Frequently Asked Questions (Au Pair)

Should I join the program in Europe or in the U.S?

It is uneasy to answer this question; a person that needs to be asked is himself.  Although we are conducting Au pair program in Europe, we will never say that Europe is better than the US or comparing them two. What is most important is your decision is made based on your interest and purpose. We suggest you do a research and ask yourself what your expectation for Au pair program really is. What do you want to get out of the program? It’s always smart that you compare pros and cons of the program in Europe and the US in order to find the option that fits your expectation best, rather than listening to opinion of others.

Which country is the best host country?

It’s impossible to say which country is the best host country as every country is unique. You will find pros and cons in every country, but keep in mind that a host family is an indicator of a successful exchange year because if you have a good host family, everything is going to be positive; in a contrast, if you have a bad host family, everything will become miserable.

What is age limit for Au Pairs in Europe?

The age limit for Au pair program in Europe begins from 18 years old until 30 years old. It’s advisable  the younger the better because once you turn 30 years old, host families might question your purpose of becoming an Au Pair which usually resulting that chance you’ll be offer an Au pair position is rather slim.

Regarding, age limit of each country, please see the list below.

Germany: 18-26         

Denmark: 18-29           

Norway: 18-29        

Sweden: 18-29                        

The Netherlands: 18-30    

Belgium: 18-25   

France: 17-30     

Austria: 18-27                                                

Luxembourg: 18-30   

Source: www.aupairworld.com

Is high school diploma accepted?

Certainly, yes! Any person that is holding at least a high school diploma or still studying in a university is entitled to apply for the program.

I haven’t got any childcare experience and work full time, what should I do?

We fully understand this happens with someone who wants to join the program but still lack of childcare experience; plus, your work schedule isn’t flexible enough to allow you to train at a daycare or nursery. Here is our advice – most of daycares operating in a hotel (usually 4 or 5 stars hotel) provide babysitting service. There, you can ask to volunteer and they usually provide you with free meals and snacks. Next alternative is to sign up for a childcare training course. This course comes with cost; but, is usually short, more flexible and provides both theoretical and practical lessons for you so that you become truly well prepared with both essential knowledge and practical skills in childcare.

Is childcare experience/ First AID and CPR Training required?

Childcare experience is a must especially the official one, means the experience you gained through training or volunteering at a childcare center or school. This is necessary document that boost your reliability and childcare skills, though unofficial childcare experience is also counted.

A certificate of First Aid&CPR is a plus because some families are seriously looking for an Au pair who is truly qualified with relevant knowledge and skills.

What does it mean by unofficial and official childcare experience?

Unofficial experience
 is the childcare experience you gain through assisting your family’s member taking care of their kids including cousin or relative.

Official experience is the childcare experience you gain through training or volunteering at Childcare institutions such as a daycare, nursery, school or Child Development Center.

I am not good at English; can I still become an Au Pair?

Undeniably, good command of English is imperative, in spite of the fact that there is no official English proficiency test required. We must admit that most host families prefer Au pair candidates with fluent English since it ensures host family that they will not experience difficulty in communication. They key Au Pair responsibility is to taking care of children especially their safety so basically you must be able to cope with all kinds of situations while being which children and this explains why English is crucial. Additionally, it’s unlikely that you will make serious mistake or damage too. So yes, if you are considering becoming an Au Pair in the near future, you’d better work hard on your English right now.

Can I join the program if I am married or have children?

Not every country prohibits married Au Pairs or Au Pairs with children from applying for the program; yet, most families will still be skeptical about this circumstance. In general they don’t understand why you would want to be parted from you partner long term or who would take care of your kids, while you were looking after their children. Let’s say it’s a sense of morality that makes host families unwilling to hire you.

Are male Au pairs able to apply for the program in Europe?

According to Au pair regulations of European countries, yes, you absolutely can, still, please be aware that you may face challenge in finding a family to host you as the demand of male Au Pair is relatively low. For this case, we recommend male Au Pair to try searching for a host family themselves on free websites in order to reduce pressure and save the money that you will have to pay to Thai agency for registration.

Is it possible for a transgender to join the program?

I have to say sorry that it’s even more challenging than male Au Pairs, though we are still hoping there would be a host family open-minded enough to offer you a job.

Is knowledge of 3rd language required? 

Not for every country. The knowledge of 3rd language is required only if you apply for the program in one of these countries; Germany, Austria and France.     

Must I have an international driving license?

Not all families require Au pair to drive as the location of their house is convenient and accessible by public transportation so don’t worry about this. However, to tell the truth, ability to drive with a license is definitely advantageous if you want a bigger chance to get in contact with more host families.

In order to drive in Europe, the international driving license is a must, though there is exception for a country like Belgium that a 5-year or permanent Thai driving license is acceptable for driving in Belgium.

How long time does the online process take until matching?

This is not something we can tell preciously as it depends on different factors; for example, if a candidate completes his/her application quickly, for sure, we can start checking his/her documents quickly too. If he/she is slow on application submission, there is very little we can do about this. Moreover, family searching process usually takes time as we don’t force anyone to match or come to an agreement. Matching occurs when both Au Pair and host family are content with each other impression, expectation and agreement they will commit to. In some cases, Au Pairs are fortunate to find a host family they feel good connection with and can easily agree on things which leads to a quick matching, of course.

For how long does it take for document collection for visa application and the visa consideration?

First, It depends on how much free time do you have by the time of document collection is taking place; for example, if you are a full-time employee, then it can be difficult for you to make time to prepare your documents as you must visit Translation office, Government offices, embassy or etc. to have documents prepared for visa/permit application; on the other hand, if you are unemployed and have a lot of free time, you will be able to speed up this process easily. 

Concerning duration of visa application consideration, it’s varied – For Europe, most cases take approximately 2-3 months; however, if you are in luck, it’ll take less time.

Who pays for Au Pair insurance?

In most countries your host family is responsible for cost of Au pair insurance, however, for the country like Sweden, Au Pairs must take out a travel insurance herself as there is no such rule saying that it’s host family’s responsibility to take care of this matter; hence, if you are looking for a host family in Sweden, please don’t forget to discuss this subject with your host family beforehand.

Will I get to take a language course?

Au pairs in Europe usually take a language course of 3rd language. In most cases, host families enroll you up for the course and pay for it. If you want to continue studying after the 1st course, you will then have to pay yourself.Course fees are varied usually depends on a language institution you are signing up.

Would I make a lot of money as an Au Pair in Europe?  

If you key purpose of becoming an Au Pair is to make money, Europe will surely disappoint you as Au Pairs in Europe get paid pretty low.  The allowance of their pocket money can be even lower than the average monthly salary you receive in Thailand. The Lowest Au Pair monthly pocket money is 240 euros and the highest is 600 euros. The receiving amount of money depends on a host country’s Au Pair allowance.

Can I take an extra job while Au Pairing?

According to Au Pair rules, Au Pairs are not allowed to work more hours either take an extra job outside Au pairing. If Au Pairs took an extra job, that’s automatically against laws. We advise Au pairs in Europe to strictly respect law of the host country.

Since population of European countries doesn’t speak English as their first language, would I get an opportunity to practice my English?

As a matter of fact, many of us don’t know that Europeans especially of Northern and Western Europe have a good command of English, means, if you speak English, you will not have problem communicating with local people whatsoever. Instead, you will be very surprised how fluent they are in English and this has no exception for young kids who seems to understand English already.

Is there possibility my visa application will be rejected?

Yes, of course, but the risk is extremely low and that’s because host family is your employer and sponsor of you. They guarantee you are moving into their country for an apparent purpose and without bad intention. Anyhow, please bear in mind, there are various reasons, the immigration could use to against your application too; so, please make sure you and your host family are truly qualified to join the program before starting paperwork for visa application.

How long is the visa or permit valid?  

1 or 2 years, depends on a host country for example, Au Pair can stay maximum 2 years in countries like Denmark and Norway, the rest allows 1 year only.

Can I extend my stay after the program?   
  
Normally no, unless there is an urgent circumstance going on and severely affects your host family situation such as a host child get terribly ill and need someone to care for him/her and the host family is unable to find a substitute for Au pair in that time and extension of Au pair stay is the only possible solution for the family.

What if I re-matched? 

With us, re-matching is a process that must be approved by our agency and before we reach that point, a host family and an Au pair must have gone through several talks or discussions (under the supervision of the agency) in order to find the best solution to problems.  In the worst case, that the negotiation and attempt don’t result in improvement, then it’s time for re-matching.