CHARLOTTE DELAFOYE’s Story

ESSAY ABOUT MY AU PAIR EXPERIENCE

I believe that there is no perfect way to summarize au pair experience. This varies from one person to another. But one thing is for certain: you will go through a range of emotions before, during and after your year as an au pair.

During the last days in your country, you will feel like you are the luckiest person in the world and a few hours later, you will wonder why you made such a crazy and scary decision! Don’t worry: it’s normal! A departure is difficult and so exciting at the same time. In my case, I left a job that I loved, my family and my friends for something completely unknown. I had never been to the USA before that fateful day. I only knew the USA as seen in TV series. To my surprise, it is much closer to real life than I would have imagined.

The first week of training allows us to meet other au pairs and to ask any questions you want. Then, D-day comes: you will meet your host family today! What to wear? Should I kiss or hug them? Will the children like me? Don’t panic, everything will work out. Be yourself!
In all honesty, my first few days were not always easy. Max was two years old when I arrived, he loved his nanny and did not want anybody else around him. But I persevered, and in a matter of weeks it got much better. Today, when he asks for me on my day off or when he looks me in the eye and says « Chayotte is my friend», what happiness!

Today, we found our balance : school, the park, the library, bike rides… We laugh a lot together. I like spending time with him and I think he does too.

Some days you may miss your family but being an au pair won’t give you lot of time to think about that, believe me! Call them and tell them all these new things you saw in the US. It will remind you to how lucky you are to be there. During your free time, try something new: travel, get a drink with your friends, go shopping, and try a new restaurant…

Through all my phone calls and pictures, my sister now wants to become an au pair, and I hope she can take my place in my host family when I will leave. Because I really trust in them and I really want to stay in touch with them.

Today, I feel like I belong to this country. I love the American way of life, the kindness of the people, the beauty of the landscapes. I absolutely love everything that the country has to offer. Everything except… peanut butter! I know, I can’t be a real American if I don’t like peanut butter, but it is the only thing I’m sure not to bring back to France!

Looking back, I realize that the essential ingredients for a good year are: a serious organism like Expert Au Pair, the desire to discover this huge and amazing country, a benevolent host family and YOU! To be an au pair is not only an experience, it is THE experience. And don’t forget, be an au pair it is also realizing that when you go back to your country, nothing will have changed, except yourself

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