Advice for Au Pairs

Meet Au Pair USA’s 2023 Super Au Pair Finalists!

Au Pair USA welcomes hundreds of au pairs from 25 different countries each year. With so many talented, caring, and diverse entries, it was hard to select a few to feature as our 2023 Super Au Pair finalists. Here are a few who stood out as exceptional au pairs.

Isabela, 23, from Brazil (currently an au pair in Michigan)

Tim, 21, from Germany (currently an au pair in New York)

Mariana, 20, from Mexico (currently an au pair in Colorado)

Vinicius, 24, from Brazil (currently an au pair in Washington)

Renata, 23, from Mexico (currently an au pair in New York)

When matching with their respective host families, many of these super au pairs agreed that they felt a special connection with them during the au pair interview process.

Since the beginning they were so nice, and it just felt right, and then watching my host kid’s big smile throughout the screen made me say yes. -Mariana

The au pair arrival is such a special moment for any au pair. For Isabella, she appreciated her host mom’s efforts in making her feel welcome and at home from the start. Her host mom took her to lunch, gave her a home tour, helped her set up her cell phone, and ensured she got settled in and was comfortable in her new home.

For Vinicius, his host kids welcomed him by loaning him their special stuffed animals.

The kids gave me drawings and lent me their teddy bears so I wouldn’t feel alone at bedtime. -Vinicius

Once these au pairs got to work, they began bonding even more with their host families and exploring their new American communities.

My host family is part of my family. I really love them and can’t imagine being here with another family. I know for sure if I just came to the U.S. for a visit, I wouldn’t have had this experience. Having a real family to be with and not just being by yourself is something that makes a great difference for me. -Isabela

Not every day is rainbows and butterflies though, even for a super au pair. Some of their biggest challenges have been:

Dealing with temper tantrums. They pass, though. The trick is just to sit them out. -Tim

I believe that this program is an intense process of maturation and development of soft skills, as well as a journey of new friendships and discovering the world. -Vinicius

When you participate in a year-long au pair program, you can expect to make great memories. For many of our super au pairs, those memories were so wonderful that they decided to extend their au pair experience (au pairs can decide to extend their programs an additional six, nine, or 12 months). When you participate in any cultural exchange program, especially the au pair program, core memories are made.

One of the best memories is the Christmas morning, it was a day of pure happiness!! -Renata

One time, my host kid was hugging his mom, then he said, “family hug” so my host dad joined in and then my host kid said “Mariana too!”. So we all hugged. I really felt like part of the family! -Mariana

Being an au pair can be life-changing. If you’re thinking of becoming an au pair and wondering how to make your au pair experience a super one, here’s some advice straight from the source:

Trust yourself, trust your gut. Try to enjoy as much as possible. You never know if you’re making the right or wrong decisions, but you’ve got to be able to deal with that. Be aware that you’ll miss your family and everything you have back home, but the memories you will make here will be worth it. It’s just one or two years. You can always go back home and pick up where you left off. -Isabela

Really get to know your host kid and connect with them. Get to know other au pairs around to make friends from all over the world. Try new things, even if you’re afraid. Take chances and opportunities. Be flexible with your host family and always be open to help them and to spend time with them. -Mariana

If you’re ready to get started on your au pair journey, join us! Au Pair USA has been welcoming au pairs from all over the world since 1989. We can’t wait to help you find your American host family!

Marisa Lonic

Marisa is a lover of all things cultural exchange. She and her family have hosted au pairs from Brazil, Germany, Colombia, Spain, and Ecuador. As a mom of four and the founder of Mama Work It, she helps working moms juggle mom life, work life, spouse life, fill in the blank life through her books, courses and coaching programs.