I stayed in Spain as an au pair for just over five months, between February 11th and July 27th of 2018, staying with one family the whole time. I had an amazing time learning how to work with the child in the family and how to communicate with a boss that becomes more like family. I made amazing friends within the au pair program from all over the world, ranging from America to Vietnam (I’m from England), and made friends with locals to Madrid, too, improving my Spanish and learning how to live within Spanish culture – drinking tinto de verano and eating tapas on a terrace in the summer sun, travelling to the coast of Spain for a beach weekend with my friends, using the metro so frequently and spending so much time walking around the city that I know it like the back of my hand now, visiting the museums and historical sighs, and having a picnic in el Parque del Buen Retiro at least twice a month.
From both my experience and my friends’ experiences, pick a family that holds the belief of open communication and establish that pattern in the first weeks that you arrive – this way you can ensure you’ll always be able to talk about problems and it will make asking for anything you need much easier too! Throw yourself into speaking Spanish with the confidence of someone who doesn’t care how many mistakes they make – the people here in Madrid are accommodating and happy to listen to you give it your all, and speaking Spanish at every opportunity you can will bring you closer to your host family and help you find local friends.
I truly had a fantastic experience in Madrid and have made life-long friends both within and without the program, and there is no doubt in my mind that I will come back to Madrid.

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