A very exciting adventure awaits you! Going to live in a new country, seeing new sights, experiencing new tastes and making new friends is a dream come true!
An important step in finding the right family is a Skype interview. It is a good idea to prepare a list of questions to ask your host family in the interview to keep the conversation flowing. Here are some questions to get the conversation started.
Ask your host parents to run through what your weekly routine would be. What time the day typically starts and what they would like you to help with during the day.
This will help you understand the your responsibilities within the family and also give you an indication of the number of hours per week. Make sure you are happy with the days and hours you will be helping the family.
If you do have diet requirements (for example vegetarian or gluten free) make sure you share this with your family so you can both talk about how this can be supported.
You'll be eating with your family, so it's important to to get an idea what they eat. If you like healthy food a family that gets take away every night is not going to be a good choice!
If the children are of school age you may hear that your host family spends a lot of time on the weekend going to their children's sporting activities. It will help you form a picture in your mind about the family's interests, hobbies and level of activity.
If you want to use your weekend to explore or meet friends you need to make sure you are not expected to help too much on the weekend. You may be asked sometimes to babysit while Mum and Dad have date night. Make sure you are happy with what is expected from you.
It is common that you have your own bedroom in your host family's house. However sometimes the host family has rented out a nearby apartment (as their house is not large enough) or you live in the "granny flat" (a seperate building connected to the family home). You may have your own bathroom or you may be asked to share the bathroom with the children.
The host family are trusting you with their most precious gift, their children. They will want to know you are genuine about wanting to help care for their children. You also need to know if you will get on with the children and can see yourself as their adopted big sister.
A big part of an aupair's life is the socialising. Many countries have strict drink driving rules. Its good to have an idea of how you are going to explore and meet friends.
If you are hoping to have a few short trips away you will find out if that is possible and when this also will be convenient for the family. A host family may want you to go on family holidays with them.
If you are allergic to cats or dogs then a family with pets will not a happy arrangement. Remember to talk about your own pets if you have them.