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What Being an Au Pair Taught Me

Sydney toasts her host city, Sydney, Australia. Sydney Vogl

Four life lessons I learned abroad.

The last six months working in Australia have brought me many things—the freedom to explore what I truly wanted out of life, the wonder of being a local in a new country, new friends and new experiences. I couldn’t possibly sum it up in a blog post, but I’ll try my best.

Here is what being an au pair taught me:


As an au pair, you need the patience of a nun. Any parent knows that there is about 0 per cent chance that your day will go completely as you planned (which, more often than not, has to do with a sick or injured child). Learning to roll with the punches is a necessity.

The importance of family

I moved out of my parent’s house at 18, only returning briefly for school breaks. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed living in a wholesome, family environment (as opposed to a college dorm that smells like beer). Being welcomed so warmly into another family showed me the importance of valuing my own.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world

You know how they say you don't truly appreciate your parents until you have kids of your own? That’s how I felt as an au pair. I know I didn’t even have to do close to the amount of duties an actual parent has, but I got a good glimpse into the world of parenting. Now all I can do is apologize to my mom and dad profusely for everything I put them through as an angsty teen.

The art of communication

I used to cower at even the word "confrontation." It seemed to me that it always came with awkward silences, tension, and the wish that you had never said anything in the first place. However, communication is the biggest key to a successful au pair experience. You’re living with your employer, so you want to make sure you have a healthy relationship and that involves talking out your issues.

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Published in Work Abroad Blogs
Sydney Vogl

Sydney Vogl is a 20-something chasing her life's true love; travel. She is currently living in Australia as an au pair and spends her free time writing.

Website: www.sydneyvogl.com

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