I flew out to Madrid mid July and was an AuPair for the same family for 5 weeks, coming back late August. I spent 2 weeks at their home in Madrid and then at the beginning of August they took me on their holiday to the south of Spain with them.
I’m currently studying Spanish at uni and was determined to get to Spain this summer to practice my Spanish. I only came across the agency a few weeks before and thought it sounded like a great opportunity. The application process was ideal and efficient and before I knew it I’d found a family!
Apart from a form filled in by the family I actually knew very little about them, even on the day that I flew out! I remember the realisation on the plane that I had no idea what the family looked like, how would they know who I was? What if they didn’t like me? Luckily neither of these things were an issue.
As I mentioned my host family lived in Madrid, this was ideal for me as I’ve never been before. The family lived about 20 minutes outside of Madrid by metro which was perfect as it was super easy to get into the centre to meet up with other au pairs and take part in activities organised by the agency such as Flamenco nights which were so much fun and a great way to meet new people.
Living with the family was so much fun, they really took me under their wing and treated me as if I was part of the family. We regularly went out together, for example shopping or to the cinema and whilst I was on holiday with them they took me to the beach or on day trips, sometimes I forgot I was working!
My responsibilities were to look after the family’s 13 year old daughter every day, Monday to Friday. The family were very flexible and only asked that I did 3 hours of English classes a day with their daughter, the rest of the time with her was spent going to the local pool, watching English films, walking the dogs etc, the main aim was to get the daughter to speak as much English as possible which wasn’t difficult as she was really enthusiastic. I was really lucky as I got on with the daughter really well and her high level of English made her really easy to talk to. I was also able to improve my Spanish through talking to the mother, who only spoke Spanish, so I really got the best of both worlds.
Ultimately, I would recommend this experience to anyone that wants to try something knew and step out of their comfort zone. It’s a great way to visit Spain and experience Spanish culture.
So finally, some pieces of advice from me:
– If you’re considering being an Aupair but you’re unsure or nervous I would honestly say just go for it, its such an amazing experience with so much help and support.
– Make the most of the agency meet ups and contact other au pairs, its a great way to branch out and meet new people and your family will be happy that you’re doing your own thing and experiencing Madrid.
– Have a think about the kind of family you’d like for example the age of the child or number of children can really make a difference to your experience!
– Madrid is such an amazing city with so much to see and do, with the metro its so so easy to get around, make the most of this!
– If you speak little or even no Spanish please don’t be put off, you’ll be surprised how much Spanish you pick up and the family will appreciate you helping out either way!
– FINALLY, step out of your comfort zone and make the most of the experience, you really get out what you put in and it really will help develop so many skills such as confidence and resilience.
Go for it!!