Did you know that one of the best ways to work and travel in the USA is to become an au pair? That’s right – it’s a safe, affordable and fulfilling way to leave your home country behind for a while and discover a new land filled with new people, new traditions and new opportunities.
Since the au pair program was founded in 1989, thousands of young women and men like you have decided to work and travel in America by living with a host family and caring for their children. As part of the U.S. Department of State regulated program, au pairs are also asked to complete six educational credits as part of their time abroad, giving them a chance to pursue their academic and creative passions in their spare time. The opportunity to study at a real American university also makes the au pair program unique compared to other travel and work abroad programs – it’s a special chance to study alongside American students, be taught by American teachers and experience what life on an American college campus is really like.
When you’re not at work (caring for your host children) or in class, you’ll of course have ample opportunity to explore America and its incredibly diverse landscapes and cities. Maybe you’ll hop into a car with a few of your best au pair friends and set off on a USA road trip, checking off all the places on your list you’ve long wanted to visit.
Or maybe you’ll use the free time in your 13th month of your time abroad to fly around and discover new states – after all, at the end of your year as an au pair, you’re given 30 days as part of your J-1 exchange visitor visa to travel the USA! For many au pairs, this designated travel month affords them the opportunity to embark on some of the lengthier trips to farther destinations they couldn’t find time for earlier in the year. From Hawaii to Alaska, California to New York, there are so many beautiful places in America to explore! And when you’re in the USA for a full year (or even more, if you choose to extend your time as an au pair by an extra 3, 6 or 9 months!), there’s plenty of time to see them all.
When you’re an au pair, you are given at least one weekend off-duty per month, and must be given 1.5 consecutive days off per week – this means that for those wanting to explore as much as possible, there are ways to do it on a weekly and monthly basis! Many of our host families live very close to some of the best places to visit in the USA, so no matter where in the country you end up living, you’ll become so much more than a tourist – you’ll discover the ins and outs of living like a local.
Right now is the best time to take on an adventure that will help you grow both personally and professionally. When you decide to travel to the USA and work as an au pair for a year or more, you’ll be gaining work experience abroad that will help you stand out to future employers – and you’ll be taking academic courses at an accredited American institution that will help you shape your future into something that thrills and motivates you. Of course, you’ll also be seeing a beautiful new corner of the world, and investing in a travel experience that will enrich your life in more ways than one.