Au Pairing in New Zealand

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BUNAC Travel Intern, Andrew, had the opportunity to interview a group of Au Pairs while he was in New Zealand. These young women have had extremely rewarding experiences taking care of young children, while getting to travel and explore New Zealand in their free time. Andrew asked a variety of questions to get to know the Au Pairs a bit more, and finding out what their main fears, challenges and accomplishments have been during their time abroad. 

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Q: How did you hear about Au Pairing?

A: It is very common for graduates to take a gap year and do something like Au Pairing, it is a natural next step, schools and universities promote programs like these to students.

Q: What were your fears going into this experience?

A: Getting homesick, driving on the wrong side of the road, fitting in and getting along with your host family and adapting to life in a new country with different people, culture and customs.

Q: What has your work experience been like so far?

A: Getting along great with the family and children (and having fun), exploring during the weekends off and seeing a great deal of New Zealand. 

It's been absolutely worth it, New Zealand is such a beautiful country and the opportunities to travel and live in a country so far from home are rare.

New Zealand has so much to offer, the North and South Islands are very different from each other and it is like having many countries within one, and since it is a relatively small country, you are able to see a lot while here!

Coming here is the best decision I've ever made, working with children is challenging but rewarding and New Zealand is amazing!

Q: How have the support services been and is it easy to find help when you need?

A: The program managers are always there to help; they have resources, information and advice and you can always go to them with questions or concerns. When you first arrive you get a lot of information, documents and training that helps prepare you, and there is support available for the duration of your Au Pair experience. 

You can also reach out to other Au Pairs, since you’re all going through the same thing. 

There are social groups so you are able to participate in organized activities with other Au Pairs. These include weekly play groups that you can come to with your children, or fun, Au Pair only events like horseback riding and snorkeling. You can also take advantage of professional development courses offered. 

Q: What have been the best moments of Au Pairing?

A: When the children show loving emotions for you; drawing you pictures, telling you they love you and will miss you, it’s nice to know the kids really care about you and that you are making a positive impact on their life. 

I love seeing improvements and developments in the children’s lives; starting to walk, talk and learn, and knowing you contributed to that.

Q: How has this experience changed and helped you?

A: It prepares you for parenthood and adulthood. You grow up a lot and become more independent and responsible because you have someone else to care for.

Andrew was also able to catch up with a Family Program Manager, Julia, who helps run the weekly play groups for Au Pairs and their children. These groups do activities like arts and crafts, sports, games and development activities, and allow the Au Pairs to get to know each other.  Julia explains that travel, and working while you travel is a fantastic opportunity to grow, learn more about yourself, face challenges you would never expect and  have the most amazing experiences that you wouldn’t dream of. 

Watch the full video blog here!

Inspired to become an Au Pair in New Zealand? Start your booking today, or attend an informational webinar to learn more!

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