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Life after au pairing; think about it now! Life after au pairing; think about it now!

As an au pair you live a somewhat care free life: You do not have rent to pay, no groceries to buy, and no utility bills to foot. Consequently, you have little to worry about and you may really live a comfortable life. This is even more so, if you come from a less developed country and are new to the relatively easier lifestyles and comforts in more developed countries. But believe it or not, the au pair euphoria does fade as months go by. After numerous months of living as an au pair (as have many other au pairs before you, including myself ) you may start getting restless and tired of your monotonous au pair life of servitude. Your life as an au pair and life in general may feel pretty pointless and you may simply yearn for freedom!

Like many other au pairs, I've been there! In retrospect, first time au pairing is a little bit like falling in love, loving, and falling out of love :-). To begin with, you are simply in love with the idea of being an au pair. Then you become an au pair and you just love it :-) ! Then as months go by, au-pairing has less and less of new experiences to offer you; everything becomes 'normal' and illusions you had about au pairing and life elsewhere fade away. Then add onto that a severe bout of home sickness that may kick in at this point. If you are not prepared for this drop in au pairing euphoria, packing your bags and going home might feel like the solution and may turn out to be your choice.

So, you really do need to be prepared for that dive in au pairing euphoria. How ? By acknowledging right from the begining that au pairing is not an end in itself. And this is where your implicit/ other reasons for venturing into au pairing come in. Have them in perspective before and as you make your au pair applications. When you do become an au pair and have had several months to familiarize yourself with your new environment, take advantage of the free time you have to discover, for example, the study opportunities available to you.

Also, remember that you do not have to attend language classes throughout your au pair period. You could also enrol for professional courses at a local university or professional school. Depending on your host country, you may have to struggle with different issues before you can be admitted into a school. For example, being required to prove your proficiency in a given language or being able to raise the study-related fees. Despite possible difficulties of this kind, keeping such possibilities in perspective and following up on them could be part of the preparations you make for your post-au pair life.

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