My experience of working as an Au-pair in Austria was very unexpected and wonderful. It was a great way whilst being a poor student at university to experience life living in a foreign country and to delve into a different culture. I was placed with a couple and their 12 year old girl in Vienna, who I looked after and taught English to during a two month summer period which proved to be very rewarding. My host family couldn’t have been better to me! They were welcoming and accommodating from the moment I arrived and they did there utmost best to make me feel like part of the family and we agreed on days/ hours I would be working per week so there was no confusion which gave me a good amount of free time to have a social life and explore the city without any confusion.
A much fun as it was, living abroad whilst working as an Au pair can present some challenges. Not knowing German when I arrived in Vienna was difficult at times whilst trying to create a bond with the child I was au-pairing and also in day to day life, but I think it is crucial to come with an open mind and a willingness to learn and adapt. I felt quite isolated at times, which is why I think it is important to get in contact with expats or other au pairs to establish a social life outside of working for the family.
I stayed in close contact with my host family and came to Vienna several more times on holiday which was great. After finishing my degree last year I decided to move to Vienna permanently with the help from the host family until I found work and saved money, I feel truly blessed to have met such a wonderful family. It is something that I would recommend to anyone wanting to try something new.
There is a lot of information in our Parents and Children forum about finding an au pair. In addition, families looking for an pair sometimes post in the Employment: Job Openings forum. Au pairs trying to find a job can also post in the Employment: Looking for work forum.