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