What does Au Pair in Chile mean?
Hello! Welcome to our Au Pair Guide! An Au Pair program in a Spanish-speaking country is a great opportunity to experience the culture and language first hand and up close.
What is an au pair?
An Au Pair program is a cultural exchange where the so-called Au Pair lives abroad with a local host family. The responsibilites of the Au Pair during the stay abroad include childcare and assistance in the household.
The aim of an Au Pair program is to create a lively and genuine intercultural exchange between the Au Pair and the host family. As an Au Pair you will learn the language and experience the culture of the host country - in our case Chile - and you will teach your host family about your country of origin, your language and the customs of your home country. So it's a give and take between you and your Chilean host family. The word "au pair" comes from the French and means "return". This "give and take" is practically visible in everyday life, because in return for your work in child care and in the household, you will receive from your host family the food, a single room and a monthly pocket money, as well as the unique opportunity to live and work for abroad while immersing in local customs.
Since an Au Pair program takes place in an international context, foreign languages always play a major role. Many families deliberately want a foreign Au Pair to educate their children in another languages and raise awareness among their children in intercultural issues. Many children also attend international schools and the Au Pair helps children, for example with homework and language training. Whatever your case may be, with an Au Pair program in Chile you will definitely immerse yourself in the country‘s culture, improve your Spanish and learn a lot about Chilean society. Au Pairs who are not yet able to speak Spanish or who have only basic knowledge, we strongly recommend that to take a Spanish course in Chile in order to ensure a smooth adaptation process and to make your stay complete. For some host families, working hours also allow you to take the Spanish course in Chile in parallel with the Au Pair program.
What are my responsibilities as an Au Pair?
The most important thing about your Au Pair program abroad is that you build a positive relationship with your host children and host parents. Your day-to-day responsibilities are almost all about the children who live in the household and light household chores. Supervising the children at home or outside, entertainging the children, playing with the children, crafting, baking, doing sports, singing with the children, reading or dancing, helping the children with their homework or accompanying them to playgrounds or children's birthdays will be among your duties. In some families it may also be necessary for you to take the children to the school / kindergarten and pick them up. You also help the parents to prepare the children in the morning or to bathe them in the evening. In the evening you make the children ready for bed and, if necessary, you can also be there for babysitting. Simple tasks in the household can also fall into your area of responsibility, such as helping to keep the house clean and tidy or washing and ironing children's clothes. You may also be expected to prepare the children's meals.
It is important that you as an Au Pair are not a service or cleaning lady, so it is not your job to do deep cleaning or to cook for the whole family.
How much free time do I have?
Your working hours and work days are arranged individually between you and your host family, as the needs of each host family are different. Your working time will average 30-40 hours per week and you are entitled to at least one day off and at least four free evenings per week. With our Au Pair program in Chile, you usually receive a paid day off per month. Even if you are expected to have a high degree of responsibility and strict working hours as an Au Pair, you will certainly have plenty of free time to meet with your new friends and take trips and short breaks.
We recommend that you always consult with your host family about your free time, so that no misunderstandings arise. Involve your host family in your leisure and travel plans and tell them about the places you would like to visit. They can help you, as a local expert, with your planning and you can discuss together when the best time for your trips is.
Living together: accommodation and meals
As an Au Pair you live directly in the house of your host family. You will have a single room available and full board is also included. If you have a special diat (for example, vegetarian, allergy) for health or ethical reasons, please let us and your host family know when you sign up for the program. As a family member you also have your own house key, free access to internet and you are allowed to use the common areas and the garden / balcony. The same rules apply to you in the home of your host family as for all other family members. You are responsible for the tidiness and cleanliness of your room and you must use the spaces you use, e.g. leave the living room, kitchen, bathroom, etc. tidy again. Please give yourself time to get used to the new environment, the new people, the different food and the foreign language and surroundings. It will certainly take a few days, or perhaps weeks, for you to fully get settled in your host country and feel at home with your host family. If you feel uncomfortable or have a lot of homesickness, openly address these topics to your host parents. Only then can they change the situation that may be unpleasant for you.
In addition, you have a neutral local contact with Chile Inside. We always have an open ear for our Au Pairs and are happy to be there for you if you need help. All Chile Inside participants can participate free of charge in an intercultural orientation. We encourage you to take part, because you will learn about things about what’s "typical Chile" and get lots of practical advice on how to master tricky situations abroad.
Am I suitable as an Au Pair?
You are interested in our Au Pair program in Chile and you are wondering if you are suitable? A high level of motivation, tolerance, adaptability, proactivity and flexibility are very important and make a good Au Pair. Be sure to pack these features into your suitcase as you will be confronted with many new situations, people and circumstances during your time abroad. Also the ability to deal with frustration and to get involved in new challenges are important prerequisites. It is exactly these characteristics that you will continue to develop during your stay abroad, because that's exactly what a stay abroad is meant for. Getting to know each other better and developing the so-called soft skills. So, it is not necessary for you to be able to identify with all of the above character traits 100%, but you should feel like rediscovering, adapting to a different life, and being ready to broaden your horizons.
Surely you also ask yourself the question of whether an Au Pair has to prove experience in child care. This is not the case, but a passion and a big heart for children are very important requirements. In addition, patience, helpfulness, reliability and a strong sense of responsibility are important features that make a good Au Pair.
Who are the host families?
Our Au Pair host families are basically scattered throughout Chile, but most of the Au Pair placements are done in the Greater Santiago area. Chile Inside works with mixed host families, so there are purely Chilean host families, binational families (that is, the parents come from different countries, often one spouse from Chile) or purely foreign families. In most cases, the host families live not in the city center but in a suburb, where the children have space to play away from noise and traffic, in the house with private garden and swimming pool. Often, you'll need public transport to get to downtown, where you can meet your new friends. But it is likely that there are other Au Pairs living close to you and you can meet there. The sizes of the host families are very different. Chile Inside works with families who have only one child, others have two or three children, some even four. There are also single parents working as Au Pair host family. So, there are very different family profiles looking for a foreign Au Pair. But all have in common that they feel like taking in a new family member, they want to integrate her into their everyday lives and are curious to learn more about her culture and language. The age of the children varies between 0 and 14 years.
Why becoming an Au Pair abroad?
1. You will experience a different culture!
If you work as an Au Pair in Chile, then you live directly with your host family. This is a very intense way to stay abroad because you get up close to the culture, language and life in your host country, not as a tourist, but as a local. With your host parents, you also have the perfect contact person to learn more about the country and its people.
2. You grow as a person!
During your time abroad as an Au Pair, you will notice very quickly how the new challenges make you grow as a person. You are on your own, living in a strange family and you are responsible for the well-being of children. These experiences will definitely make you more mature and strong. Your world view will certainly have a positive influence, because you prove that you can adapt to new circumstances and habits and that you can approach people of a different culture.
3. You get to know yourself better!
As an Au Pair abroad you have the chance to discover new abilities. The daily contact with another culture, the communication in a foreign language, exposure to different values, behaviors and attitudes, all these are impressions that you will collect during your time as an Au Pair and that will shape you personally.
4. You learn a foreign language!
As an Au Pair abroad, every day you have the chance to apply and strengthen your foreign language skills. You will notice that your language skills improve day by day. There is nothing better than learning a language in the country where it is spoken.
5. The special something in your resume!
Longer stays abroad, especially in exotic countries like Chile, make you interesting to future employers. In today's globalized world, through your work abroad experience, you demonstrate that you have intercultural skills that your employer is looking for in his team. Remember that not only expertise does make a good employee, but the so-called "soft skills". Participating in an Au Pair program in Chile gives your resume that special something that makes you stand out of the crowd.
6. You spend an unforgettable time abroad!
A stay abroad is always an unforgettable and wonderful time. You will have a lot of fun, be it with the children of your host family, who will make you laugh or in your free time, which you will spend with new friends on excursions, in the city, doing sightseeing, in the mountains or at the ocean.
You are over 50, but still full of energy? You are looking for an experience abroad that involves children, culture and language? Your own grandchildren may not be in sight yet, but you would like to gain experience as a grandmother and experience how children grow up in another country? Chile Inside also offers jobs for Granny Au Pairs as part of the Au Pair program. Some families want them to support an experienced person in the care and education of their children. You can bring in your life experience, what the children and your host family can benefit from. The host parents can be sure that their children are well cared for under your experienced supervision. The same conditions apply to you as to the younger Au Pairs. Also, you will live with your host family, not as a big sister but in the role of their foreign aunt or grandmother.
Would you like to travel as a Granny Au Pair to Chile? Then start here with your Au Pair application!