Elysa was an au pair for only a week before her host family kicked her out. She still doesn’t know what it was exactly that went wrong, but today she’s sharing her experience as an au pair in England.
What were your reasons to choose the UK as your destination for being an Au Pair?
I chose England because I’d been there before and I thought it was a wonderful country. I also wanted to perfect my English.
What do you think is the most important trait an Au Pair should have?
I believe that an au pair should be a kind person who is respectful and has a good education so that she can help the kids with their homework.
What did you like about being an au pair?
I really enjoyed meeting people from a lot of different countries.
What did you absolutely hate about being an au pair?
I think that if it had gone well and I’d stayed longer, I wouldn’t have hated anything. I think what made me unhappy was having to do so much housekeeping and not having a lot of contact with my host family.
You were only an au pair for a week. What do you think went wrong?
The host family seemed really cool and they were extremely nice when talking to me. But then they would give me chores that would take me all day and complain about me not looking happy while I was doing them. No one likes doing chores. I spent over 700 euros for travel because they kept sending me back to France (they went on holiday, so there was nothing to do for me on the starting date we agreed on). When I went back to France for good, they didn’t offer to drive me to the airport or said goodbye. I had to get there on my own. And that’s not easy with three suitcases.
If you would be an au pair again, what would you look for in a host family?
I think that if I decided to become an au pair again, I would be more careful when selecting a host family. I would ask them to pay me for the week in advance. That way, if they do send me home a week later, I’d at least be paid for the work I did (the family I was with didn’t pay me for any of the work I did). I would also look for a family with slightly older children because I realised during my week as an au pair that really young children are not for me. But that’s my own fault and has nothing to do with the family.
Would you recommend becoming an au pair to someone else?
I would definitely recommend it to other people. Just because I came back and had a bad experience does not mean that others won’t have a good experience. I think it’s something that you need to do at least once in your life. Go to a different country and get more independent. You can discover a lot of things about yourself and about the country that way!