I constantly get inquiries about my previous au pair experiences. People want to know how I did it, what websites I used, how much I got paid, how much it cost. They want to know pretty much every logistical aspect that goes along with my work abroad.
So, not only am I writing this to save myself from the time and thought that goes into responding to each email, text message or verbal questioning on the matter. I am also writing this to help YOU and answer your questions, so that you can find work abroad as an au pair from a trusted source. Either myself or a personal connection of mine has had experiences with each of these listed resources, so your concerns of ambiguity can be gently cast aside.
Not a fan of reading? How dare you! (Just kidding. But really!?) Here’s a simple and fun info graphic for you.
Here are three superbly awesome websites to help you find work abroad as an au pair.
What it is: Based in New York City, Inter Exchange is a non-profit offering international work and volunteer programs. They have programs in the US and partner with international agencies to send Americans abroad.
Contract: 3-12 months
Wages: $75-$300 weekly
Bonus: yes, usually about 10% of your total wages paid upon completion of contract
Financial Awards Available: Christianson Grant, Working Abroad Grant
Location: New Zealand, Australia, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Italy
Flights: not included
Minimum Qualifications: native English speaker, high school graduate
Miscellaneous: You will likely not be in touch with representatives from Inter Exchange after you have arrived in the new country. They partner with agencies from other countries, and those are the individuals with whom you have contact when in your au pair position abroad. Proper verification checks on the international agencies have been carried out by Inter Exchange.
What it is: Over 250,000 users are registered on this site, which acts as a liaison for au pairs and host families. It is based in Germany, and while they act as a portal for communication with families and au pairs, Au Pair World regularly checks the validity of its members. Any suspicious profiles or activity should be reported to the site admin, and they are very diligent in addressing these issues.
Contract: variable, but usually around 6-9 months
Wages: variable, but usually around €75-€150 weekly
Financial Awards Available: none
Flights: rarely included. A practice which is decreasingly common is that families will pay you a bonus upon completion of your term of employment to be put towards your flight home. Be aware of this and ask about it. There are also the rare cases that families will purchase your round-trip flight for you (which happened for me when I went to Turkey and was offered for me to go to Italy.)
Minimum Qualifications: variable, usually at least a high school degree
Miscellaneous: Au Pair World puts families and au pairs in direct contact with one another. In this situation, there isn’t a third party agency to provide resources, conduct background checks, monitor check-ins, arrange social gatherings with au pairs, etc. Always ask to interview their previous au pairs. What’s more is that sometimes families are simply looking for a native English speaker to help with their English (sometimes just the children, sometimes the adults as well) as opposed to a childcare provider, so make sure you have established clear expectations.
What it is: Transitions Abroad is really a portal for all sorts of work, teaching, volunteering and studying abroad, as well as a TON of information about pretty much every aspect of such. There is a job listings page which offers a compilation of international au pair positions. Transitions Abroad is a credible website and only posts information for verified international au pair placement agencies.
Fees: variable depending on agency
Contract: anywhere from 3-12 months
Bonus: not always, but usually around 5-10% of your total earnings paid upon completion of contract
Financial Awards Available: Travel Writing Contests, additional grants/scholarships/awards may be available through individual agencies
Flights: not included
Miscellaneous: Transitions Abroad is not just for au pairs. There are several job listings of all types. Transitions Abroad is not involved in the placement process, they supply a list and information for agencies looking for au pairs. This is great because there are a lot more options to choose from (although some may think too many!) Should you choose to pursue one of these opportunities, your dealings will be with the chosen agency.
There you have it. Three awesome, but very different, websites that are great for finding work abroad as an au pair. Do you have any other suggestions for resources for au pairs seeking employment? Do you see yourself ever working as an au pair?