Hi & Welcome to my blog! I have a monthly series titled The Italy Diaries and this is the third one – talking about everything I got up to in November. This month is also a little different as I’m also going to be delving deeper into the process of becoming an Au Pair so if the sounds interesting, then keep reading…
I’m still attending 2 Italian lessons a week and I’m really loving it. It’s difficult but the other people in my class are great and being constantly around the language helps! My host family is always ready to correct my terrible pronunciation too, which comes in handy.
Weekends & Travelling
I visited Turin over the second weekend in November for the Chocolate festival (You can check out my 2 day itinerary here). I loved the city and I think it’s a perfect place to visit in the colder months, especially if you love art! There was also a truffle festival/market in Genoa one weekend which I went to with my host family but the weather has been pretty shocking lately so it’s been tough to take day trips! Lots of Orange & Red weather warnings, thunderstorms and high winds. The last weekend of November we had some nice weather so I visited a nearby seaside town called Camogli which was beautiful! On Sunday I headed to the city centre to check out some galleries – but the weather was horrible so I called it a day around 2pm!
The 6 Steps to Becoming an Au Pair:
Finding an Agency:
I used Au Pair World which is super easy to navigate and is free for Au Pairs.
Creating A Profile:
Try to be as detailed as you can with your interests, expectations and experience. I made sure to talk about my volunteer work with children, that I wanted to play more of a sisterly role than being an English tutor and that I was a vegetarian. No detail is too small!
Connecting with Families:
Decide where you want to go, for how long and what kids you’re wanting to look after. Most placements are 3, 6, 9 or 12 months and you can filter families to only see those compatible with your travel plans. It’s also important to think about the ages, genders and number of kids.
I interviewed with 4 families and I found it really useful for seeing which family I clicked with the most. I recommend writing out a list of questions that are important to you to ask, and prepare for any they may ask you. It’s also a good way to test the communication, whether you’re speaking their language or your own. Do bear in mind that the language skills will really improve after a few weeks!
Making a Decision:
This is the tough part! I actually got offered every position I interviewed for but then I narrowed it down to two families quite easily due to realising that I’d rather be with older children (9-12). Then I had to choose between the family I’m with now and a family in Paris. Even though Paris might’ve suited me more in a lot of ways, I just got on better with this family and I trusted my gut – I’m now so sure I made the right choice! If you’re staying for only a few months, you could always spend time with more than one family.
Once the contracts are signed and the flights are booked, you can prepare for moving! Try not to get too stressed about it, and if you forget to pack something I’m sure you can find it in your new city! I think especially with toiletries, if you don’t use solid shampoo/conditioner/soap then I would say to buy them there.
Top Tips: Becoming An Au Pair
- Check the average weather forecast for the months you’ll be there and pack accordingly.
- Make sure you choose a family whose hobbies and lifestyle fits with yours. There is no point picking a super outdoorsy family when you hate those kinds of activities!
- Try to find a family where you’d have your own room and bathroom – having that space is really important.
I hope you found this interesting and if you have any questions about au pairing then let me know.
Bye for now!