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Interview with an au pair

"It's a fantastic year.  After that nothing is the same.  You are a better person with more opportunities and you believe in yourself.  You are proud that you did this all on your own"

These are the words of Justyna Domanska from Poland. She spent her year living in California and enjoyed so many cultural aspects of the Au Pair in America program.  We asked her how her year in the United States went.


What were your reasons for applying as an au pair?
I always wanted to see the USA and compare it with my impressions of the American movies I saw.

Tell us about your host family:
I had a wonderful family there and was so happy.  They gave me lots of warmth and understood me so well.  Whenever I needed them they were there for me.

Describe the area you lived in:
I was living in Washington DC, in a small, beautiful city with a big history.  I really enjoyed every part of it.  There were so many things to do there and it's not possible to be boring.

What did you study and why did you choose the course?
I chose  ESL (English as a Second Language) - it was my goal to improve my English language skills.

Tell us about any travelling you did:
I saw all of the west coast of California.  That was an amazing experience and something I've never forgotten.

What have you gained during the year?
Maturity, responsibility, friends, beautiful memories, improved English; everything that I was aiming to have.

What has been the best experience so far?
Learning to become independent has been a big boost to my self confidence.

How have you been spending you pocket money?
I saved most of my monet.  The rest I spent on buying clothes and going out with friends.

If there was one thing that we could have told you about being an au pair to better prepare you for your year, what would it have been?
Always be open to new experience and take your time to get to know your surroundings.

What did you find most challenging about being an au pair?
When I first started I felt like I had to agree with everything the host family said.  It took me a while to be honest with my host family and to tell them when I didn't agree with something.  They felt much better when I started to explain my way of thinking to them and all worked out well.

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