One of my main concerns when I was thinking about becoming an au pair was "How would I meet new people?" It turned out to be much easier than I thought. Below are four ways I met people in the U.S. and ways you can make new friends as well!
My fear about meeting people in the United States was calmed almost instantly as I arrived at Au Pair Academy. At first I was just fascinated by how many people who were so different from me ended up in the same place and time starting this new experience! And what I found out was that we were not that different at all, as we shared a common interest; our love for kids, adventures, travel and our enthusiasm to become independent world citizens by deciding to leave our homes for a whole year to experiment and learn another culture.
Some of the people I met at Academy I’m still in touch with four years after those first days of the adventure that changed my life!
Once you arrive to your host family’s home, your Area Director will reach out to you. She will help you meet other au pairs in your neighborhood during the monthly activities organized by AuPairCare. Also, in many areas with a large amount of au pairs it is not unusual to find a casual weekly coffee night organized by the au pairs themselves. Attend as many of these events as possible! They are fun, and a great way to integrate yourself into the community.
In addition to learning something new and developing your professional career, the courses you take during your program are a great opportunity to meet more people. But don't stop at your required classes. Libraries and community centers are other good places to meet people while you learn. Lots of places organize short one-day courses and activities such as movie nights, volunteering programs, creative writing workshops and many other community events created for public enjoyment and education.
Americans are well known for being very friendly and open people so don’t be surprised if somebody starts a conversation with you in a park while taking care of the kids, waiting in the bus stop or even in line in the supermarket. Take these opportunities! You could meet other au pairs, nannies or parents who could become friends.
Rocio B. is currently an intern and formerly an au pair with AuPairCare. She’s from Spain and had amazing program years in California and Connecticut.