does and I am the type of person that doesn’t hold a grudge but instead look at the reasons for why things happen.

To be honest, when this happened I was extremely upset and for the first time in 4 months, I felt so homesick. At that point, I really wanted to contact my family back home because I felt that I need their support but I knew if I contact them it would only make me more homesick and it would make things much worse for me. Instead, I phoned one of my best friends back home. The moment I saw his face and heard his voice I just burst out in tears. But after speaking to him for a while and getting his advice I felt much better. He reassured me and reminded me why I came to America in the first place and that was extremely helpful.

I also went to my friend (she is from my home country and lives very close to me) for the weekend. And if it wasn’t for her I would’ve probably packed my bags and went home. She made everything so much better just by being there and understanding. She really showed me what true friendship is.

After my host family and I had the meeting I called my family back home and I felt like I could tell them what happened without feeling like I wouldn’t want to be here anymore. My parents also reassured me and made me feel so much better.

Good Days As An Au Pair:

I think the most important thing to remember is that you will have a lot of good days as an Aupair but you will also have bad days. It is just so important to have a support system not only back home but in the country, you are living. If it wasn’t for my friends here in America I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed my time here this much and I wouldn’t have known what to do in that situation.

If I can give you any advice – always put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand why they react the way they do and also try to always stay professional. No matter how hard it can be. Also, try to make as many friends as possible. You are not going to be an Au Pair forever and believe me it goes by so fast. It is in this time of your life that you make friends you will have for the rest of your life. I still have best friends that I met in The Netherlands. And I know the friends I have met (and will still meet) in America I will have for the rest of my .

Read More:

Au Pair Conversations: Encourage Your Au Pair To Speak!

AU Pair Conversations With Courtney 2019 | Weirdlifeofanaupair

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Doing your J-1 Credits

The studying aspect of Au Pairing is always up for a big debate and there are always questions surrounding it. Where can you study? How many credits do you need? What can you study? Do you HAVE to study? and then everyone panics. This really is not something you need to panic about. It’s not something to worry about BUT you cannot leave it until the last minute.In order to complete the Educational portion of your year you have to take classes up to 6 credits or 80 hours. That is if you are a regular Au Pair or an Au Pair Extraordinaire. If you are on the Educare Program like I am, you have to study up to 12 credits or 160 hours.

You have to study and if you don’t, you do not get your Au Pair certificate when you complete the program and you might not be able to get the same visa again because it’s a government regulated program and that is a requirement by them.

About where to study: You need to realise that different areas have different colleges and places to studying in america. When you get to your new family, your counselor will give you a whole bunch of information about the different courses in the area and what you are able to take. There are also some colleges that allow you to audit a class which basically means that you get to go to a regular college with a bunch of American students and take the class but you will not get any official credits that you are able to use on your transcript. I did this the first year I was here at a college that offers it and I really enjoyed it actually. Now I am taking classes at another local college but it also offers ‘continuing education’ which is what I am taking. This is basically for Au Pairs and anyone that does not want to study a whole degree but wants to learn certain aspects of a subject. I am REALLY enjoying this class too. It is something I am very interested in and I love my teacher as well! So speak to your counselor and your host parents and also the previous Au Pair about the local colleges and classes. They are the best people to talk to. The last two options that you have is taking the UCLA class online which spans about 16 weeks. You learn about the history of America and also volunteer and talk to your kids class etc.


study in america


There’s a lot more to it I guess but I don’t really know much about. This is also the only online class that you are able to take. You aren’t allowed to take any other online classes. The last option that you have is to take weekend courses. There are a bunch that you are able to do, also depending on where you are in the country. You can take weekend travel classes to places like Washington DC or Philadelphia. It is a very expensive and I don’t recommend it because of how expensive it is but also you don’t get too many credits for it but that is all up to you.

Finally the family gives you $500 a year towards your studies and anything over that, you have to pay it yourself which is annoying. If you are on the Educare program, you get $1000 towards your college. Also remember that if you attend a local college you will probably have to pay for your parking decal as well as registration fee every semester.

I hope this helps you and answers all your questions. I will put what Au Pair in America says below so you can get some more information on it too. You can see all the information here.


Read More:

Au Pair Conversations: Encourage Your Au Pair To Speak!

AU Pair Conversations With Courtney 2019 | Weirdlifeofanaupair

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Why I Stopped Travelling

Travelling is great and it’s really every Aupair’s dream. That’s why you come to Aupair right? Other than people saving; you’ve come to travel and experience the culture which is fantastic and you should live your best life because you deserve it. 

I made the decision to stop travelling when I got to the states again. I have been travelling a lot over the last year and a half and while I absolutely LOVE it and love experiencing the culture; the food and the experience as a whole. I’m just tired. While in Europe I would travel pretty much every weekend. Whether it was different places in The Netherlands or neighbouring countries, I travelled and I loved every moment of it but I didn’t enjoy doing “nothing” on the weekend. I didn’t relish in the fact that I’m in this amazing city filled with amazing things because I always just wanted to try to see everything. What I learnt from that is that you can’t see everything and if you’re always travelling the next best tourist spot you’re not going to enjoy your current place so when I came back to New York I told myself I will take a couple of months off of travelling and experience the place I spent two years in previously. 

I’m enjoying finding new coffee shops and thrift stores. Saturday brunch dates and popping into the city for a couple of hours and not the entire day is my favorite thing. I’m taking it day by day and researching local places to see; do and eat at in my area or nearby and I don’t regret it. I don’t regret not travelling and I don’t regret not using my money for travel. I still experience things and I see the culture and the food and the people. I just see it more in my area now. 

Don’t feel the need to constantly travel. Sometimes it’s okay to just go to brunch with a friend or sit in a park for a couple of hours. Everyone’s experience is different and doesn’t look the same so remember that and remember it is YOUR life and you should do what you feel is best for you. 

READ MORE: Dealing with conflict in your host family

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Aupair Conversations with Devon

Devon was an Aupair from Britain and I actually met her the night we picked her up for a road trip to Niagara falls ha! She is lovely and was always my soup buddy when I wanted to get soup at an absurd hour! She lived near me in Pearl River and I loved every moment of being her friend.

Tell us a little about the reason why you decided to Au Pair

My main reason for wanting to become an Au Pair was to experience another way of living in a new country and to explore whilst making new friends along the way.

What agency did you go through?

I used Au Pair in America as a girl I used to work with had just gone through the entire process with this agency and was already in America making memories.

How did the process go for you? Was it easy and did you enjoy your process?

The process had its ups and downs. I applied in February and after completing the application form, including all my childcare experience and visiting a lovely lady from the agency my profile went live to all the families in America. Before I went on my holiday, I wanted to make sure I had a family so I wouldn’t be stressed on holiday. I would say I rushed into it and should have taken more time. I had interest from families from New York, Texas, California, and more. It was a crazy and scary process because it was an important decision that would affect a year or more of my life

How long did it take to get a family?

It took me a few weeks to get a family as I wanted to have everything sorted before I went on my week holiday to Rome, Budapest, and Prague. I chose the first family that showed interest when my profile went live.

What did you learn at orientation?

I had a few setbacks with not getting my visa in time so the agency kept changing my flight. When I eventually arrived at JFK airport I was greeted by a lovely man who drove me to where the orientation was taking place. I missed two days of orientation and this was when everyone had made friends and friendship groups. It was difficult at first but I picked myself up and spoke to a few girls from Germany and Brazil.

The orientation itself was very dull and did not prepare you for the realities of Aupair life. The first aid part was interesting but not exciting. I went on the New York night tour which some Au Pairs said that the families paid. If you’re like me then it’s you that pays. I wouldn’t recommend the tour because I went many times to New York and explored on foot which is so much better as you see more of the city rather than just the main landmarks by bus.

What do you regret packing and what do you wish you packed?

I was told to pack light and because America is so cheap it’s a great excuse to go shopping. In my opinion, it’s an expensive place. Whilst I was out there I bought so many clothes and shoes. I would recommend packing for four seasons with a variety of clothes or if you have money then take as less as possible and go on a shopping spree once you arrive.

Do you think that getting $195,75 is enough money per week?

The money per week is a ridiculously low amount for what the week involves. I worked Monday to Friday and had most weekends off. I used this time off to go out with friends or to go for a wander by myself. Eating and drinking out is a lot especially with the tipping. It is difficult to save money for the two weeks’ holiday we are given and also the travel month in the end.

When did you Au Pair? And where?

I was an Aupair in May 2016 with a family of five children just out of New York.

What has been the highlight of being an Au Pair?

The highlight of being an Au Pair is experiencing how another family lives for an entire year and what they celebrate and don’t celebrate compared to my life at home. It was a tough and challenging year but something I would never change.

What was one negative thing about being an Au Pair?

My main negative point of being an Au Pair was not being able to use the family car. All the other Au Pairs I met were allowed to drive. I’ve been driving for many years and love to drive. It was difficult relying on the friends I’d made to drive me around.

Do you recommend being an Au Pair?

I do recommend being an Au Pair. It is definitely more challenging than I ever could have imagined. At some parts, you’ll question why are you doing this but then moments, where you see their faces light up when you get them each a Halloween trick or treat bag filled with sweets and toys, will make you realize why you decided to be an Au Pair.

Can you give a small summary of your week? When you worked etc

The days I mainly worked were Monday to Friday. I woke up and got ready to start at 7:30 am. I needed to clean the kitchen worktops and placemats before the children came downstairs demanding breakfast. We only had breakfast if they were fully dressed.


This was a choice of toast or cereal on a school day. Then they brushed their teeth, some of them realized they had homework and only a limited amount of time to complete it until the bus came so we had tears and arguments most mornings. Around 8:30 am we waited at the bottom of the path for the school bus to arrive. Once the children were at school I needed to wash up, turn the dishwasher on, make the beds or wash the bedding depending on what day of the week it was, do the laundry and make sure everywhere was tidy from the morning antics.

School and break

Around 11 am I was off and could do what I wanted which usually involved going out for breakfast or to the supermarket. Then at 2:30 pm I was back to work deciding what to make for dinner. The eldest child came home around 3 pm and would go to his room and do everything except what he should be doing which is his homework.

after school

Then at 3:30 pm I waited across the road for the school bus. The children were all hungry straight after school so that was ready for when they walked in. Obviously having five children was not going to be easy. Every day involved one child commenting on the food. After that, I cleaned up again. Usually, it was a quick eat because we needed to take one or more to their sport activity or religion which involved tears and fights because homework had not been completed. It was usually an evening of driving around and dropping off and picking back up again. I usually finished around 7:30 sometimes 9 if it was the day the eldest had religion. By the end of the day, I was exhausted so I would either lie on my bed watching tv or reading or I used to meet up with friends just to get out of the madhouse. I worked every bank holiday and did late nights if the mum and dad had a date night.

Final thoughts on Au Pairing in America

I  hope I’ve given an insight into what Au Pair is like. In orientation, they describe it in a way you’ll be looking after the darling children. Playing games with them and doing activities.

The reality is Au Pair is a collective term for taxi driver, chef, cleaner, mum, and dad because there is so much to do on a daily basis. I would say make sure you are doing it for the right reasons because it’s no holiday and you are going to have to work more than have time off. Also, make sure you have lots of experience with children rather than just a couple of babysitting shifts. Take your time when choosing a family and make sure you ask lots of questions about what you will be doing, what hours you will be working when your days off are. Most importantly have the year of your life and make many memories

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Read more here: Dealing with conflict

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Meeting Your Host Family

Meeting your family can be very nerve-wracking. I know when I was waiting for my family I was freaking out. I got picked up at the hotel and so did a lot of other girls. Every time someone came in, every girl would hold her breath to see if it was their host family. It’s very intimidating but also quite hilarious looking back at it.

Whether you are meeting them at the hotel or they are picking you up somewhere else. It is important that you don’t get too nervous. Obviously you will be nervous but don’t get Justin Bieber coming on stage, you throwing up nervous. Yes, that has happened to someone while I was at his concert. Quite hilarious if you ask me.

If you don’t know whether to hug or shake hands, always hug. I guess that is just my personal opinion. When you see close friends and family, they generally hug you and give you a kiss on the cheek. I know in different countries, you do different things. In South Africa, you tend just to hug. In The Netherlands it’s three kisses, France it’s two and in South America, it is one. I suggest, just don’t kiss ha.

Remember to always give the kids a big hug and show them that you care about them. It can be very intimidating meeting a new Au Pair and also, they might not want to talk to you or say hi because they are scared or nervous. That’s totally okay too. Just go with the flow.

Also, American’s like to talk. They will ask you a billion questions and it’s important that you talk and answer them. Also, ask them questions. How was the ride over? How was school? Just keep asking and answering questions. It helps with the awkwardness of “OMG I AM LIVING WITH STRANGERS” lol

I hope this helps, it’s short and sweet but honestly, you just need to breathe. It will all be okay. I know I say that and you’re like meh, easier said than done. I have done this three times now and I PROMISE it will be okay!

Read More:

Financial Obligations Your Host Family Have 2019

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Aupair in America Orientation

When I was here the first time in 2014, orientation was fairly different to what it is now. It was from Monday to Thursday and you did a whole lot more. I am very glad that that has changed because 4 days of sitting in a conference room, jet-lagged as hell, trying to understand 10 000 new things is a lot harder than you think.

Au Pair in America recently changed the way that they do orientation. They cut a day so you go to your family on a Wednesday instead of a Thursday but in order to make up for those hours, you have to now complete a whole bunch of online training before you depart for America. It is not difficult, though I did find it a waste of time. You do get taught a lot but at this point, it is my third time doing it so I was like mehwhatever.

So let’s talk a bit more about orientation. When you arrive at the airport, you get taken to a shuttle that brings you to the hotel. The hotel is very far from the airport so it’s a long ride! Once there, you go to one of the conference rooms where they will assign you a bedroom. You will be sharing with two other girls who are supposed to be living in an area close to you. It does not always work out but that’s the vibe. Depending on when you arrive. It may be dinner time already or late at night. If you are lucky and arrive early on Monday, I would suggest taking a train into the city. The train station is very close to the hotel and it takes you right into Grand Central Station. From there you are able to go pretty much anywhere. The Monday of orientation is really used to get all the Au Pairs to the hotel.

It is important to note that there is an AA course that takes place for some Aupairs. This is only if your family has booked it and from what I know, you aren’t able to book it yourself. It is a defensive driving course for Au Pairs who do not know how to drive defensively and so you do that on a Monday which means you will get to the hotel on a Sunday instead. I have never done this so I don’t know anything else about it.

Day 2: Tuesday.

You will get a wake-up call every morning at 6:30 am to wake you up for breakfast at 7:00. Most girls are so jet-lagged that they are up before that. I was very jet-lagged. I was up at like 5:30 every morning which sucked.

8:00 – 12:00 – You have your morning sessions. You talk about a whole lot of different things such as what you can and cannot be doing (drugs, alcohol etc) as well as what it is like in America in terms of culture and how you can adapt to it. You will also be given information on the NYC Tour (I will be doing a whole blog post dedicated to the tour)

13:00 – 17:00 -You have your second session which is all about smaller children and how to look after them as well as activities for different aged kids and finally all about social media with you as well as social media for the kids and how much they are allowed to have a day (that is up to the parents) but also what you can do instead of social media.

The day is done at 17:00 where, if you go on the tour, you will be going on the tour now and if you did not get a ticket for the tour, you have free time and dinner. My suggestion again would be for you to go to the city by yourself. I think it’s a fantastic idea. There is also a gym and a pool that you can use so if you feel like chilling, you can do that too.

Day 3: Wednesday

7:45 – 10:00 – American Red Cross Child safety workshop. This is a great workshop for you have taken. It is mandatory for you to do but it is interesting in itself. It’s all about child safety and what you are able to do in different situations such as burns, drowning, CPR, etc.

10:00 – 12:00 – More talking about children and different ways in which you are allowed to reprimand them as well as how to talk to your host family. Good communication is key.

You will then leave to go to your family. Some families pick you up at the hotel, some family’s need you to fly to their state. Whatever it is, this is the time that you get to do it. There are shuttles organized for the different ways as well as people that are there to help you through everything so you don’t have to feel scared.

I hope this gives you more of an insight into how orientation is run. It’s a lot of sitting and listening which can be really hard when you are jet-lagged but it’s actually really interesting and the instructors are fantastic!!

Let me know if you have been to orientation or are going and what are your thoughts on it.

READ MORE:  Financial Obligations your host family has 

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Aupair Conversations with Lauren

Aupair conversations are so important. You get to read about different Aupair’sand what they experienced Aupairing. It helps you make a decision on whether you want to Aupair or not. 

This week Aupair’s conversation is with Lauren, who is from South Africa. She is actually the reason why I finally took the plunge and applied to be an Au Pair, so thank you. 😉 <3

Tell us a little about the reason why you decided to Aupair

I made the decision to become an Aupair because I didn’t want to go straight from high school and into university and Au Pairing is a great way to travel and earn money!

What agency did you go through?

I went through OVC in Westville but in America, it was Aupair care. 

How did the process go for you? Was it easy and did you enjoy your process?

The process was easy but I procrastinated with typing out my profile and essay quite a bit so it made me leaving take longer.

How long did it take to get a family?

The family found me on Tuesday, we skyped on Thursday and by the Sunday we had made plans for me to move a month later

What did you learn at orientation?

I got first aid certified and learned a lot about the dos and don’ts regarding America. I definitely think orientation is worth it. I was 18 years old when I went and orientation helped me to be kind of prepared for when I went to the family. I would’ve been absolutely clueless otherwise.

What do you regret packing and what do you wish you packed?

I don’t regret packing anything but I wish that I got more for my loved ones. I didn’t save any money so I wasn’t able to get much.

Do you think that getting $195,75 is enough money per week?

I do, especially because you don’t pay rent or anything like that, your money is mostly just for you and $195 can go a long away in America but an increase wouldn’t be bad either haha.

When did you Au Pair? And where?

I was an Aupair from April 2013 until March 2015. I was in Arizona at first but that family didn’t work out so I moved to Michigan.

What has been the highlight of being an AuPair?

Becoming a part of an amazing family! I still keep in touch with them and they even paid for me to visit them in 2016. I also loved being able to travel and see all the new places oh my goodness and THE FOOD FOR SURE! (I miss Chipotle and Wendy’s so much! :()

What was one negative thing about being an Aupair?

Apart from missing home and all the important things that were happening, I think the fact that my host dad wasn’t a very good person sometimes affected things.

Do you recommend being an Aupair?

For sure! Even if it’s for 6 months, you’ll be glad you did it.

Can you give a small summary of your week? When you worked etc

My host dad was studying in Ohio (which was 4 hours away) to be a doctor so he’d be gone during the week and my host mom was an attending in a hospital. I’d take them to school and on 2 days a week, they’d have swimming and the other 2 days they have extra lessons at Kumon. They started school at 8:30 am and finished at 3 pm. If we weren’t at extra-murals or it was summer break we’d often go to the park or the library and go out as a family. I didn’t have too hectic a schedule though.

Final thoughts on Aupairing in America

I loved Aupairing in America and it was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made! I saw and learned so much and honestly think it is such a good program. I recommended it to anyone that I can and am a little bit jealous that you get to go back and do it again 😉

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Why I stopped traveling

Gift Ideas for Your Host Family

It’s always recommended that you get a gift for your host family and the kids that you will be looking after. Generally, it’s something typical of your home country. Most people bring candy because it’s the easiest and children always love candy.

When I came the first time, I went to the local market on the beach in my city to get something that is locally made and typically South African. I ended up with a salad spoon set for the host parents and I got my little girl a necklace and bracelet set. For my host boy, I got him books from the Dr. Seuss collection that had wildlife and animals in. He really loved it because he loves books and that made him really happy.

You don’t have to bring anything big or expensive. Think about what you liked as a kid or what is typical of your country to help you have an idea as to what you should bring. I would recommend cookies or chocolate or even a game that is very typical to your country. If you know that your family is big into board games. It may be cool to get your local monopoly which seems to be everywhere. It might not be in English but everyone knows how to play a monopoly so there should not be too many problems!

I know a lot of German aupairs would bring candy and chocolate because that’s always a good thing to bring. When I visited my family in England I brought stroop waffels and they loved it.

I do stress that it is not obligated that you bring anything. If you feel like you do not want to or financially you can’t bring them anything, that is okay too!

READ MORE:  Aupair in America Orientation 

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What to pack for a year of being an Aupair

When packing for a whole year abroad; your natural instinct is to pack EVERYTHING. My suggestion is to not actually do that!

First off; always pack for the season that you are going in. If you are going in Summer; only take summer clothes. Winter? take winter clothes. I would also suggest that if you come from a country where you actually have a proper winter, to bring your winter coat as well as snow boots if you are going to be in a colder climate like on the East Coast of America or anywhere else except Cali ha! It gets REALLY cold in most of America and winter coats can be quite pricey if you don’t look properly. I will be uploading a blog on tips and tricks that you can use to save money on winter clothes.

Here are some things that you should consider packing

  1. A stuffed animal or something that reminds you of home. I have a blanket my mom made me.
  2. Pack some snacks from your home country that you love and know that you can’t get in America. It helps with the transition as well as just feel better about being away from home.
  3. Pack a winter coat
  4. You should only pack for the season you are going in.

Here are some things you should not pack:

  1. Don’t overpack. Pack enough for 2 weeks or so!
  2. Don’t pack more than one hoodie and 3 sweaters. You can get everything so much cheaper here in America.
  3. Don’t pack too many shoes.
  4. Don’t pack your hairdryer/straightener or curler. The sockets are different and most of the time you can’t use it here.
  5. Don’t pack too many toiletries. You should look at what you are taking and if you can’t get certain products in America, bring those. Other than that, you should just buy everything in America as it will be cheaper and won’t weigh your bags down too much. 

You need to also remember to grab all your important documents and electronics as well as your chargers for all of them. I will be doing a blog post about what to take in your carry on as I feel like that is super important in itself. 

I hope this helps you and eases your stress when you are packing for this exciting year ahead!

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What to get your host family