For many former au pairs, their time in the US with an American family played a pivotal role in their lives, both personally and professionally. Whether their experience solidified their original professional goals or led them to a career related to children or education, a year in the US is transformative.
Wondering how your year in America can benefit you long term? Here are a few of the types of careers you might have an advantage in following your experience as an au pair.
Careers in education
Promoting the growth and development of children in a household setting has led many au pairs to pursue a career related to children or education. For some, this means pursuing a career as a teacher, utilizing the language skills and abilities they gained while in the US, while for others this means following a career in child development or advocacy. Experience as an au pair gives individuals long term experience working with children, creating plans, and individualizing care based on needs.
Careers utilizing foreign languages
Learning English in a classroom in your home country is quite different from living in an English-speaking country and household for a year! Many au pairs pursue careers where their experience using American English on a daily basis is vital and sets them apart from the field.
For many pursuing a degree in English or foreign languages, living in an English-speaking country is a prerequisite to receiving their degree. Au pairing is a great way to both fulfill degree requirements and gain valuable language skills as part of an American family.
Some former au pairs have pursued careers as translators or in cross-cultural communication. Experience using American English with a wide variety of people on a daily basis gives au pairs valuable linguistic skills that are tough to gain in the classroom or in one’s home country.
Careers in business
International business is another popular field of study for au pairs. Having lived in the US helps au pairs to understand the American way of life and culture on a deep and personal level. This cross-cultural competency and personal experience, in addition to language skills, helps gives former au pairs a unique edge and insight into the US.
For many positions, experience abroad and the ability to speak more than one language are required. Experience as an au pair helps fulfill these requirements and can help set the groundwork for a global career.
Whatever career path you pursue, your experience as an au pair signals to future employers that you are independent, adaptable, and able to tackle a challenge. The international experience you gain while in the US and the language skills you develop are assets that will stay with you throughout your career, whatever path you follow.