So you’ve chosen an agency to sign up with? Awesome! I chose Cultural Care, which meant I didn’t have to pay anything until I actually chose my host family. You can read more about how I chose here. The application process can be quite drag if you’re not like me, really excited about boarding a plane to whatever country you want to be an au pair in. Since I signed with Cultural Care, it’s only their application process that I’m familiar with, but some or a majority of this information will be useful for other ways of applying for an au pair job.
First things first, you will have to go to an information meeting set up by Cultural Care. At this meeting they will tell you all about the program and it’s perks and you will most likely get the opportunity to do your interview. In this interview you get to talk with a Cultural Care contact person (the one holding the meeting) and you will be asked questions in both English and your native language. This is a way for Cultural Care to find out if you are able to communicate in English and get a feel of what type of person you are.
After the meeting you will get login information if you haven’t already and you can begin filling out your application. Cultural Care advise it’s au pairs to start the process 6 months before they’d like to leave for the USA, since it can take from a month to a whole year to find the right family. I started writing my application in October of 2014, and submitted it to be evaluated the 11th of May 2015. The first week I wrote like crazy and got to a point where I was about 72% finished. I had answered all the questions and had only the pictures, my references and the letter to the host family left. Then I had a long pause and continued the 8th of May until the 11th, which was a period of four intense days of writing and contacting people I wanted as my references. The only reason I as stressed in the end, was because Cultural Care offered a discount on 50% if you submitted your application when I did.
But what will you need in your application? Here are the important stuff:
- Professional references, personal references and childcare references.
- Between 5 and 20 pictures of you, your life and the children you care for, if possible.
- A profile photo.
- A letter to the host family where you get to show them who you are.
- Other random information like the answers to why you want to work as an au pair, if you would be willing to live with a single parent and what view you have on the upbringing of children.
While working on your application you will be able to see your progress on the top of your home page. The photo above is from my application before I submitted it.
Tips and tricks:
- Remember to choose your profile photo wisely. It will be the first thing a host family sees when looking at your application so make sure you are smiling!
- Me honest in your application! You will live with this family and they’ll find out if you are different.
- Don’t use google translate. It WILL show and writing yourself will help you improve your English.
- Try not to repeat yourself and write down the important things, which means do not talk about anything else other than the subject at hand.
- Since you only get to upload a maximum of 20 photos, a tip is to create collages to fit in all of your photos. Making them is easy and there are many free websites that gives you plenty of options.
And then, when you’re done with the application, you get to submit it! The website will tell you to compare your personal information with you passport and this is VERY important. If there is anything spelled out wrong you have to change it or it will cause trouble for you in the future!