Being an African au pair in GermanyPosted by Vionnah Mutua • September 16, 2018 • 3 minutes read
It's now six months since I came to Germany as an au pair.
It is my first time to work as an au pair and it was the first time for the family to host an African au pair so there was a lot of excitement. I, for one, was really looking forward to experiencing this wholesome and diverse German culture, language and the country itself. When I finally came to Germany, the family gave me a warm welcome and since then I can say it has been a wonderful experience.
How I found my family
In Kenya, I already had an agent that could help me get a German family I could work for. However, his charges were way too expensive so I resulted to looking for a family on the internet. At first, I just did it to try it out so I signed up on dozens of au pair sites and sent as many applications as I could. Some of the "families" that contacted me did not seem very genuine. That is when I discovered the connectAuPair site. I found it decent and within a few weeks I found a serious family that was very willing and ready to take me as an au pair. As they had had a few more au pairs before me, they were really helpful.
On the connectaupair site, I did not have to pay to find a family and during my searching period I did not encounter any fraudulent scams. I therefore am very grateful for the connectaupair site and would recommend it to any au pair or family looking for an au pair.
The visa application process
Since the German Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya has increased the hurdles for acquiring au pair visas, it would only be fair to make sure that one does a lot of research before going to the embassy. It is better to be safe than sorry, most especially since the more one goes to the embassy, the less your chances of getting a visa, which mostly applies to most of the African contries.
Being an African au pair in Germany
I am very adventurous, one of the reasons I decided to become an au pair, I can say it has been quite a good experience. The family sent me an au pair handbook (quite like this one) which clearly outlines my duties, way around the house, how to take care of the children and a lot more. Furthermore, I have a plan that indicates when I am with the children and my freetime as well. Other than that, we keep a steady conversation on phone with Whatsapp or simple conversations at home. In addition, we follow a daily routine, which I find really helpful especially because I do not trust myself in punctuality matters. In the six months, it is fair to say so far so good.
When I arrived here in Germany, everything was definitely different from how it is in Kenya, most especially the language. Of course I had learnt German back in Kenya up to the B1 level, but everything just sounded so different, most especially the pace at which the Germans speak. So basically, what was in the books was so different from what I heard and was said so fast. However, it was actually not hard to communicate with the children. There might be some words that may be hard to comprehend but the children are also very helpful by clarifying what they mean. In fact, my German has massively improved all thanks to the kids. The parents are also very nice and helpful in a lot of stuff and supporting my carreer. All in all, up until now, it has been amazing working as an au pair.
PS: It turned out that the family I found were actually the founders of connectAuPair :-) When they asked me to write about my experience with connectAuPair and as an au pair in Germany I of course said yes!
Stay tuned, this was only part one. More to come!