Here is the latest blog from Annika who is an au pair in the UK and will be staying for 12 months.
Why did you choose the au pair programme?
I chose the au pair programme because I din’t really know what to study after school, I wanted a break from studying and I wanted to go abroad. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with children, so the programme just seemed perfect for me.
- How long are you participating in the programme?
I am staying in England for 12 months.
- Why did you choose an agency over applying over the internet (like Au Pair World)?
Going abroad with an agency just seemed safer to me. I have never been away from home for longer than two weeks, never really been outside of Germany in general and I had no idea what is important regarding documents and so on. I was also nervous about Brexit and wanted a support system for when the whole process starts.
- How have you found the support offered by Rainbow Au Pairs and its partner in Germany?
It has been amazing! My agency in Germany (easy abroad) is very small, which is one of the reasons I chose it. I was almost overwhelmed by how fast the whole matching process has gone by, but Isabel and Cynthia were with me the whole time and I could ask them anything. Both of them have been very honest about what families expect from me, but also what I can expect from them.
We are still in contact and I feel like I am in good hands. My german agency regulary checks up on me and Cynthia organises monthly coffee mornings, where she takes the time to talk to everyone. She is also very keen on introducing people from similar areas to one another. I am beyond happy to have chosen those agencies!
- How has the programme fulfil your objectives and expectations?
I have been in England for three months now and still thrilled. I live pretty close to London, but it still has a very calm feeling. My family is amazing, even if the kids and me don’t get along sometimes (but I didn’t expect it to be all sunshine all day long anyways, that’s just how humans work!). We usually are besties again after 10 minutes.
I am pretty surprised how easy it was for me to make friends. I consider myself a shy person, but you meet a lot of other young people who are in the same situation as you are and have an instant connection. Going to college has also helped!
- What has been the most eye opening thing so far in UK?
A lot of things come to my mind, it’s hard to choose one!
People are generally nicer here than in Germany. Which doesn’t mean that Germans are rude or anything, it just seems like everyone wants to get to know you, even the chashier at the supermarket. Furthermore I had the time to think about what I want to study. And I learned how much you can miss real bread. And your family, but then the other au pairs can really help, because they are going through the exact same thing at the same time as you are.
And I am still freaked ot by all the squirrels, foxes and parakeets you see here.
- What has been the most fun?
Exploring London after wanting to go there for such a long time. Still feels incredibly surreal.
- What’s been the hardest thing for you?
ONe and a half months ago I was pretty homesick. I hadn’t actually realised that I was feeling that way until I talked to my mum about how I hadn’t been homesick yet. And then it felt like a big lump was forming in my throat. I cried a lot that night, but then I talked to the other au pairs and to my parents and it got better after a few days. I still would like to go home for a day or two, sleep in my own bed, hug my family and then come back here. But I think a lot of people feel that way.
- How have the host fam integrated you?
It’s been really good. The kids more tahn the parents, to be honest, but that’s is why I am here anyways. When I come home on the weekends they usually run up to me, hug me and tell me what they have done all day. That felt really good the first time it happened and still does today.
- Do you get to speak a lot of English?
Yes. my hostfamily doens’t know any german other than “yes”, “no” and “thank you”, so I speak 100% english at home. In college, however, the majority of the girls in my class are from Germany or Austria, so we do speak a lot of German during breaks. But it is really noce sometimes, to speak without thinking about vocabulary first.
- In short would you recommend the programme and Rainbow Au Pairs to others?
Yes and yes. If you like kids and are interested in another country, go for it. And Rainbow Au Pairs has been amazing, I would gladly recommend them to anyone who wants to do this.