Skandinaviska Institutet

Lisa, New York

Ålder på värdbarnen: 4 years

Har varit i USA i: 19 months (extension)

Varför valde du att åka som au pair?
I chose to become an Aupair because I’ve always wanted to live in the states and explore it. As an Aupair you get a little bit of everything. There’s Aupair’s everywhere so it’s easy to find people around you, and you get a open home and at the same time you get a little money to put in your pocket.

Berätta lite om din värdfamilj!
My host family have one boy that’s 4y/o and there’s 2 host mamas. They are very understanding in the fact that when you’re an Aupair you also left a life in Sweden behind for a year or two so they are very interested to know where I’m from and to be there for me at all times. They are super nice and really show their love for me and that they appreciate me which makes my stay in the states so much easier and better.

Beskriv området du bor i:
I live in a very family friendly area with a lot of families but it’s also only about 30 min from the city (Manhattan) and obviously there’s a lot to do in the city. Brooklyn is very hipster area comparing to the city which I enjoy, a lot. You can be who ever you want and you see so many different styles and people in the whole NYC area. Just going on the subway can be an tourist attraction because of all the crazy people there is here…….

Hur ser en vanlig dag som au pair ut för dig?
I get up in the morning, make breakfast and a lunchbox for the little man and when we’re ready we leave for school. I drop him of and then go wherever I want to go during my free time. I then pick him up at 2.45pm and play or have activities (example swimming or taekwondo). We’re usually home around 6pm and then he eats dinner. Sometimes I’ll put him to bed depending on if I’m working late or not.

Vad har du studerat, eller vad funderar du på att studera?
During my second year I haven’t done my studies yet. My first year, when I lived in Washington DC I took 2 weekend classes in DC which was very interesting because I lived in the city and got to know so much more about it that you might not have known before. Now I don’t know what I want to study but I would like to, maybe, do another weekend class or something related to cosmetology since I’m really interested that.

Berätta lite om de resor du har gjort under året, eller planerar att göra:
During my first year I had a car (and some of my friends had one as well) so we could just take the car to travel. I/we went to Baltimore over the day, Philadelphia over the day, road trip to Nashville over MLK weekend (which means you drive through some states on the way there and home) and North Carolina for a week. Also went home to Sweden once for vacation and another time to renew my visa and get some new energy for my second year. Now during my second year I have traveled with the family mostly so I’ve been to Iowa, California, New Hampshire, Jersey Shore NJ, and we might go to New Mexico, also during the summer we’re gonna go to New Hampshire again and maybe Jersey Shore. So this year I’m not planing on traveling somewhere with friends since I get so much from this family. AND I can save money 😉

Vad är det bästa du har fått ut av din tid som au pair i USA?
I think I’ve become a much more open person. Open as in I HAVE to meet people to not be alone all the time when I have my free time and I have an open mind about how different everyone’s experience is here. You meet a lot of people and I’ve become a much more forward person that dares to talk to people and want to create new relationships with different people. I think in the future it will be exiting to have people from so many different places that you can visit and hopefully the friendship lasts for a long time.

Also when you move to the states you move into a family that you don’t really know AT ALL!! It can be sooo scary in the beginning because you don’t really know how they are until you meet them in real life. When you come you have to be forward and show them that you take the work seriously from the beginning and in that area I’ve been sort of laid back before but I noticed a difference already when I came to my extension family that I was more forward and took place in the beginning to show them that I’m here and ready to start a (one year) life with them.

Vad har varit den största utmaningen än så länge?
I think the hardest was that I had such a trouble before going home the second time during my first year with the flight and with the visa. I had some questions and some people at the APIA office said something and other from the embassy said something else and I just had a mental breakdown and felt I’m not suppose to do another year and everything went against me. Something after another, haha. Not the biggest problem in the world but at that time I was emotional because I just chose a new family, and didn’t know if I made the right choice (which I definitely did btw), and so on.

Another difficulty I have from time to time is that I just want to go home and have a real job and have my own apartment. Sometimes you just want to be alone and not live with anyone so it can be hard even tho I have an amazing family. But it passes and I know I’m gonna go home eventually anyway and I’m happy that I can do this and definitely will look back and be so happy and have so many unforgettable memories.

Vad skulle du vilja säga till de som funderar på att söka som au pair via Skandinaviska institutet / Au Pair in America:
JUST GO!! Try it! You don’t know how you will react to it until you come here. Maybe you’re sitting at home and think “I will never last a year” and then you come here and you think it’s amazing!! I’ve met people that think it’s amazing and never thought they would even stay a year and they’ve extended to do 2 years. And if it really doesn’t work out for you, you can always go home! You grow as a person here and you get to know yourself and what you can do. It is worth it! Good luck!