Au Pair in the UK, Allison has been kind enough to share her experience with us today on the blog. We asked her questions about her host family, day-to-day life in England and general experience working as an au pair. Here’s what she said!
Have you always known you wanted to travel?
I have always had some interest in seeing the world but it wasn’t until my teens years that I really wanted to accomplish that goal. My best friend went to England with her cousins and aunts and I was so jealous of her that I wanted to go!
What made you choose the Au Pair in the UK program?
I chose the UK because, honestly, after watching “Mary Poppins” when I was younger I had always had a dream of being a nanny in England – hoping to have just as much fun as Mary and the children did on their day-to-day adventures.
If you were to meet someone considering doing a program with Scotia Personnel but afraid to take the leap, what advice would you give them?
I would give them the same advice my Dad gave me before I decided to become an Au Pair, “Do what you want to do, don’t worry about everyone else’s opinion. But if you don’t go to England you are going to regret it.” Very contradicting what he said but he was telling the truth.
What made you choose Scotia Personnel?
I wanted to feel safe and know someone was there for me (work wise) while I was abroad. After talking with Marilyn I felt very comfortable with the company and wanted to work with them.
Tell us about your day-to-day as an Au Pair. Did you feel welcomed by your host family?
My host family was pretty amazing! They made me feel so comfortable and we were able to have conversations about everything. We worked as a team, the parents and I. My day-to-day activities included getting the girls to and from school, light homework and housework, taking them to activities after school (when the parents had to work late) and going to the library or park for some after-school fun!
Who should consider working as an Au Pair?
I believe to be an Au Pair you need to have certain skills: knowing how to listen, how to follow instructions as well as being a people person.
Would you consider going abroad a second time?
Currently I do not see that happening only because I’ve recently gotten my dream job (being an ECE Teacher for my local school board) and would like to pursue that part of my career before making plans to go abroad again.
What was the best part of your experience as an au pair?
The best experience I had as an Au Pair was when I was feeling really homesick one morning. Yes, it sounds bad but the best part about that is that once I told my Host Mom how I was feeling she was very supportive, as were my Host Dad and the girls. They made me feel like a part of their family, which made being far away from home so much easier and living in England even more enjoyable.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned by living and working abroad?
To live your life to the fullest! Each day while working abroad was a new adventure for me, so I tried to do as much as I could with the time I had while I was there.
Any recommendations for someone visiting the UK for the first time? (ie. your favourite spot, great food, activities to try etc.)
I would have to say if you are a Harry Potter fan you HAVE to go to the “Harry Potter Experience” in Leavesden, UK. If you go to Central London and want to get the full UK experience, I would find a book you’ve always wanted to read, pack a lunch and a blanket and go to Leicester Square to sit in the little park they have in the centre. You can people watch, read your book and just enjoy the atmosphere.
How did our partner organizations in the UK help you during your stays?
The agency in the UK was amazing! They have a Facebook page where each Au Pair is encouraged to join to find other local Au Pairs, set up events and social gathers and tips to make your stay very worthwhile.
Was there any experience you had during your time abroad with Scotia Personnel that you wouldn’t have had at home in Canada?
My all-time favourite memory while aboard was going to Disneyland Paris! It was somewhere I had always wanted to go. I made it my goal to visit before I left England. I grew up on Disney movies so to be so close and not go was not happening! I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t left Canada.