For 2017 International Women’s Day the theme was #BEBOLDFORCHANGE. We invited Au Pairs to share their greatest accomplishment so far in their year as an Au Pair in America, that has changed or will change their life for the better.

Pamela B. from Brazil is in Shelley Kwatny’s Philadelphia cluster:

Being strong, patient, nervous, sometimes crying for no apparent reason, are synonyms of being an Au Pair. It’s not easy, it’s not the happiest moment of your life, but it’s the best decision you could ever make. You regret it, but you appreciated it. You are so happy and don’t want to go back home, but at the same time, home is the only place you can even think of. When you are in a foreign country and you have nobody else to turn to, is scary. Too scary. But it makes you grow, it makes you more independent, makes you realize that there are so many things to see around the world, that you are just a small dot among others, and there are so many incredible people to know and places to see!

You are going to be able to know yourself better and challenge your limits, you are going to do things you never did before. Getting lost, spending more than you should, getting the wrong train, crying when all of these things happen, sharing your culture, burning the food, washing the wrong piece of clothing of your host kid, getting your host kids mad at you, eating too much fast food, Italian food, Chinese food and basically any food. You learn to be kind and caring, to worry about things – but not too much, to be careful, to save money because of something you really want, and basically you learn how to live a life being you. Sometimes you get frustrated and think the world is trying to make you quit, but you learn that things happen and you shouldn’t make them the end of the world, so just learn how to be reasonable.

Day to day you end up learning something knew, something that makes you more mature than other people your age, sometimes. It doesn’t mean you can’t be silly or childish, you have that right, but you also know the right time to do it. So #BEBOLDFORCHANGE! Write your own story, be strong and fierce, but mostly be yourself, you are sure to succeed! I wasn’t sure and I was scared before, but after being an au pair for a few months I can say, you are going to be just fine!