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Visiting Budapest

By Tania

tania in budapest

Budapest is another one of those places that completely surprised me, in a good way of course! I had never really discovered Eastern Europe on my travels before, and this year was the first time that I started to venture to that part of the world. The more I discovered, the more I wanted to see and do in Hungary's capital city.

Upon doing my research on where to stay, I quickly realised there were two parts to Budapest - Buda which was on the west side of the Danube River and Pest which was on the east. Who would have thought? 😊 I stayed on the Pest side because that was said to be where all the action takes place.

What is an Au Pair?

what is an au pair

"Au Pair" is a french term that translates roughly to "equal". An au Pair is an equal member of the family, sharing domestic duties.

The concept of the au pair originated in Europe after World War II. Social change increased the number of middle class girls who needed to earn their own living, at the same time greater opportunities for education made learning foreign languages more desirable.

The original concept has evolved over the years. Today the motivation for being an Au Pair is the opportunity to travel the world at very little cost. Being an Au Pair is still a great way to learn a new language, immersing yourself in another country and speaking their language all the time.

Hosting an Au Pair is about cultural exchange, whilst at the same time getting a little help with the never ending parental list of things to get done. There is an element of barter, sharing the family home in exchange for domestic assistance.

What are Au Pairs paid?

Au Pair Allowance

Au Pair pay or pocket money can be a controversial topic. Periodically articles in the media are published discussing rates and the potential exploitation of Au Pairs by Host Families.

Being an Au Pair is about cultural exchange, seeing the world and being part of a Family. Being an Au Pair is not a way to earn an income. However, this concept can result in confusion around appropriate pay, entitlements and consequently the relationship with a Host Family.

It’s important that Au Pairs are not taken advantage of and under paid. It is also important that Au Pairs remain affordable and an attractive proposition for Families. The aim is a relationship from which everyone benefits. Transparency around pay expectations can contribute to a great experience for everyone involved.

In this post we are going to examine the statistics from the Au Pair Finder database, comparing Au Pair and Host Family pay expectations.

When being an Au Pair goes wrong

being and au pair goes wrong

Sometimes being an Au Pair can go horribly wrong, the relationship with the Host Family does not work out, resulting in a premature end to the stay in the Host Families home. This is a bad outcome for everyone concerned, effecting everyones plans. The Au Pair feels uncared for and has to return to their country or find somewhere to stay. The Family has to quickly find a replacement whilst managing with out the assistance they had anticipated. The children can be left confused as to what happened to their new member of the Family.

We believe a lot of problems stem from poor communication of expectations. One of the reasons we created Au Pair finder, after hearing stories of poor experiences, was to try and make expectations very clear, and remove some of the ambiguity around the placement process.

Recently we were contacted by Juliette, an Au Pair from Belgium. Unfortunately Juliette had a bad experience whilst being an Au Pair.

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