How has my Au Pair experience changed me? It has changed me a lot actually
The majority of Au Pairs that I know, have decided to take on this experience for a variety of reasons, with improving English being the main goal. As English is my mother tongue, I am often asked “But why did you choose to come to America if you already speak English?”. My response “I decided to become an Au Pair in America for a number of reasons. I wanted to build character, experience living in a completely different environment, all whilst working with children and meeting new people”
These were a few of my expectations and with 7 months in, these expectations, plus many more, have been met.
In this post I will talk about the changes I have encountered throughout the last 7 months
I have gained confidence in myself
The thought of going abroad was always on my mind, and that’s where it stayed for many years. Every now and then the urge to travel would set in but I couldn’t see myself actually doing it. That was until I made the first steps. Being an Au Pair has given me the confidence to believe in myself. Remember that a family have chosen you from a list of candidates, to provide care for their children. If they have confidence in you, then you should have confidence in yourself.
I appreciate my friends, family and home country
This experience has made me really appreciate my family and friends in Ireland. I’ve always heard the saying ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder’. Now I can identify with this as I haven’t seen my family in over 7 months and the distance has definitely made me appreciate our relationships. I am grateful for the support they offer me as I embark on this journey.
I have learned the importance of ‘Going with the flow’
Maybe its the American culture or maybe my outlook is changing, but I can honestly say I feel a lot more relaxed since beginning this journey. As an Au Pair you may come across a few setbacks but it is important during these times to just sit back and let situations take its course. I have learnt that everything works itself out and nothing is as serious as you think.
My outlook on life has changed
Before this experience, I always thought life was about finding a good job and settling down. Now I realize that life is about experiencing as much as possible, taking everything as it comes, putting yourself out there and finding the positives in all situations. And that PB & Jelly sandwiches actually taste good !
I value experiences over items
One of the biggest changes that I’ve noticed is my desire to gain experience. I value the experiences I have, the scenes I see, and the people I meet, opposed to having a variety of materialistic items. Watching the sunsets on Kiawah Islands, exploring the surrounding area, having picnics all day with friends or visiting other states has become more of a luxury.
I am open to change
This has been a time to test my abilities to adapt to new situations. Moving across the world and changing jobs, I knew that I would need to adapt quickly to the changes. Including living in another home and driving on the opposite side of the road. As a result, I opened my mind and welcomed change to allow myself to adapt to the new situations.
Learning about the cultures of others
Meeting people with different cultures, beliefs and outlooks has broadened my knowledge and appreciation for how others live. As an Au Pair you will meet a number of people from different countries who share different beliefs to yourself. You will learn to appreciate your own culture and the cultures of others, like Carlos’ experience of Australia
Everyday I am learning
Everyday provides me with opportunities to learn, grow and build character. I am learning about the American culture and the variety of cultures within the country. As part of the Au Pair program, participants are required to study during their year abroad. I decided to take clases de español and I am enjoying my classes a lot. I have many Spanish speaking friends so I’m able to practice and put my studies to the test.
Learning to cook – properly
Before I became an Au Pair my cooking abilities were limited. I made a great fried egg served with toast. But now I make a variety of dishes and have tasted foods that I never knew existed. All thanks to the help of ‘Blue Apron’ and my Host Mother!
As I pass the half way mark on my Au Pair Experience, I feel that I’m experiencing so much and have been offered great opportunities. Not only am I becoming more comfortable with myself, I also feel like I’m maturing and developing my knowledge on different cultures and ways of life. I’m excited by each new day and I look forward to what lies ahead !
If you have any questions or need advice, leave me a comment and I will reply.
Check out my Instagram account – beccawhi – to keep up to date with my experience