Top Tips & Things to Do When Au Pairing in Germany
Being an Au Pair can be tough, especially if it’s your first time living away from your family and friends in a different country. However, it can also be really rewarding. In this article Alice Scott shares her experience of working as an nanny near Stuttgart in Germany and gives her top tips and advice for how to make the most out of the experience.
1. Embrace the Experience & Get Lots of Rest
The first time I was an au pair in Germany I worked 10am until about 7pm Monday-Friday and occasional babysitting in the evenings and weekends, and the second time I worked 10am-8pm Tuesday-Thursday. But even though I had the weekends off, as an au pair you’ll find yourself still playing with the children even though all you wanted to do was sleep or go out. But embrace that – the children obviously like you if they want you to play with them. Although having said that, you do need time for yourself; so go out, explore, and make new friends in the area – do things for you.
2. Make the Most of Free Time
Living near Stuttgart was great because I got to do lots of different things. In the winter the family took me along to a local hill where there are ski lifts, and the children go skiing and sledging there. In the summer I visited the city and often went shopping, or I visited the TV Tower (Fernsehturm), or went to a nearby lake or just took walks in the fields. Both summers that I was there I took a trip down to Lake Constance (Bodensee) and, my goodness, I recommend this place to everyone – you need to visit Lake Constance at least once in your life. It’s beautiful; you have the gorgeous lake, the German hills, and the majestic Austrian and Swiss mountains in the background. Book a Germany tour if you want a structured experience.
3. Take a Language Course
Take a German language course in Germany which is great way to improve communication and integration. I went to Dialoge Sprachinstitut in Lindau which I highly recommended if you have time. I spent just three weeks there and I learnt so much German, and my confidence grew a lot too!
4. Visit Austria
Germany is one of the best places to apply for au pair jobs in Europe due to the proximity to nearby countries. I recommend you take a trip on the train to St. Anton, a mountain village in Austria; you can get a train from Lindau Hbf (Germany) or Bregenz Hbf (Austria) and travel in the direction towards Innsbruck/Salzburg. The village is fairly small and not as lively in the summer as it is in the winter. But that’s what I love about the place, because I was able to sit and have some lunch whilst watching the world go by and completely relax. I went up the Galzigbahn cable car and saw magnificent views of the valley. And did you know? The film ‘Chalet Girl’ (Ed Westwick, Felicity Jones) was filmed in St Anton! It’s my favourite place in the world.
5. Just Make Sure You Apply
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to come to work in Germany as an au pair. I got to explore that part of the world and visited places many in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. I was included in the family’s daily life and immersed in the culture and language of Germany. I learnt so much in just one year. If you’re young and looking for a job that allows you to learn a language and be immersed in another country’s culture and way of life, then I recommend becoming an Au Pair. It’s so much fun and the experience you take away from it will be unforgettable!
By Alice Scott
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