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See the world, become an au pair

2021-05-12  Aletta Shikololo

See the world, become an au pair
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Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are invited to become au pairs in the United States of America (USA), the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Sweden. 

Carla’s Au Pairs agency is available for such adventurous young Namibians who want to travel and have the experience of working abroad. 

Owned by former au pair Carla Verster, the agency sends young people abroad to experience first-hand what it feels like to live and work abroad.

The term au pair is French and refers to a young foreigner, who cares for children and works while living as part of a host family in exchange for accommodation and weekly or monthly stipends.Operations manager at the agency and also a former au pair, Lauren Melani told Youth Corner au pairs abroad are not just normal tourists; they see and experience the lives, cultures, and traditions of a real international family, daily. 

“You also get to know yourself on a whole different level and experience so much personal growth during your time abroad,” she explained, adding that
their agency is an affordable and safe
way of seeing the world and experiencing different cultures and countries.

A former au pair in the Netherlands, Sylvi van Zyl also told Youth Corner she learned more about other people’s cultures, travelled and the experience has contributed greatly to her self-growth. However, Van Zyl said it was not sunshine and roses all the time, as she had terrible moments while working in the Netherlands. 

“The atmosphere in the host family was really uncomfortable. My hosts were arrogant to me and made me work extra hours without payment. It was challenging every day,” explained Van Zyl. Another au pair, Jo-Maré Kisting from Keetmanshoop told Youth Corner she too had good days and bad days during her two years in the USA.

“There were days when homesickness was no joke, but the families I worked for were very family-oriented and made my stay easy,” she said. 

Kisting said she always loved traveling and exploring new cultures and ways of doing things, and her love for working with the little ones also made her do it.

“Coincidentally, I ended up working for families from South Africa and was fortunate enough to still speak Afrikaans at home! In America!”

After her first year, she did a week-long tour along the Westcoast and travelled from Seattle all the way to San Diego. “This obviously led to me not saving too much money when it was time to come home, but it was an experience I will never forget. Worth every dime; something I would recommend to the young, male or female,” she said. 

Despite the challenges that most au pairs face while living abroad, Melani said their agency ensures the au pairs get suitable and wonderful hosts.

“We interview and do background checks of the hosts and make sure they are fit enough to host our au pairs. We also have partners in other countries that make sure that our au pairs are safe and doing well,” said Melani.

To start an au pair journey with Carla’s Au Pairs visit www.carlasaupairs.co.za for more information.

-ashikololo@nepc.com.na


2021-05-12  Aletta Shikololo

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