Because there’s always questions when people discover that I lived in Paris, I thought a little FAQ might clear up some misunderstandings. This obviously doesn’t cover everything so if I’ve missed something, ask away!
What exactly were you doing in France?
I was an “au pair.” “Au pair” is a type of nanny – although our differentiation is in the type of contract versus the type of qualification . Although I was technically on a student visa with a work allowance.
Did you live alone?
No, I lived with my employers. Similar to a foreign exchange student, but I was hired household help.
What exactly were you responsible for?
Taking care of the children, putting away their laundry, homework help, keeping the house generally tidy, and occasional cooking. I had a contract with it all specified. This was just my situation, there are other variations among the au pairs and their families.
What did you receive in return?
I had my own bedroom and I ate with the family (food & board). My host family also paid for my public transport pass (non obligatory) as well as my French SIM card. Additionally, I did receive some pocket money each month which I used to discover this amazing city!
Did you speak English or French with the children?
Both! French 95% of the time, although I taught them some phrases and Friday was our “English day.”
How long were you there?
A year, August to August! My visa (the document that allowed me to live and work in France for more than 90 days) could have been extended, but I returned to the U.S. to continue my studies.
How did you find this opportunity of a lifetime?
I have a friend who suggested I look into it. I used the free website https://www.aupairworld.com/en
I would be happy to answer any further questions regarding this subject!
Were you able to attend church service in Paris?
Actually, yes! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has several congregations in the Paris metropolitan area.
Were you able to continue your studies while overseas?
My study of the French language, yes. Part of my visa required that I attend French courses on language and culture during the week (which happened to be located right next to Notre Dame). So I still had 10 hours per week of studies.
When did you leave for Europe?
The first week of August, 2015. Although my first time in Europe (when I taught English in Russia) was September of 2014 until December of 2014.
Do you plan on returning to France to live?
Yes, I would love to. I don’t currently have a plan, but it’s definitely in the works.
Did I miss something? Comment below or shoot me an email!
Last updated April 3, 2017.