Thinking about becoming an au pair in France? Excellent! Take a moment to read through the following key points, which will help you gather your thoughts and prepare.
1. Prioritize host family connection
You want to make sure you feel good about the people you'll be living with for up to a year, even if they don't live in the heart of Paris. Location flexibility is key.
Having some flexibility about family size and kids' ages is also important. Don't match with a host family who has three-year-old twins if you're uncomfortable working with toddlers, but if you have at least some flexibility regarding the kids' ages, it can make the matching process faster.
Your agency will look for a good fit, but you're a big part of the matching process and should take your time, asking all the questions you need when chatting with potential hosts.
2. Know the Au Pair France visa requirements
Make sure you know what's required to make your Au Pair France program official. For long-term au pairs (anything more than three months) this means you need a visa. You'll have to visit a French embassy or consulate with a basic agreement between you and your host family, along with other documentation and money for the visa fee.
Starting in March, 2019, regulations for au pairs traveling to France include a limit of 25 working hours per week with the family. Your agency can speak with you about other rules and regulations that apply to you and your host family during your program.
3. Put thought into your au pair application
Host families want to be confident that they're making a good choice, just as you want to be sure you're joining a good home. Choose family-friendly photos. Have someone review your spelling and grammar.
TIP: Including a 20-second selfie video where you introduce yourself to potential families will give your application a personal touch and can go a long way towards instilling confidence.
4. Brush up on your French language skills
You don't have to be conversational in French to be an au pair in France, but it helps if you get comfortable with the basics before traveling. You're joining a French host family so you should do your best to talk the talk! Once you're matched ask us about connecting with French speakers for virtual language exchanges so you can squeeze some extra practice in before you travel.