Choosing the right host family

After you have completed your application, it will be reviewed by the staff of your agency and once approved you will be put online so that potential host families may look at your profile. When, after viewing your profile, a family thinks you will be a good fit for them they will request an interview with you. You will be notified and an interview will be set up, at this time you will have access to their profile too, you should use the information to formulate questions you may want to ask to find out more about them.

WHEN A FAMILY REQUESTS AN INTERVIEW WITH YOU:

  • You should be the first to initiate the interview
    • Email the host mom/dad and thank them for their interest in you and when would they like to set up a time to speak to you.
      • Remember that there will be a time difference, be flexible and they will too but also be considerate of their schedules.
      • Be on time for the phone call/video call, make sure there is good lighting and there is no distracting noises.
      • Dress appropriately
      • After the interview, send them a thank you for their time whether you think it will work out or not.
      • They will let you know if they think you will be a good match or not, if yes, they will want to set up a second call which you should keep in contact and initiate.

Ask questions about the kids, what after school activities are they involved in and what do they like doing in their spare time. Remember that the family you are speaking to could possibly be the family you live with for an entire year or two so it is important you try to get to know them and help them get to you know as well as possible in the little time you have.

Here are some questions that may be useful:

  • What do they expect from their au pair?
  • What will the daily schedule look like?
  • Is there a lot of driving involved?
  • Are the activities close by?
    • This could help in the beginning when you are getting the hang of driving in the new country
  • What are some of the family traditions that you will be involved in?
  • Should you expect to prepare meals?
  • Ask personal questions about each kid:
    • What is their favorite food?
    • Do they play any sports?
    • What books do they like reading?
    • What is their favorite subject in school?
    • What are their best friends names?
  • What type of schedule do the host parents have?
  • What colleges are close by so that you can take English Language courses (if needed)?

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW:

  • DO NOT base your choice on the location
    • Au pairs have a tendency of picking a preferred location and hastily match with a family from the place. Base your choice on how well you connected with the family!
  • You are here to learn a new culture and gain new experiences, bear that in mind when some traditions and daily routines seem different to you.
  • It is possible that once you arrive, you might not connect with the family as well as you’d hoped and that is perfectly normal. COMMUNICATE as well as you are able and if it isn’t something that can be solved, you will have an opportunity to rematch (find a new host family)
  • This is new for you and your family will understand if you are scared or unsure. Always be honest about how you feel
  • If a family wants to match with you and you don’t feel like you connected as well, be honest. You are allowed to say NO with good, reasonable cause.

Good luck!

Posted by

Currently an au pair in Seattle with a curiosity for culture and learning new things.

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