Amandine, French expat in England

“How becoming an au pair in England completely changed my life” – Amandine, French expat in England 

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July 2017, I had just finished university and I didn’t really know what to do with my life at that moment. I knew I didn’t want to go back to university for two more years, I also knew I didn’t want to keep my student part time job which was in a fast food. I had applied for a program at university which would eventually send me to England to work in a school. I got accepted but there wasn’t enough schools looking for teaching assistant so I never got chosen.

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One day I was sitting in my boyfriend’s new apartment & decided to create a profile on AuPairWorld. I didn’t know it would work out that much ! I got dozens of messages from families in England & then one. The one ! The Bradford family looked perfect ! After a long talk on Skype I decided to leave France to join this new family. It took me exactly twelve hours between the moment I applied on the website & the moment I booked my flight to England.

Before that, I had never been much of an adventurer. I stayed in my comfort zone for years with my boyfriend, my part time job, university & my family, 6 years of comfort zone. This afternoon changed everything !

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I planned this new year for the next month until I took off on August 27th.

My host family was a British family of 5. They had two boys (Joe 13 & Isaac 11) & a little girl, Phoebe, aged 6. They also had a dog, Jules, & a cat, Woody. My job was to take care of the kids in the morning & after school until the parents came home around 7pm. The boys were generally taking care of themselves, making their breakfast, beds, getting ready, etc. I was with Phoebe most of the time. She needed more attention. In the morning I would wake up around 7, get up & check if Phoebe was awake too. I would ask her to get dressed (in England they were uniforms at school so it makes everything easier in the morning), then I would cook her breakfast, do her hair, start the laundry & make beds. At 8:30am, we would leave for school which was a 15 minutes walk away. During the day I was doing the washing, tidying rooms & then I would pick up Phoebe at school around 3:30pm. They all had lots of clubs to attend every day after school (bake off, scouts, beavers, football, karate, swimming, running, etc)

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My job wasn’t that hard to be honest. Only two babysittings a week. Extra babysitting was paid extra money. I had my own phone (iPhone), my own car (I only had to pay for petrol when I was taking the car for personal stuffs like going shopping) & they also paid me a gym membership all included.

During the year I have been volunteering one day a week in a lower school, with the Year 1, which was really funny. They taught me a lot & we had lots of fun.

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I’ve really become my better self thanks to this experience. I met some amazing girls in England (who all decided to stay longer with their host families – & me). I learned that I can do a lot more than I think all by myself. I can travel, I can change my life & who I am. I can reach most of my dreams. Therefore I decided that I would make England my new home. Unfortunately, I had to leave my host family earlier to come back to France because my mom got a cancer.

However, before leaving, I started to look for jobs in England. I found my dream job to be honest ! Starting September 3rd, 2018, I am going to be a teaching assistant in an Upper School. I will help teachers in different subjects & levels, take care of all the students who need some help to get better in some subjects. If everything works out, I will be offered to train to be a French teacher in that same school & I should get the job for September 2020.

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I found a new place to live : my salary being a bit low I am currently renting only a room with its own bathroom but I am planning, if everything goes right, to get my own place in a year.

So, here I am, August 22nd, 2018, writing all of this in the plane as I am returning to England today, full of dreams & hope ! I am super excited to start this new life & I will tell you everything about it & try to write as much as I can on my blog : www.amandinesadventures.fr

Thank you so much Amandine for taking the time to tell us your story ! It’s very inspiring & I wish you all the best for this new adventure in England 🙂 You can find her on her blog as mentioned above or on her Instagram

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