Hi all. My name is Joyce.
My au pair experience in the US
After high school I left to be an au pair in Arlington, VA. After a few horrible weeks of homesickness and culture shock I returned home to The Netherlands. I got my college degree and decided to try again. This time in Davis, CA. Being a bit older now and knowing what to expect I got over the initial culture shock and home sickness and stayed for a year, having a wonderful time.
My au pair experience in Australia
A few years later, after having worked a few jobs in The Netherlands, I left again. This time to be an au pair in Sydney. I was one of the first au pairs to extend with my host family for another 6 months (before that au pairs were only allowed to stay for 6 months with the same host family). So I stayed for almost a year, again having an amazing experience.
Hosting au pair meetings for my agency
After about 6 months my agency asked me to host their (bi)weekly au pairs meetings. I met many new au pairs and tried helping them settle into their families and their new life. We would discuss the joys and challenges of being an au pair and tried to help each other where needed. I’ve learned many things from hosting these meetings and my personal experience (and mistakes) as an au pair, like how best to communicate with host families and how to deal with homesickness.
Even though I finished my time in Australia and I’m back in The Netherlands again I still enjoy talking to au pairs and sharing my experience with them, answering questions and learning about/from their stories.