Shortly after I finished school, I decided to work as an Au-Pair for one year in London, England - one of my favourite cities. One of the reasons I decided to do this was for the challenge. I thought that living in a foreign country and caring for a new family, which carries tremendous responsibility, would be difficult, but could only make me stronger and more confident. And I hoped that this strength and confidence would help me both professionally and personally in the years to come.

As an Au-Pair, I was thrown into a completely new environment - into both a foreign country and a "new" family. I felt far away from home and from my comfortable, everyday surroundings. When I first arrived in England, it was hard to get use to a different culture and way of life. And then adding a foreign language on top of everything else made the transition even more difficult. Moreover, it is also important to remember that the host family needs time to adjust to having a new "family member" in the home - one with a different cultural background, habits, values and maybe even way of life. It might take a little time before life in the home feels comfortable for everyone.

Despite the challenges, I never regretted the decision to become an Au-Pair. To the contrary - it was one of the best experiences of my life! Although I did feel lonely at first, I quickly made new friends. It was a great year with a truly wonderful family! I definitely expanded my personal and cultural horizons, and learned some Englisch along the way.

I would like to help and encourage young people to take the step to become an Au-Pair. I also hope to find many kind and open families willing to welcome a new "family member" into their homes. These families should appreciate and recognize the benefits that come from having a person from a foreign country - who has different customs and traditions - live in their homes.

Mutual tolerance, acceptance, trust and loyalty are important to make an Au-Pair placement work. There should be an openness to learn - the family learns from the Au-Pair and the Au-Pair from the family. In this type of environment, it is important to remember that no one is perfect. Both parties must try to view issues or problems that arise from the other`s perspective. When these principles are followed, then the integration of the Au-Pair into the host family will run smoothly.

This Agency will do its best to ensure that you have a successful Au-Pair placement with many positive experiences. We promise to carefully and quickly match applicants with appropriate families in the chosen country. We also promise to support you and help you overcome any problem or issue experienced during your placement. This includes helping you with all the formal paperwork and meeting regularly during your Au-Pair placement to discuss any issues. In short, we will strive always to provide you with the highest quality service.

I hope this letter communicates the sincere wish this Agency as to help you have an outstanding and positive Au-Pair experience.

Dipl. Socialpädagogin Lissi Beck