Laura K. from Spain in Julie Lokun’s Elgin, IL cluster:

My adventure as an au pair started about 4 months ago and frankly it is the best decision I have ever made. Being an au pair is giving me many things and it is changing me as a person, and of course it will influence my future for many reasons. First, being an au pair is helping me to be more independent. I think it is common for all au pairs because we go to a totally different country with a new language, and we do not have the help of our family at 100%, although my host family helps me when I need it, I am lucky. I think it is part of this experience.

Secondly, I am a little shy and this is helping me to take it off. I am one of those people who are ashamed to speak a new language. I think I am doing a great job, however the results will show at the end of the year. Finally, I have a new family. Unfortunately, my grandfather died in my first week as an au pair and my host family was really supportive of me, so that brought us together. This is the reason why I gained a new family.

In conclusion, many people believe that being an au pair is easy and that it is like going on vacation, but the truth is that it’s not. It is hard to be so far from home for so long and we do not just learn English, we learn to get ahead. As my mother would say: it is the school of life.