Those who have experience as an au pair will tell you that it isn’t easy work. They will also tell you, however, that it certainly isn’t all doom and gloom. Moving abroad and becoming an au pair is a truly unique experience and one you certainly won’t regret. The best thing is, you’ll get the opportunity to travel and experience life in a new place whilst earning money. The best places to be an au pair abroad are usually those with a distinguished au pair programme or at least somewhere where you’re currency is strong and you can easily obtain a holiday working visa. You’ll also want to be in a country where the salary is good and there’s a rich culture or diverse landscape. Below, we have compiled a list of the best places to be an au pair abroad.
Four questions you’ll want to be asking yourself when you choose somewhere to travel to and work as an au pair are:
- How easy is it to obtain a working holiday visa?
- What is the usual salary for au pairs?
- How much is the cost of living?
- What’s life like there?
For most Europeans, Germany tops the list as one of the best places to be an au pair abroad. It’s a great country to work and travel as you are able to move freely and without a visa. All you have to do is inform the government of where you are staying and for how long. For those of you who aren’t from Europe, you will have to apply for a working holiday visa. Germany offers an au pair visa or work permit to all non EU, EEA nationals aged between 18 and 24. The only negatives to this is that you must have beginner level knowledge of German as you will be tested on application.
The usual salary for au pairs living in Germany varies but is usually anything from 260-300+ euros per week. The best thing is that most au pair jobs include free accommodation and food so everything you earn can be spent on exploring or saving. The au pair family are also required to pay for health care costs which is an added bonus!
Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is very reasonable. Things like alcohol, travel, clothing and activities are relatively cheap. The cheapest cities in Germany are Dusseldorf and Hamburg. So if you are worried about money, look for work in these parts of the country.
You can find more information about Visa requirements for Germany here.
Australia is know for being an expensive destination amongst travellers. However, their high pay, reputable au pair exchange programmes, beautiful beaches and warm weather is attracting more au pairs every year. The government offers a 1 year working holiday visa for locals of over 30 countries that are aged between 18 and 30. Once you have applied and received your visa, you have one year to work and receive a generous salary and to live like a local. The working holiday visa can also be extended for another year once you have completed 88 days of regional farm work (read more about it here).
As an au pair you should expect to receive around 200-250 AUD$ a week alongside free accommodation and food. One of the main attractions for au pairs working in Australia is that for English speakers, you won’t encounter language barriers. For those who are looking to learn the language, there are also plenty of ways that you can.
The AIFS is an educational au pair service that operates by linking Australian families with au pairs from around the world. As an agency, they will help you organise everything you need to find a host family. You will be expected to pay a small fee, however this will contribute to your vital First Aid training and 2 day orientation which they provide. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to travel and experience life in Australia whilst adding to their knowledge and experiences of child care. You can find out more about them here.
If you need more information about Australia’s visa requirements, you can find it here.
The breath taking landscapes and friendly people- just 2 reasons why Canada is one of the best places to be an au pair abroad. Canada has no official au pair programme but has a working holiday visa called International Experience Canada. It gives people aged between 18 and 35 and from 27 countries the possibility to work in Canada.
The usual salary for au pairs in Canada ranges between $235-300 per week. You should also expect to receive accommodation and free food as part of your contract. The huge country offers visitors the chance to improve their English or French and on your time off you can explore one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse landscapes. The Canadians are also known for being kind hearted and friendly people. so you’ll be making new friends in no time.
You can find out if you need a visa and how to apply for one here.
Why is Sweden one of the best places to be an au pair abroad? Firstly, even as a non-EU citizen, it is relatively easy to obtain a working holiday permit to become an au pair. The only requirements are that you are aged between 18 and 30. You will also be expected to have an interest in learning their language, however the bonus is that your Swedish language course is usually paid for by your hosts!
All of the best 5 places to be an au pair abroad have one thing in common – your accommodation and food is free and part of your contract. On top of this, the wage for au pairs in Sweden is around 3,500 SEK ($450) a month. You are expected to work for 25 hours a week, which leaves you plenty of free time to explore your local surroundings.
Tourists often view Sweden as an expensive European country. So there is no better and cheaper way to explore the enchanting and culturally rich Scandinavian country then as a travelling au pair. By getting free accommodation and food as part of your contract, you’ll have plenty of extra cash to explore with. There are plenty of Swedish au pair agencies that will help you to find a host family. You can find some here.
Click here to find out more about Sweden and it’s visa requirements.
Like Sweden, Switzerland is also seen as an expensive place for travellers. So being able to visit whilst you’re earning money is hugely beneficial. For EU citizens, you do not need a visa to be an au pair in Switzerland. All you need is your passport and if your stay exceeds 3 months, you just have to apply for a residence permit. If you are aged between 17 and 30, you can stay in the country for up to 2 years.
For those of you who aren’t from the EU, au pair visas are also easily available and shouldn’t cause you too much stress. It is advised that you apply for au pair roles via an agency. This is because, as a non EU citizen they will help you to fill out and send off all the necessary forms. They will also help by matching you with a host family. As an au pair, you will be expected to work around 30 hours a week and your salary can vary between 890-900 swiss francs a month. You are also required to attend a language course for a minimum of 3 hours per week.
Another reason why Switzerland is one of the best places to be an au pair abroad is because of the alps. Hundreds of families visit the Swiss alps every year for a holiday. Many families often hire au pairs to look after their little ones why they enjoy their time away. The biggest bonus about this is that you will get a free ski pass, free use of ski equipment and can spend all of your free time and days off skiing. What au pair job could be better? Adventure Nannies have all the best holiday au pair opportunities which you can check out here.
For information on Switzerland’s visa requirements follow here.