What is an au pair

Au pair abroad

Are you planning a stay abroad, but do not want to forego a small income and can do well with children? Then "AU Pair" the right thing for you abroad! Incidentally, the term comes from French and literally means "on mutuality".

As an au pair abroaddo you live with a host family and look after their children. In addition, you support the family in household. In return, you can live with the family free of charge, receive food and a small one pocket money. Depending on the program, you will work up to 30 hours a week. You have at least one free day per week. Some programs also offer the ability to Attending a language school.

As "temporary family members", au pairs get to know the everyday life of a family and the general everyday culture of the host country.

In principle, au pair stays are offered by families who make themselves available as host families. The Mediation is usually done through agencies. Several online travel portals provide up-to-date lists of au pair providers and program variants. A quality feature here can be a quality mark that ensures that the agency complies with certain standards.

A stay abroad as an au pair is for young people between 18 and 24 years possible. With some agencies there is the possibility up to the age of 30 years to be placed as an au pair.

Further basic requirements are Experience in childcare and household knowledge. Recruiting men can be more difficult, which is why some agencies only recruit women.

In order to be able to communicate optimally in the host country you are at least solid Basic knowledge of the respective national language required. It is often required that au pairs have one Driver's license have. In addition, they should be physically healthy and mentally resilient, and be able to work independently and responsibly. Non-smokers usually have better chances of being placed.


  • Search for an au pair family through a placement agency
  • Gaining language skills and intercultural skills
  • You earn a little pocket money
  • Fun taking care of children
  • Doing household chores

Au pairs can choose between choose from numerous host countries. The chances of being placed in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Western and Northern Europe are particularly good. In countries such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, positions for au pairs are much rarer and it is more difficult or even impossible to work as an au pair there.

In addition to the classic au pair program, in some countries, for example in France, Australia and New Zealand, there is also the opportunity to join a "Demi Pair" Participate in the program. "Demi" is French for "half" and refers to the dichotomy of this offer: Half of the stay abroad consists of the au pair service and the other half of language courses.

In some places, interested parties can either opt for a regular 12-month au pair stay or for a so-called "EduCare stay" (for example in the USA). This is characterized by the combination of childcare and attending courses at a university.

Most au pairs go for you Period of 12 months abroad. Some placement agencies also offer stays for half a year or - especially in the summer months - Short term stays at. Interested parties can Apply all year round for an au pair stay. There are no special application deadlines. The start date for the au pair stay therefore depends on when the application was submitted or the application process is completed.

The costs for a stay abroad as an au pair vary in amount and vary depending on the host country and program. In most cases, the costs for the outward and return journey, the placement fee and the language courses that are attended in the host country have to be financed by yourself. The agency fees are around 150-200 euros. Participants also have to pay the insurance fees themselves, for example for health, liability and accident insurance.

The Mediation an au pair stay is mostly in the hands of one Agency who initiates and supervises the application process. However, there are a few things to consider in advance: As a first step, it is advisable to compare different placement agencies and program variants with one another.

Generally should always be one employment contract between au pair and host family. This should contain clear regulations regarding legal formalities, such as insurance. The addresses of the language schools that are close to the host family should also be found in advance.

Those interested in finding a suitable agency for au pair stays can contact the Quality standards of the quality association Au pair e.V. (e.g .: guetegemeinschaft-aupair.de). An au pair stay can be organized purely privately, but it is advisable to use an agency. Au pairs and host families are then contractually secured. If difficulties arise, the agency or the personal contact person can help.

Future au pairs should contact an agency at an early stage so that they have sufficient opportunity to find a suitable host family. Also about that visa au pairs should take care of them some time in advance.

As "temporary family members", au pairs learn how to do this Everyday life of a family as well as the general Everyday culture of the host country know. Acquire Au Pairs Foreign language skills and intercultural skills. Most of the time they are part of one Network of several au pairs and thus have the opportunity to take part in joint meetings, excursions and leisure activities.

Au pairs are often abroad for an entire calendar year and are given the opportunity to get to know the customs and traditions of a country. The au pair stay is even more attractive small merit.


(Image sources: iStock / Juhasz Peter, SbytovaMN)

Age limit:

18 - 24 years, occasionally up to 30 years

Duration of use:

6 to 12 months

Own financial costs:

Self-financing of outward and return journeys, insurance, agency fees, language courses

End of the application period:

Possible all year round, we recommend applying early

Conditions of use:

Working Holiday Visa for some countries (e.g. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA)

Destination countries:

USA, Australia, New Zealand, Western and Northern Europe

Less common to impossible: Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe

Financial support:

Small pocket money, food and accommodation from the host family

Free spots:

Depending on the placement agency

Application effort:

Relatively low, application through an agency


Child care, household