Ashley M.
user 32798152
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 1
Hi, my name is Ashley.
I will be 20 next month and I've been looking into aupair jobs in USA and a family from San Francisco invited me to come be theirs, I'm currently working in NSW for the public health system in a mental hospital - hate it. Me and my boyfriend just broke up so I though what could be the harm.. I need an adventure. I have only ever been to Bali.
I'm really confused and I want to get an idea if I will like it there before living there (impossible right?) but just to get some feedback from some Aussies that moved there at a young-ish age by themselves.
What it's like compared to australia how hard it is to adapt, just so I know what I am getting myself into.
I really want a different experience, and if I was to say that the only thing holding me back is being afraid that if it didn't work out i'd have to come home disappointed and go through the stuff of looking for a job again which I've kind of lost my adventurous side :( and I want to find it again. Honest opinions. Also the family offered me $450 weekly + free board + food. In exchange for about 50 hours a week of work, is that good?
Also I'm unsure of the kind of (what money can buy) standards there, whether to know if $450 is enough you know.. (which seems like it could be)
This is coming from someone with about as much knowledge as NONE! and google hasn't been helping too much.. :( any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
x :)
Lee
lee78
Redwood City, CA
Post #: 13
Ashley,

My advice to you would be to find other au pairs and speak to them about their experiences. We had an au pair for about 2 months, who was home sick and ended up quitting because she could not adjust being away from home and spending most of her time with our baby. Being an au pair is extremely hard work and it has to be something you are mentally prepared for. Go and volunteer at a pre-school or day care to get some idea. The other thing you need to consider is the legal side for a visa. There is only one visa you can be on which is a J1 and I am pretty sure you have to apply through an approved agency. You are also required to complete an educational component and are only allowed to work a max of 45 hours a week. The plus side of the offer from this family, is that the wage for an au pair is typically the minimum of $200 a week because you are getting room and board, so $450 is a great offer. Just make sure you have a clear understanding of what days you will be expected to work and what your duties will be and whether you will get holidays so you can travel.

So not trying to be negative on the idea, just give you a realistic view. Whether you will enjoy it or not will entirely depend on your own attitude and approach. In terms of the experience outside of the work, San Francisco is a fun city and I think you would enjoy the time you get to yourself. Just remember that the drinking age is 21 in the US and it is strictly enforced, so unless you turn 21 during your time here, you will not be going to bars and clubs. Things in general in the US are cheaper than they are in Australia and given you are not paying for rent or food, $450 a week should be more than enough to get by and have some money left over for fun activities.

Lee
Ashley M.
user 32798152
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 2
Thank You for a reply!
I have tried to find someone, anyone! to talk to but have not found anyone. I'm not one to typically get home sick as I have lived away from home for long periods of time with friends etc. And have spent the last 13 months living away from home and don't think I'm going back, I'll admit it is nice to go and visit home though! and I have also never lived overseas! I think to become an au pair may be less mentally demanding then my job now as working in a community with mentally unstable people most of which have unfortunately ended another's life can really put me on edge sometimes, especially considering I have been attacked a few times.. Plus I have grown up in a house with 4 younger brothers which I was pretty much carer of most of the time, although I'm not doubting it will be tough. As for the visa I will have to look into it a bit more.. We have already discussed the working schedule but nothing about holidays so I will have to ask about that, Thanks.

Yes I'll admit I kind of did forget about the drinking age there.. but that's ok I want to be home for my 21st so why not throw a learning experience in between now and then :). Hopefully I can find some under 21's to have good times with..

Also is it true upon arrival you have to prove you have minimum $4,000?
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Ashley,
Just giving my two cents worth, I was a Mothercraft Nurse in Australia back in the 70's, but I think the offer for the au pair job is very generous - I,m sure you will enjoy SF - it reminds me a lot of Sydney where I am originally from - very nice city with great things to do and see - however the beach is not like home - water temp is way cooler. As for homesickness, you will get it - I think everyone gets a taste of it, but it is how you handle it, that makes the difference, there are plenty of places to enjoy and see here so just make sure to get good time off from the " family" and explore - there are clubs for the under 21 crowd for dancing etc also lots of great meet- up groups in the city,(I even joined a walking one and have seen sites you wouldn't normally see and met great friends) so explore and have fun this is a great experience for you! I have lived in the East Bay region since 1983 and love it! Cost wise SF is expensive if you have to rent - but you have that covered living with a family, so just take the plunge and go for it!
Margaret
Ashley M.
user 32798152
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 3
Margaret,
Thank you for your reply, I really do appreciate some insight into my dilemma.
I think this would be a great opportunity for my but I am still a little scared. That it may be a scam or the family won't be nice which I doubt it but i guess you have to be weary about it you know..
A former member
Post #: 2
Ashley,
Is the job through an "au pair" agency? because you can check them out through the Better Business Bureau here in SF to see if they have any complaints against them. That would put your mind at ease a bit....if not I would then be a little wary of where you are finding the "job". There are many agencies in the city that do offer these types of jobs to overseas kids, you can google them and many come up. They do checks on both the family and the au pair, including fingerprinting and FBI checks. It is a long way to come for a bad experience, but do your background checks before you agree to the job. Good luck,
Margaret
Ashley M.
user 32798152
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 4
The family found me on easyaupair.com (it's reliability I am unsure), yes you are very true it's a long way to come which probably adds to the nerves and uncertainty , but I plan to skype them, and I have received a few pictures and stuff so hopefully I am okay haha :) thank you!
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