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Interview with an Au Pair

"In a life without challenges you cannot learn anything. Au Pair in America helps you to figure things out about yourself and the people around you. I'm glad I did it, I don't regret a single thing!"

So says Julia Bender, from Germany. Julia spent her year living in Detroit and taking care of two young teenagers.  Here she gives us a snapshot of life as an Au Pair in America participant.  Read on to find out all about her fascinating experiences!


What were your reasons for applying as an au pair?
I wanted to get to know new people and improve my English. I was also really interested in learning a different culture and to learn from all the good and bad things that can happen.

Tell us about your host family:
Both my host parents work so they're really busy, but they tried to spend as much time as they could with their kids. The little girl Iooked after just turned 8 and her brother is 11. I had a lot of fun with the kids.  Sometimes it wasn't easy but that's life and everyone has a bad day. Looking back I had the sweetest kids ever....and I miss them a lot!

Describe the area you lived in:
I lived in Detroit, Michigan. I love the area. There are a lot of nice places to go to. especially the north of Michigan, which is sooo nice. In Detroit you can go to a lot of malls (of course) and they have a lot of places to see good concerts.

What did you study and why did you choose the course?
My first class was "Introduction to Film", which was cool becaue I could watch all the old classical movies and the second calss was a Computer course.  This was pretty hard but i learned some helpful things, including how to create a website!

Tell us about any travelling you did:
I went to: Chicago, Toronto, Niagara falls, I spent a week at a friends house in California, visited Cedar Point twice, went to Boston and at the end of my year I went on a 2 week on a trek - it was awesome.

What have you gained during the year?
I gained self-confidence and learnt how to handle different situations.

What has been the best experience so far?
The best experience was meeting many different people from different countries. I made such good friends and I hope I will be in contact with them for a long time. Also I'm really glad that my English improved a lot over the past year and had the opportunity to travel a lot throught the United States.

How have you been spending you pocket money?
I spend a lot of money on traveling and than of course clothes, shoes etc. but also just for going out with friends to eat and to the movies......everything you do as an au pair.

If there was one thing that we could have told you about being an au pair There's nothing I can think of.

What did you find most challenging about being an au pair?
To be responsible not only for yourself but for the children.

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