In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that I plan on studying abroad for an entire academic year in Cape Town, South Africa beginning next fall. Because of the difference in seasons and the fact that we’re in opposite hemispheres – Virginia and South Africa, our academic school year calendars are reversed, i.e. our fall semester is their spring semester, their summer break is our winter break, and so on so forth. This causes a dilemma because I will essentially have another summer break while there, a three month period in between our semesters. Because I believe it will take away from the experience, I plan on NOT returning to the USA during that break. I’ve been throwing around ideas in my head as to what I could possibly do during those three months, and here’s what I came up with:
2) Get a job
3) Travel around
4) Become an Au Pair
Of these options, I found “Becoming and Au Pair” to be the most realistic and exciting choice of them all. Becoming and au pair would allow myself to truly embrace the culture of a community by immersing myself IN that culture. Living with a family from that country will show me how locals live, work, and play.
At the beginning of my research, I had no idea how to become an au pair and/or find a job as one. I decided to post on my favorite travel forum, hosted by Nomadic Matt, and ask my fellow travel enthusiasts if they knew any good ways.
I found that a common response was to check out greataupair.com. Of course, I checked it out, and it was perfect! Because I don’t know how many times I would be using my account, it was great not to have to pay for membership. I was able to join and create a profile for free. Of course, upgrades are available, but for my purposes, the standard membership page was suffice. The basic membership page includes places to update information such as age, health concerns, qualifications, dates available, experiences, and strengths and/or weaknesses (which I have none of, of course). They also have this nifty online “interview” where they have loaded 20 or so pre-scripted questions that you can answer. After completion, you can publish these Q&A’s for your potential employer to read.
The website also has a messaging system, so if anyone is interested in your services, they have the ability to contact you without having to post your personal email for the world to see.
If you are interested in becoming an Au Pair, I most certainly suggest this website. Becoming an Au Pair is more then just a place to live, it’s a way of embracing a culture in a way that I personally find the most interesting…immersion. I hope that as my time frame approaches, I will receive more messages and I can find a family that wants to hire me!
Wish Me Luck! Cheers,