We always love when our current au pairs share their stories with us. Hearing that they are having a positive experience with their host family, each sharing their cultures and customs is what cultural exchange is all about. We also love when a former au pair reaches out to us after many years and tells us how the program impacted her life.
Beverley, a former au pair from the UK who lived with a host family in Connecticut in 1988, shared her experience with us:
“About 28 years ago, I embarked on a new career in the U.S. as an au pair. My interests and hobbies were matched very well with my lovely host family who were based 50 miles north of New York in Connecticut. I looked after two boys, ages 2 and 5. I made every day a new challenge to take the children out on an outing like playing at the beach or finding an ice cream parlor.
My host family was very welcoming, kind and generous, and we are still friends and in close contact to this day. I loved the children and they affectionately named me “Uppity.” My host kids and I enjoyed drawing and baking projects, riding bikes, playing games in the snow, shopping at the mall and going out for walks. My first trip with my host family was to Amherst, Massachusetts, which was amazingly beautiful in the fall.
My year abroad was filled with fun and excitement. Once back home, my parents said: “it was the making of me and where I found my true self.” I took many evening courses such as language, dance and sewing. In fact, I remember making a ball gown to dance in the UK upon my return.
I traveled from the East Coast to the West Coast, but my favorite city will always be New York. In my spare time, I enjoyed jogging, aerobics, riding a bike to the beach and going to the cinema with my au pair friends.
My parents couldn’t believe the change in me as I returned home so confident and grown up with blonde hair and an impressive American accent.
I will always be grateful to Au Pair in America for this once in a lifetime experience, which was so amazing for me and which I will never forget.”