My Au Pair Experience

In September of 2018, after I finished my studies at Kendrick, I flew to Munich to begin my Au-Pair year in Germany.

At the end of Year 12, I decided I wanted a year out before continuing with studying and I started looking into my options. I knew I really enjoyed learning German and would like to travel and the idea of an Au-Pair year came up, opportunity to live in another country, improve my language skills and earn money!  I still applied for university at the same time as everyone else but I decided to defer my entry a year. That way, I could have my year out and still know I have a secure place for when I come back.

I made a profile on the website AuPairWorld, which is the most popular online Au-Pair agency, describing myself, my past experience working and volunteering with children of different ages and what I was looking for in a host family. I interviewed with a few different families and decided on my first host family, where I only spoke German with the kids. That played a big role in helping me become more comfortable with the language, more so than the language courses I did at the Volkshochschule. However, I didn’t end up staying with that family due to differing expectations and after Christmas I moved to live with a new family, also with three children and also living in Munich. I have been here since January and although the children are a lot more work, I have been enjoying it so much because I get on with the parents a lot better which allows us both to be more flexible and honest and I will definitely miss them all when I go home!

At first I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision as I saw many of my friends starting university in different parts of the country and I was alone in a big new city where I didn’t know anyone my own age and my only interactions were with my host family. However, I soon learnt that Munich is a very international city and has a large and diverse community of Au-Pairs who are all in the same situation, living in a new place, a lot of them with a new language and just wanting to meet other people in the same boat. I now consider these people as some of my closest friends, which makes the end of the year the hardest part, when everyone returns to different corners of the world.

From learning about some of the festivals and traditions in our German lessons to actually getting to experience and be a part of them has been one of the most rewarding parts of this experience. Probably the most famous festival from Munich, Oktoberfest, was in the first couple of weeks of my stay here, but what I didn’t know was the numerous other beer festivals in Munich throughout the year, including Starkbierfest and Frühlingsfest. We all love the opportunity to wear our dirndls as much as possible. Other festivals throughout the year have included Sankt Martins Tag, the Christmas markets which also includes a visit from Krampus in the Christkindlmarkt in the main square, Marienplatz.

Overall, I have learnt so much this year, met so many amazing people and had the opportunity to travel to so many places and I would definitely do it again.