How to be an au pair in France

Written by on January 9, 2014 in Work in France, Working in France

how to be an au pair in france

Fée Rêvée is a French au pair association which has been pairing students from overseas with host families for the past 9 years. The name Fée Rêvée means “dream fairy” and the association’s goal is to help au pairs to find their dream family.

Based in Paris, they are a non-profit organisation which aims to promote students into social, friendly, familial positions which offer a cultural experience that can only be achieved by “living the life”. They place overseas students with families in France and French students with families overseas. For those who want to au pair in France, the majority of the association’s host families are based in Paris and surrounding areas – the most sought after area for all overseas students.

Students come from all over the world – from the USA, China, UK, Europe, Mexico, Colombia and many other counties and settle in Paris to live the life of a Parisian for a short while. More than 600 families and 1,400 students have put their trust in Fée Rêvée.

The association offers opportunities for au pairs (aged 18-27) or tutors (aged 18-75) in France. Nathalie Chevallier at Fée Rêvée says “it’s very important that applicants enjoy family life and working with children and they need to have very good childcare experience”.  Becoming a tutor requires you to give 15 hours learning a week to your host family or in a school. You don’t have to be a qualified teacher but you do need to enjoy teaching!

Why be an au pair in France?

Becoming an au pair in France is an excellent way to spend a gap year, learn the language, travel, enjoy the French culture and totally immerse yourself into the ways and days of France. It offers the opportunity to earn an income, enjoy full board and lodging and you’ll be considered part of the family. Fée Rêvée au pairs commit up to 30 hours per week, have at least one day a week off and the majority of weekends free whilst earning 80 to 100 Euros a week.

Why not go with a friend?  It’s a great way for students to share the joy and fun of being in Paris and experiencing everything that the city has to offer.

how to be an au pair in france

Au Pairs meet in the Paris office

Arriving in Paris to be an au pair with Fée Rêvée you’ll be able to meet with staff from the association, receive an orientation programme, maps, help and advice about the transport system, French classes etc. Throughout your stay you’ll be offered regular help, catch up meetings and advice making your stay more fun and more productive.

Fée Rêvée keeps in touch with their au pairs whilst on placement and encourages them to update the association on their experiences. Their blog pages are full of updates posted by au pairs from around the world – a great way to get a flavour of what is expected of an au pair and what life entails.

Five Top Tips for being an au pair in France

1. If you’re looking for a busy town, night life – do your homework before you go to make sure your host family’s home isn’t in a rural town with no public transport.  Fée Rêvée specialise in au pair placings in Paris and surrounding areas where you can take advantage of the superb Metro underground train system.

how to be an au pair in france2. Skype with the family before you go. It’s free to Skype and you all get a chance to see each other and talk before hand. It’s a great way to break the ice and when you land in France – you’ll know who to look out for at the airport/train station or where ever you’re  being met. If not Skype, at least a phone interview.

3. Study the language beforehand. If you speak a little French it is still better than no French. Sign up to classes and start practicing!

4. Know what your goals are – travel, to see France/Europe, to learn French, to integrate into French culture etc . Then work to make them come true. Accept that not every day will be brilliant but knowing what you want from the experience will help you to achieve your goals.

5. Agree with your host family what they expect, everyone will be different. Some may want the kids looked after and some housework, others may wish for babysitting help one night a week. Knowing what’s expected will help both the au pair and the family.

Find out  more about how to get that perfect au pair job in Paris and France from Fée Rêvée on their website: www.feerevee .com

Fée Rêvée is a member of the UFAAP (Union Française des Agences Au pair) et IAPA (International Au Pair Association)

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