For today, I want to remind you about the amazing opportunities there are for au pairing in the Netherlands. I give a special push to Holland because I have Dutch parents and also spent a fantastic year there as an au pair. In case you don't know, au pairs live like a part of the family and help with the children and light housework in exchange for room & board and other benefits. The year I was an au pair in the Netherlands was spent in the very cute city of Enkuizen; I had a great apartment to myself (paid for by the family!) and took care of 2 really cool little Dutch kids. It was a real adventure and I had a lovely life in that little watered-down country.
When considering living and working as an au pair in a foreign country, it's important to remember that au pairing is meant to be a cultural exchange; this is definitely not a money-making venture but a memory-making one! Dutch people love Canadians and vice versa and Dutch families treat their au pairs really well. Check out some of these benefits that Dutch families offer to Canadian au pairs:
- 340 Euro per month allowance
- 65 Euro per month for transportation allowance
- 20 Euro per month phone allowance
- 200 Euro bonus upon completion of the 12 month contract
- airfare reimbursement plan
- paid language course
- full monthly health, accident and travel insurance
- private room and usually a private or sometimes, shared bathroom
- full board (all meals and snacks)
- welcome package with au pair list and manual
- Monthly activities through au pair club
- 1.5 weeks of paid holiday for 6 months worked
- 2 days a week off
- approximately 30 hours per week of childcare and light housekeeping (don't worry - families usually employ a cleaner)
Au pair placements are generally available year-round and last from 6 - 12 months. Au pairs should have a driver's license and be 21 years of age or older.
Work and travel options abound and the world is getting smaller, so if you're wondering what cool and exciting thing you might do in 2010, consider au pairing. Or teaching abroad. Get Out of Canada!
On that note, I'd like to leave you with a photo I took in Berlin last month. Yes, I was doing my own laundry on a business trip.