How to deal with Homesickness

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From experience I know that homesickness is just awful. I remember all these tearful Skype sessions with my mom and I also remember how it was being back in the United States for my extension year after a two week vacation back home in Austria. I remember waking up in New York and the minute I opened my eyes I started crying. I didn’t wanna be in New York, I wanted to be back home. Realizing that I signed up for another 9 months certainly didn’t help in that moment. Continue reading

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Milking Donkeys

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After all my au pair adventures I just knew that it was time for another experience. I wanted to work with my hands and I wanted to be exhausted at the end of the day. My friend introduced me to a website called workaway.info and I decided to register. It is based on the idea of exchanging a few hours per day of your help in return for both food and accommodation. After a long search I finally made a decision and got in touch with a host in the south west of France. Their advert sounded really nice and ideal as the job description included milking donkeys and making soap. I was lucky as they weren’t booked out and so I made my way to France. Continue reading

“The American Dream?” von Lisa (USA 2009)

Dies ist eine wahre Geschichte. Aus Gründen der Privatsphäre wurden alle Namen geändert.


Mit gepackten Koffern und Visum in der Hand stand ich frühmorgens im Juli 2009 am Flughafen in Wien, um in das Abenteuer ‘Au Pair in den USA’ zu starten. Freunde und Familie wurden gedrückt und geküsst, Abschiedsworte gemurmelt und Tränen weggewischt. Den Blick nach vorne gerichtet stieg ich ins Flugzeug. Zum ersten Mal in meinem Leben würde ich auf mich allein gestellt sein. Alles neu, alle Türen offen, alle Wege beschreitbar.

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“The American Dream?” by Lisa (USA 2009)

This is a true story. For privacy reasons all names have been changed.


Early morning in July 2009 I set off to the Vienna airport. My bags were packed and my visa was in my pocket. Friends and family were hugged and kissed, parting words mumbled and tears wiped away. Facing forward I stepped on the airplane. For the first time in my life I was on my own. All new, all doors open, all paths possible to be explored.

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Au pair School #4

After being in the non-immigration line for 1,5 hours me and the other au pairs finally made it out of the arrival area. Our luggage was already sitting there, lonely, waiting for us to pick it up. A nice lady with an au pair sign welcomed us, but it took at least another 1,5 hours before we finally arrived at our hotel as we were waiting for more au pairs to land. I can’t even tell you how exhausted I was. Continue reading

How to find the right Host Family

Finding the “right host family” seems to be one of the biggest au pair dilemmas. Several of my applicants contacted me in panic: “Julia I don’t know what to do. There is a family I like, but I don’t know if I should match with them or not. I am scared to make a wrong decision here. Can you please tell me what to do?”

It made me realize that this is a highly requested topic in the pre-au pair community. Continue reading