Testimonios

Au Pair Conecta has created a new space for our testimonials. You can now learn more about our programs through the reports and letters of our former Au Pairs and host families, who will talk about their experiences and impressions. Following you will find some of our testimonials. If you are interested in sending us your report, you can contact our team via email (info@aupairconecta.com) and simply send us your letter with some photos, if possible.

Au Pair in France: Lidia as Au Pair and University Student

¡Hi everybody!

it´s been two months now since I first arrived in Paris and there is heaps to tell. My host family is great! I have to admit that I am living with three guys.....hehehe: the host fatherAu Pair Lidia en Paris (a widower) and his two sons Erwan (7) and Mathieu (5). When I first arrived, they welcomed me extremly warmly and even the grandmother came over for a week to help me get used to the boys and show me around, expain where the school was, how to get into Paris centre etc... I live approximatey 30 km outside the centre; it´s 30 minutes by train. The grand mother showed me around Paris a bit and gave me all important briefings regarding my duties.

The beginning was tough, especially as I was only 18, when I arrived and it was hard for me to separate from my parents and my brother at home. But little by little I am adjustin to the new situation. I am actually combining my au pair work with studying at the Sorbonne University here in Paris. Combining both activities is not aways easy, but I manage in the end, even though I finish my day quite exhausted. Most of my day is occupied by being Au Pair, but I have enough time to attend Uni and study. I only have 4 hours of classes a day, but as it´s all in French I have to do a lot of work afterwards to translate etc. My teachers at Uni are very understanding due to the fact, that I also work as au pair and they give me a hand whereever they can. In this sense they are really great. The afternoons I spend with my host chidren. When they finish school, we have an afternoon snack and, depending on the day, they have different after-school activities. On Wednesday they don´t have school, which was very surprising to me at the beginning. So all Wednesdays they spend at a leisure time centre, where they have the same timetable as at school, but it´s all about playing. Sometimes it is a tough job to deal with two boys and I am really tired at the end of the day, but it´s all worth it, when you realise how they start trusting you and become more and more caring and loving towards you and enjoy spending time with you. Mathieu, the little one, sometimes spontaniously says: “Lidia, t’es belle”, which means: "Lidia, you are beautiful”; and every time I drop him off at school, he would say goodbye to me with a big kiss and a hug. Erwan, the older one, likes joining me in my room, once his brother is in bed, to chat for a while and listen to music or read on my bed, while I study. Even though sometimes I have to get angry and send them to their room, they quickly reconsider and return well-behaved. When they behave well, they can watch a movie, but always in Spanish. During the mornings I am always at University in Paris, and thanks to my public transport ticket, I can get everywhere I want!! And that´s the great thing of being so cloase to Paris. I can go see places without loosing much time. I have to say that the French people are a bit more serious than the Spanish, but little by little I am making friends, even though it takes time. And soemtimes it´s hard in that sense.... But overall I am convinced that being an au pair is the best way to fully immerse yourself in to a new culture and language. Within the last 2 months I have improved my French a lot, even though I keep sometimes making mistakes. But my host father always corrects my and helps a lot in my learning process

Thanks for offering me this grand opportunity, girls!!

Testimony of Bea working as Au Pair in Scotland

Dear Carolin and Belén!!!
Here in Scotland all is going great, even though I am still adapting to my new lifestyle! It is just so different to everything in Spain, which I often miss quite a lot!
As you can imagine, it is not always easy with the kids, as they are a bit naughty, especially when Kaid (4) and Louis (2) play together!!! They don´t really listen to me...they sometimes cry and shout....but I leave them enough space t do so and when I can´t handle the situation well, I luckily have a wonderful host mother who can give me hand. Thank God it´s only sometimes!!!
On other ocasions they are very sweet and caring and love to chat to my Spanish family on skype, they say Spanish words and it´s fun to be with them. So I will stick to the good moments!!

The host families in general is lovely! Emma (the mother) is very busy, so I am trying to be of as much help as possible! She helps me a lot and cares for my well-being, which is very nice.
I still haven´t been to English classes, but will start soon, in a couple of weeks, I hope!  And Emma has offered me to change my time-schedule, so I can assist, which is great!

I am looking forward to get to know the places around....villages like Falkirk and Stirling. Yesterday I visited Glasgow!!
Language-wise I nearly understand everything, even though I manage to pick it up quicker from adults than from the kids. What is most difficult for me is the speaking, as I speak faster than I think, and then get lost on the way! 
I will write again soon and am sending you many greetings from the very very very cold Scotland!!!!
Bea

Testimonio de Cristina como Au Pair en Inglaterra

Dear Au Pair Conecta team and all candidates interested in the Au Pair program:

After one month and a half  in England I don`t regret about my wish to start this experience. It is true,I miss my family and friends, our place,but the rest is positive. I believe that I have lucky with my hostfamily because thay are good with me, and I am feeling a member of the family and they value my job with the girls. I was worried with the food but it is a healthy family, they eat all kind of food, and they are paying my gym. My duties are wake up girls  every mornings, have breakfast all together before parents go out, get ready school bags, pick up and collect to school, and when we are at home play different games and activities.
 
The youngest has only 3 years old, and when she doesn`t go to nursery we usually go to swimming, walking around the city or park. I collaborate in housework because they are nice with me and I don`t might help them. Sometimes is difficult with the girl, speak in English..but If you like kids, you can resolve the situation.
 
I have meet spanish people in this city, throught English lessons.Also, I have meet people who have other nacionalities, so I can practice english. I think it is better live here for improve your english. You can get fluency because you mus speak in all situations. In adition, I am visiting other cities during my weekends off or when I haven`t any plan with the family.
 
If I return when I decided to contact with this agency for my first steps, I would do it with my eyes closed. Maybe I extend my live there. I encourage all  candidates, I recommend 100%.
 
Au Pair Cristina with phone box Au Pair Cristina en Londres
 

 

Matthew, our mal au pair in Seville talks about his experience!

Dear all!

I arrived in Seville at the start of July and I was pretty apprehensive about spending my summer working and living with a family that I didn’t know. In reality the family welcomed me withMale summer au pair MAtthew in Seville open arms, and I could see that it was really important to them that I was comfortable and happy.  The family previously had a female Au-pair which hadn’t worked out too well because of the 2 energetic little boys! This made me slightly nervous but the boys and myself plaza encarnación in Sevilleimmediately hit it off and I’m sure this was because we were all guys! For me, this was the main advantage of being a male Au-pair; the boys accepted me quickly and saw me as a friend more easily as they are still at the age where girls seem a bit ‘icky’! Another advantage of being a male au-pair is that I felt I could cope more easily with any ‘crazy’ episodes of the boys, or the never ending football matches 6 times a day!

My host family was pretty relaxed with what I did with the Jose and Diego, and so I think this made it an enjoyable experience. For example my host Mum was happy with me to take the boys on the bus to the park, to go roller blading, to go on the rowing boats in Plaza de Espana or to take them to some of the touristy sites I wanted to see! Another huge advantage was that the sister of my host Mum also had an Au-pair from Germany, looking after her son. Luckily we got on so well and she was my best friend for the next 10 weeks, we spent time together with the kids at the pool and then also a lot of our free time together!  We also spent a week together in Portugal as the whole family took vacations there. The main challenge with the boys was teaching English, as their English level was more basic than I expected, and encouraging them to learn and speak English was difficult as my host Mum didn’t want them to use work sheets or anything that seemed too much like School, and in my opinion, playing games in English has its limits.  The main challenge with the family was solely clarification of working hours and free time, but as I was only in Spain for 10 weeks, I wasn’t too hung up on this issue.

The Maria Luisa Park in SevilleSeville is an amazing, historical city that I would really recommend to anybody thinking of au-pairing there or simply just visiting. The city is beautiful, and typically Spanish with some great Tapas bars and classic Flamenco shows. The city also has some really great nightlife which was a good bonus, during the summer there were open-air clubs in Parque de Maria Luisa which were awesome!  The city has a really well connected bus system, which is pretty cheap at 69 cents per ride with a bus card, which is a necessity as some drivers refuse bank notes all together, and cash is not accepted on the night buses.  The city is well connected by train, although to some locations it was pretty expensive, we travelled to Cadiz, Huelva, Murcia, Marbella and Malaga all by train!

I would really recommend Au-Pairing to anybody that has self confidence and experience with children. I feel it really matured me and proved that I was a responsible and open minded person, which will be great trying to get any job in the future. I improved my conversational Spanish, and one of my only regrets is not spending money on Spanish school. I still have a good relationship with the family and we keep in contact with regular video updates from the ‘crazy boys’! During my time as an Au-pair I made friends for life from all parts of Europe, and was even lucky enough to spend a week in Gran Canaria with some friends I met in Seville! 

Riverside in Seville at dusk

Monica´s Testimonial as Au Pair in the UK

Hello!! How is life back hom ein Spain? Following I will send you a little update on my experience as au pair here in Kettering... I arrived 2 months ago and wouldn´t have expected to learn so much in such a short timeAu Pair Monica en UK. At the beginning I hardly understood any English and by now I can actually maintain and understand a whole conversation! Of course there is still heaps to learn... but with every day that passes I realize how important the English language will be for my life at a long-term basis. That is why I really make a huge effort to learn as much as I can. I have the nicest host-family of England. I really was so lucky! From the very first day on they made me feel welcome as part of their family. The parents are young and we get along greatly. The kids are very sweet. It surely is a lot of work to look after three, but they are very nice and I learn so much from them. My day starts at 7 in the morning, when I get up and help my host-mother to prepare breakfast for the children and get their lunch ready to leave for school. I usually acompany the parents to get the kid to school, but whenever they can´t do the school run, I will do it on my own. I was lucky enough to receive driving instructions from my host parents to learn to drive on the other side of the road. I get along really well with the car and now always look on the right side! Meanwhile the kids are at school, I tidy a little bit the house, hang up the washing, put on and clear dishwasher etc. To be honest it doesn´t suppose any effort to me to do my household duties, as these are tasks I am very used to do at home in Spain as well. It´s normal things which I do as any other adult part of the family. After finishing with the house, I have some free time, which I usually use to practise English, watching series and listening to music to broaden my vocabulary. In the afternoons I go to pick up the children from school and prepare them a snack once we get home and try to convince them to get int o the shower! Sometime I prepare dinner, but mostly the parents are in charge of that. I have 3 free days per week and am very happy with my host family. Once a week I attend a language course for three hours. I would love to do more, but as we live in a village, there is no better offer for a course. Nevertheless this course has helped me a lot to improve my language skills. The only thing which is a bit hard for me sometimes, is to get to know other young people and make friends. I miss having friends. But slowly I am getting to know new people. The fact that I have spent all my time during the last 2 months with native poeple, I have improved so much my speaking. Au Pair Monica en InglaterraBy now I can participate in any conversation and I am used to the sound of the language. I have to work hard on my pronunciation, but am sure that with the time, all will work out well. Until now I have not had a chance to travel much, but am hoping to do so in the future. As a tip for future au pairs I would like to add that it is important not only to focus on the host family, but also take a look on the location where they live and the surrounding. It does make a difference if you live in a village or a town. I would always recommend something in the middle, but definatly a place where you can meet other people and make friends easily. I like to see things from a positive point of view so I am very happy with my experience and with the fast way in which I am improving my English! And the friends I am looking for...will hopefully come up soon. Thanks a lot for your back-up and support. I will keep you posted on how I am going. Best wishes, Mónica

Raquel as Senior Caregiver in Ireland

Hallo everybody!!

by now I have spent a couple of months here in Dublin, Ireland as Senior Caregiver and to be honest, I am really so happy with the experience. Before hand I had never heard about the Senior program, and when I first read about it, I instantly liked the idea of being able to help an elderly person with so much life-experience to share with. Au Pair Senior Raquel en Irlanda
I know it might sound strange to work as the Au Pair of an older person, but it really is amazing. I guess you cannot imagine what it is like until you personally make the experience. You can do so much by little gestures and your company can have so much impact on someone, which I hadn´t been able to imagine before. The whole family received me very warmly from the beginning. They give me a hand whereever they can and I am enjoying every moment I spend with my Irish "Granny", how I call her as nickname.
I have improved a lot my English through living together with her and we enjoy our every day life together heaps. Of course all needs time, especially at the beginning. But once you adapt, you will see all the improvement and all you learn and you really get so close to your host family.
I still remember my first days here and how I had difficulties understanding what they spoke. The family however did not care, they were just happy for me to be here. I had to practice a lot to be able to drive the car on the other side of the road and took several driving lessons, thinking I would never get used to it! But by now even that works fine and I am enjoying it so much and recommending this experience to everybody!

Bethany from England tells us about her arrival in Madrid

 

Hi Au Pair Conecta, 
I am fine thank you, it was nice to hear from you and just had a quick look at those documents which I am sure I will find very useful. It is my first roper day 'working' today and so far so good. I feel like I have settled in with the family very well and they have from the start made me feel like one of the family and are all lovely people. They showed my round the neighborhood and informed me of all the rules, routines etc the first couple of days so when it came to putting it into practice this morning with the children I was pretty confident and certain of what to do.  I also had the opportunity to meet some other family members as the cousins cam to stay this weekend and both are beautiful children so I was quite busy entertaining and helping 4 children however they were all lovely and tried very hard with their English. I also met the Uncle and Aunty who do not speak a lot of English so this was a good experience too, hopefully by the end of my time here I can have more than just small talk with them and maybe even a whole Spanish conversation?! 
I have quite a lot of free time during the day at the moment whilst children are at school but it allows me to do some uni work and contact home, friends ect. The family are offering me Spanish lesson too which this week I have for 3 hours on Wednesday and Friday with a family friend so I ma very grateful of that and although i have done a little Spanish before, it will greatly improve my confidence and ability. I was proud of myself though as I went to the shop this morning to buy bread by myself and managed it all in Spanish! 
I had a bit of trouble sorting my mobile the first few days as I presumed it would automatically register with the Spanish network however it did not. I was a it worried and felt a bit lost without it however I got in contact with network provider in England this morning and it is all sorted so this makes me feel a bit better. 
At the moment I am very happy and quite relaxed and I know that in the hands of this family I will be well looked after. 
Bethany. 

 

Elena´s Testimonio as German Au Pair in Seville

As I have always liked Spanish as a language, but never had the chance to study it at school, I know from the very beginning that I was going to search for a way to learn it.Au pair in Sevilla

The Au Pair program seemed like the ideal solution to me,  as you can learn the language, get to know the culture, the land and its people and you are protected by living within a family.

In spring 2012 I sent my application to an agency based in Cologne, who collaborate with the Spanish agency Au Pair Conecta.

After some time of waiting they told me there was a family in Seville who were interested in my profile.

As I hardly spoke any Spanish, I was releaved to hear that the host mother was German as well.

This way I arrived in the centre of Seville in early September 2012 to live with a family of three, a German mother, a Spanish father and a little 3-year old son.

From the very beginning I enrolled in the language school Clic for Spanish classes, which helped me a lot to really learn the language from scratch. The school also offered lots of free-time activities, excursions and cultural things. I joint a trip to Marroco, which was amazing.

Apart from that I visited Cáceres, Salamanca, Cádiz, Málaga, Jerez de la Frontera, Ronda, Madrid many other places during my stay in Spain.

During my second months I joint a dancing course for Salsa and Bachata, which I loved.

After some months I also found a little extra-job, giving German classes to two children of 7 and 9 years of age. Two times a week I gave them tutor classes and enjoyed that very much.

But let´s get back to my main activity:

On the mornings I helped with breakfast and dressing the little one, before he left for school at 9. On midday we usually had lunch together with the whole family, before my host-child went back to class at 3 pm. In the afternoons I used to pick him up from school and then take him to the playground or for a walk, often together with another Au Pair friend and her child. At night I bathed him or we played a little bit more at home before dinner and bed-time.

Sometimes I had to do babysitting at night and that also went well from the beginning on. I was surprised that the little boy was happy for me to bring him to bed straight away.

Au Pair auf dem Spielplatz in SevillaOn some ocasions I stayed at sole charge of him for a part of the weekend as well, which meant that I passed the whole day with him. All worked out very well and I am pretty proud of my work.

Of course it is not always easy, especially at the beginning, but that´s totally normal.

I still remember how tired and exhausted I used to feel at the beginning of my stay. Each person needs some time to adjust, above all to the new language. I realised how my head was spinning from trying to understand and translate all I picked up in conversations...

Sometimes it´s not easy to try and become friends with a child, but be consequent at the same time, always having to maintain a nice tone and be patient.

But as everything it´s only a question of time and of getting some practice. It takes time to find your rythm, may it refer to the child, the family, the language or the lifestyle in general. But once you find it, everything goes by itself and things are being solved easily and quickly.

To be Au Pair means to have a great responsability, to spend a lot of time with a child and sometimes to not have so much time left for yourself.

I guess this also is related to the fact, that you have to digest so many new impressions and experiences at the same time.

I was so lucky with my stay in Seville. I lived right in the heart of the city centre and there were always things going on. The sea, the beaches, the mountains and the snow, all is at a reachable distance. Africa and Portugal are also close and easy to reach from Seville, so geographically it´s perfect.

I fell in love not only with Seville as my city, but also with a boy who lives here....

 

Au Pair Freundinnen in SevillaIf I look back on my time now, I am full of thousands of emotions. It is hard to give a resumé about 9 months in a short text.

If you really get involved with the Au Pair program, you can really create a new life. You will be member of a new family, who you will share the good and bad things with. You will find new friends, who will help and support you and will become a very part of your life in a short time.

I will never forget the friends I met in Seville!

And of course you will learn a language. I now speak Spanish nearly fluent, and had not much of an idea before hand.

I would have never thought, that a small child would take such an important part in my life. Even though it is not always fácil, I have a very strong connection to my host-child.

This makes me very happy and also proud.

I will miss my time in Seville very much...

I hope that just like my stay has left many beautiful memories en mi, I will have left some in Seville and above all with my host family.

Carmen´s testimony as Au Pair in France

Hey Belen and Carolin at Au Pair Conecta!!

How are you?? I am very happy here in Vertou close to Nantes. Since the very beginning things have been great with my host family, the children and in general my life here in France. Yesterday I started my language course. Actually I had been to some classes before, but the level was too high for me and the course too difficult. This is why I changed the class, and now I can participate during the lessons, build a strong basis of knowledge and get used to the sound of the foreign language.
My duties as Au Pair are just, what you had told me. But that doesn´t seem to be the case with other Au Pairs....I have a class mate at language school, who works so hard all day and cooks and cleans all the time and she is very tired... Thank God that´s not my case. I´m mainly in charge of washing and ironing the children´s clothes, preparing breakfast, tidying up the play areas and helping with homeworks etc....
Regarding the host parents I can´t complain either. At the beginning maybe everything seems so fantastic, as it´s new and exciting, but I have a good feeling. They care a lot about me and try to make me feel at home always.
The kids are lovely. Gregoire is 11 years old and doesn´t like studying for school that much. But as any boy he loves playing with his friends, so sometimes I need to remind him to take school issues seriously as well. He is a very happy child, very active and sometimes he gets upset if I tell him what needs to be done, but he is not resentful at all. Valentine is 9 years old and very responsible when it comes to school things. She is also very sweet and lovely.
Apart of that the family has a little Cocker, who is so sweet and a very independant cat, who I sometimes see strolling around the house.
I hope in Seville all is well. I´d like to thank you both for all you did for me. Until now all is just the way you predicted it to me and I hope that I will keep getting along with my host family so well all year through. The experience until now has been fantastic and a bog success and I am so glad to have taken the decision to become Au Pair abroad!!
Sending you a big hug!!! Au revoir!!!

 

Elisa´s Testimony of being Au Pair in Scotland

Hi there, my name is Elisa and thanks to the team of Au Pair Conecta I am now working as an Au Pair in Scotland.

My first host-family actually was living in the south of England, in Burgess Hill, a nice village close to the coastal town Brighton. It was a single-mother with two children, who I had to look after when she did her hospital working shifts as a nurse. The host mother helped me to find a language course and settle in, but only after two weeks she told me that her personal circumstances were changing and she couldn´t keep me as her Au Pair. Her husband, whom she was separated from, lost his job and they agreed that he would be in charge of the children, when she works.

At first I got really upset, thinking that I might have to go back home, if it turned out to be difficult to find a new host. So I contacted Au Pair Conecta directly and they gave me wonderful support. From the very moment I told them what had happened, they worked non-stop and in close collaboration with the agency in London to find a solution quickly. After a couple of days they started sending me new family files. I had 6 interviews with different families and after 10 days I moved in at my new home. Both agencies, Au Pair Conecta in Spain as well as their partner here in England proofed to be serious and professional and that gave me a lot of security and tranquility. I even received preference in choosing families due to the fact that all needed to be sorted out quickly and I had to find a new host so soon.

Au pair Conecta not only worked in collaboration with the London agency, but also contacted various other partners to rise my possibilities of finding a family.

This way I ended up in Aberdeen in Scotland. I am very happy with my new family! They are great people, very friendly and loving. From the first day on they made me feel at home in their house and the children are very well educated, so we get along wonderfully!

They have three children, who I look after during my working hours. The family is very sweet and they look after me as if I was another daughter: they pay for my bustickets to go to language school and they buy me books to practise and exercise my English. When I commit errors, they always let me know and correct me. On my birthday they organized a dinner for me to celebrate and they gave me a gift-voucher for Zara, so I could get what I most liked for myself. Apart of that I can receive friends and family visiting me, as they have a guest room which they offered.

THrough my agency I received a list of other Au Pairs who live in the same area, so we can meet and get to know each other. This way I practise and improve my English while making friends in my free time.

The photo I am attaching was taken at the entrace of Edinburgh castle. Edinburgh is amazing and beautiful and it´s not that far from Aberdeen. I am very happy with all the experiences I am living day by day. Even though being Au Pair is not always easy, I am learning so much. Not only the language, but also heaps of things for life in general. There´s new impressions every day and I recommend the Au Pair experience to everybody!!!

With many greetings from Scotland! Elisa

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