work and travel

Au pair destinations

worldwide stays abroad

You may be an au pair anywhere in the world. The choice of your travel destination is important for your au pair stay abroad. Many au pairs decide to go to Europe, especially Germany. Au Pair in America, in Australia & New Zealand and Au Pair in China are also very popular.

Au pair stay in Germany

The au pair year can be organized by au pair and host family. The contact and organization of the program can also be done via an institution. An au pair stay in Germany may last between 6 and 12 months.

  • age limit for au pairs in Germany: 18-24 years
  • basic German language skills are necessary
  • travel expenses to the host family in Germany need to be paid by the au pair
  • free accommodation and board as well as pocket money: at least 260 €/month
  • Au pair health insurance: will be paid for by the host family, together with accident and third party liability insurance
  • working hours: the au pair may work 39 hours/week maximum and max.6 hours/day
  • vacation for an au pair: 4 weeks for one year working
  • education: possibility to take part in language courses and other cultural courses

Au pair stay in Europe (Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Norway, Finland)

Guidelines for an au pair stay abroad are similar within Europe. Depending on the country there might be minor differences. Basic information concerning au pair stays in Germany will therefore correspond with stays in other European countries. Further information on specifics in each country can be found on local websites of each country.

Au pair stay in Australia & New Zealand

Young travelers up to the age of 30 may apply for the Working Holiday Maker Visa in order to work in Australia or New Zealand as an au pair. Further information on this visa and which countries are able to receive the visa can be found on the Australian Government website.

  • age limit for au pairs in Australia/New Zealand: 18 to 30 years
  • when entering the country, you need to proof that you have access to sufficient funds to support yourself for the initial stage of your stay abroad (about AUD5000 depending on the length of your stay)
  • basic language skills in English
  • free accommodation and board as well as pocket money (depending on working hours)
  • Au pair health insurance: will be paid by your Australian/New Zealand host family
  • working hours: 25-45 hours/week
  • vacation for an au pair: 4 weeks for one year working
  • special feature: your au pair stay abroad can be combined with Work & Travel, stay with your host family first and then work and travel in Australia or New Zealand on your own

Au Pair stay in the USA

The au pair program in the USA is strongly regulated. With the exception of summer au pairs, the au pair stay needs to be for one year minimum. For the participation of an au pair program you need to apply for a J-1 visa. This visa for au pairs can only be received through an au pair agency.

  • age limit for au pairs in the USA: 18 to 26 years old
  • police clearance certificate
  • basic English language skills necessary
  • free accommodation and board as well as pocket money: 195,75 US$/week
  • Au pair health insurance: will be paid by American host family
  • working hours: the au pair is allowed to work max. 45 hours/week and not more than 10 hours/day
  • vacation entitlement of the au pair: 2 weeks of paid vacation, during the 13th month the au pair is allowed to travel on her own
  • education: further education classes are obligatory (e.g. at a college), the American host family subsidizes up to 500 US$/year

Au pair stay in China

Until today China does not have an official au pair program. Au pairs may enter with a visa for language students (F visa) or exchange visitors (X visa) and thus live with a Chinese host family and at the same time learn the language.
For this reason au pair stays in China are not as common as in other countries. Basically, interest in Asian countries is gaining and requests of an au pair year in China are increasing. Be adventurous and spend an au pair year abroad in China.

  • Mandarin is the world’s most spoken mother language
  • age limit for au pairs in China: 18 to 29 years
  • spoken language between au pair and host family will be English at first, therefore a good knowledge of English is required of au pairs in China

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