When I found out that I would be able to graduate college a semester early, I knew that I wasn’t going to be ready to jump right into the work force while all of my friends were living it up on campus. I wanted to have an adventure, do something unique and different than the crowd. So I starting thinking about the last time that I felt truly happy, and the answer was so clear to me: it was when I studied abroad in Seville, Spain the previous year. I knew I had to get back there ASAP. I did some research about the different programs available and checked that the working as an Au Pair in Spain was very interesting.
As the fall semester was winding down, I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that being an au pair in Spain was the best option for me. Why you ask? It mostly boiled down to three main reasons: affordability, authenticity, and language learning.
Au pairs get a great deal because their housing and food are included in their pension, saving them the two biggest expenses of living abroad. Au Pairs in Spain also receive some pocket money, although the exact amount varies depending on the city.
Because I was living in Seville, which is such an affordable city, my weekly pocket money was more than enough to cover outings and day trips with friends from different countries, who were also working as au pairs in Spain .
While au pairing won’t make you rich, you’ll save by not paying for room or board, and you only need to bring money with you to cover any extra trips you might want to take during your free time. For a recent graduate or someone taking a gap year, this is the perfect opportunity because it allows you to experience a new culture first-hand on a student-friendly budget.
There is no better way to have an up-close, authentic experience in Spain than by living with a local Spanish family. I was able to see things like Semana Santa (Holy Week) through the children’s eyes as they dressed up to participate in the processions through the streets. I learned about the Spanish school system by actively witnessing it first hand every day, and I tried native Andalucían dishes that my host mom made. These are cultural experiences that I am sure I wouldn’t have had if I had been living and working on my own just a block away. Not to mention the crazy amount that my Spanish improved during those few months, which brings me to my final point.
Au pairing in another country is a great way to pick up another language, and since Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world, Spain’s number of au pairs is likely growing partially for that reason. (It’s amazing weather, beaches, and cuisine are probably contributing factors, too!)
While au pairing in Seville, I took a Spanish class, practiced everyday with my host mom, heard Spanish on the TV, and was forced to use my language skills on the streets and in the stores. Language learning was almost unavoidable, and I loved it. I was able to finally nail down my Castilian accent and casually throw around colloquial terms as if I’d lived there my whole life.
So whether you’re looking to experience a new culture, learn a second language, travel inexpensively, or spend a gap year abroad, you should consider being an au pair. It just might be your (affordable) ticket around the world.
Would you like to be an Au Pair? Contact us !
If you think the Au Pair program is a great fit for you, fill our form and we will find you a Spanish family that complies with high-quality standards of housing, a safe and reliable atmosphere, a guaranteed weekly salary and flexibility on the duration of the program. Send us a bit of information about why you wish to be part of this program and we will help you to find the best option for you.