Skandinaviska Institutet

Elin, Cooma

Åldrar på barnen: tvillingar på 19 månader, 4, 5, 6
Har varit i Australien i (månader): 9 månader

What were your reasons for applying as an au pair?
I’ve always liked working with children and I have a genuine interest in different cultures. I also have a few friends that told me about their experiences and it seemed like something I wanted to do.

Tell us about your host family:
My host family is great, they do their very best to make me feel like a part of the family. The parents own a dental surgery in town and they have five little boys. The kids are my happy pills and we have lots of fun together, they are also very helpful and they look after each other.

Describe the area you live in:
Cooma is a snow-stop town on the way to Snowy Mountains, it’s also only an hour drive from Canberra and one hour from the coast. We live just outside of Cooma in a big house. Like many other towns in Australia it is very small and it’s on the countryside, the locals are very friendly.

What does a typical day look like?
I wake up and go downstairs where the rest of the family sleeps. I get all the boys dressed and make sure they eat some brekkie and put their suncream on before I drive them to school. After school drop-off I have a break until I pick them up after school again. When we get home we have some afternoon tea together and make sure their homework is done. Then we usually have some activity planned before it’s time for a bath, dinner and bed.

Tell us about any travelling you have done or are planning to do:
Before came to the family I travelled down the east coast for a month, after that I have spent weekends in Sydney and by the coast. When I leave the family I will go backpacking in Asia before returning to Sweden.

What have you gained during the year?
Heaps of experience! I’ve learnt to travel by myself, to spend a long time away from friends and family and to live in and adapt to a different country and its culture. I have made memories I will never forget with people from all over the world.

How have you been spending you pocket money?
I’ve spent my pocket money on things like coffee and shopping with friends and my weekend trips to other cities. But I have also saved a lot of it for my future travel.

What do/did you find most challenging about being an au pair?
Spending such a long time away from my friends and family in Sweden. Luckily it’s now very easy to stay in touch through the internet.

Write a short message to girls thinking about joining Skandinaviska Institutet / Au Pair in Australia.
Take the chance! It’s a big step to leave your home for a year, but it is soo worth it. You grow as a person, you make new friends for life, you get to travel and you make invaluable memories. I am so glad I spent this year overseas because I’ve learnt so much about myself and I have gained another family and a home away from home. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and very proud of myself for taking the chance.