Cultural Exchange

Meet Isa, 2023 Super Au Pair Finalist!

Isa Mik, a 21-year-old au pair from the Netherlands, didn’t know where the au pair experience would bring her, but she did know she wasn’t willing to just wait around and see. Isa has always been adventurous and authentic as a person and when she arrived in the U.S. as an au pair, she didn’t let a new culture or country stop her. 

Being raised by parents who had traveled all over the world, they wanted their daughter to have similar experiences. Consequently, Isa spent a number of years of her childhood growing up in the Caribbean. It was there she developed a love for surfing and the beach.

When Isa arrived in the U.S., she settled in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. Isa could have sulked about the fact that the nearest ocean was hundreds of miles away, but instead she found a community of windsurfers at a local lake and started meeting up with the group regularly. It was there where Isa met her soon to be extension-year host family, the Manns.

Although she had had a great year and relationship with her previous host family, Isa was eager for a new adventure in her second year as an au pair.

I wanted a new and different experience. Change brings new opportunities and new challenges. If you have a new opportunity, why not do it? -Isa

Isa told Roger Manns about the au pair program, and it turned out it was just what the host family didn’t know they needed to support their hectic work schedule and two growing children’s needs. A few months later, Isa was moving into the Manns’ home and quickly bonding with everyone. From the first day, Isa immersed herself into the family through sports, board games, and park play dates. Isa continues to make every day special and fun by creating scavenger hunts for her host children and even creating an escape room at their house for them and their friends to enjoy!

With so much in common with her host family, it made perfect sense for the Manns to surprise Isa with a birthday trip to Hawaii this past year. As they all share the same passion for the ocean, surfing, and hiking, it was truly a magical time spent together.

I really felt at that moment like a part of the family. -Isa

As Isa’s year comes to an end in the coming months, it’s not her big Hawaiian birthday trip she’ll miss most though. It’s the little, daily moments like dancing and laughing after dinner or creating pranks with her host kids to make her host parents laugh after a long day at work. Isa has made a tremendous effort to spend as much time as possible getting to know and having fun with her host family because she knows it has made her au pair experience the best it can be.

I never go to my room after work. We’re always hanging out together, laughing and having fun. -Isa

What’s next for Isa and the Manns after she returns home this June? The family is already planning to visit her in Europe, and Isa will follow in her parents’ footsteps and become a flight attendant, making it easy to continue seeing the world and visiting her American host family too.

Congratulations, Isa, on being a 2023 Super Au Pair Finalist!

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.