Since I did the take over on Instagram for Au Pair World a lot of people reached out to me and asked about the things I did before I came to England and also the things I did here right after my arrival. Doing an au pair year is unfortunately associated with some planning and organizing which might seem to be a lot at first, but once you get into it you’ll realise that it’s totally manageable. I’m here to help you after all! 😉
Before you go...
You’ve found a host family and you’re sure they are the right family for you. Awesome! But what now? Depending on the country you are going to you will have to make different preparations. I can only tell you what I did for England so please check the conditions for your destination!
- Does your health insurance cover such a long stay abroad? If not you should definitely take out an extra insurance to be safe in case of an emergency.
- Does your host family need a certificate of good conduct? They will most likely tell you if they need it but you should take into consideration that it takes up to 8 weeks to get it from your municipality.
- Save some money for the start! Of course you will get paid for your aupairing BUT you never know what might happen. I had to change families and did not get paid for nealry four weeks! Luckily I had saved some money for the start, otherwise I would have literally been in a fix! You never hope for it but you also never know…
- Check that your debit card, your drivers license and your ID are still valid and will be till the end of your stay. If not organize that they’ll be send to you!
- You don’t have to worry about a visa till the 31.12.2020 so just don’t! 😀
When you're there...
Finally arrived! Do I have to organize anything here? Yup, so let’s get right into it!
- First things first: The Au Pair Contract The contract is the most important document during your stay. It states your obligations to the family but also the familys obligations towards you! It’s supposed to help you knowing your tasks but also important in case of any trouble within the family. Apart from that the family should put your working hours, your holidays, the amount of your pocket money and the lenght of your stay in it. You can find a good example for a contract on Au Pair World right here.
- Open a bank account. Even though you might think that you don’t need it, having a bank account is just easier. You can pay nearly everywhere with your card, it’s way more common than in Germany and you need it if you want to book a hotel when you travel. You’ll need a proof of address for the regular banks (you can use your NINO for that) but there is an easier way to get an account. Revolut and Monzo are two app-banks meaning that there are no physical branches but the app you can download. I am using Monzo and it’s literally been the simplest thing in the world to register there. All I had to do was to give them my data (name, address, birthday…) and an identity proof (ID/drivers license) and two days later they sent me my new debit/credit card. Tip: If you say that you are a British tax payer you won’t need your tax payer identification number!
- Get a NINO! That’s not a cute little pet even though it sounds much like it. The NINO is the National Insurance Number you need if you want to work in the UK. Since the au pair job is a private agreement between the family and you and not classified as an actual job you don’t need it for that but if you want to look for a second job or study in the UK (after your au pair year?) it’s necessary and helpful. With the UK still being a part of the EU at the moment it’s easier for a foreigner from the EU to get that number, so get yours while you can! 😉
- Register at your local doctor! Everybody in the UK has to be registered with a doctor, your host family should be able to tell you more about it and take you to their local surgery.
- Get a phone contract, if you want to. You don’t necessarily have to of course, I just find it easier to handle if my provider is here. I got one from Superdrug (a drugstore here) that costs me 9,99£ a month and offers 3GB of data and unlimited calls and messages. My host family pays it but it’s on my name so that I could potentially use it after my year here.
So that’s pretty much all I could think about, if you got any more suggestions put them in the comments below to help others! 🙂