Bonjour! Welcome to France, where it isn’t all just about the Eiffel Tower, cheese and wine. By living in France as an Au Pair, you will get to experience what this country really has to offer.
France is known all over the world for its cuisine, art, wine and fashion. And while you may know about the big names (think Chanel, Mona Lisa, baguettes, croissants), each region has their own special flavours to try and experience. Paris is a metropolitan centre for the whole world, where old architecture and classic style meet new and eccentric. Otherwise, you might like to head to the south of France, where life is a bit more relaxed and the French Riveria a-waits. Or how about Alsace? Where you can wander through the grapevines along the border with Germany. No matter where you are, there is bound to be a castle or palace near by, such as Versailles near Paris or Mont Saint Michel in Brittany.
Aside from the cultural highlights, French is one of the 3 procedural languages used throughout the EU and is a useful tool to master for this reason. By travelling to France as an Au Pair, you will have the opportunity to learn more of the day-to-day language used by French families – something that is difficult to learn in the classroom.
Our au pair programmes in France vary in length depending on the experience you are looking for:
- 6-12 months – for the full immersion experience! By staying for a longer period, you will be able to really hone your language skills and come to feel like your new town is your home away from home. If you are just starting to learn French, this might be the option for you, as you will be able to attend language classes during your stay.
- You will work maximum 30 hours per week with at least 1-2 days off, one full weekend off per month and one week paid holiday per 6 months.
- In return, the host family will pay you from 80 euros per week, provide you with a travel card to make use of public transport, give you time off during the day to explore and take language classes, cover your health insurance, and treat you as one of the family. Food and accommodation are of course included!
- By working with an agency, you will receive local support to assist you during your stay, including advice for settling in to France, a welcome pack, emergency assistance and help to find friends and language classes.
- 1-3 months – June to September only – for those short on time or who would like to improve their French skills. Perhaps you would like to put your French to use after studying it at high school or university. Or maybe you would like to start learning, and full immersion in a French family will give you that opportunity. It’s also possible that you have a long summer break and want to make the most of it! Whatever your reason, France is a great choice for a summer stay.
- In addition to the above, most summer placements will require more hours, as they children will not be in school.
To apply for your French au pair adventure, you should:
- Ideally be aged between 18-30 years.
- Have finished high school.
- Have experience working with children – this can be as a big brother or sister, during work experience in a nursery or as a babysitter. If you are unsure, contact us!
- If applying from outside of the EU, you will need to attend 6-10 hours per week of French classes (from 400 euro per month).
- Have basic French skills – If you speak fluent English, some families may be happy to accept no French.
- Have a love for children and an open mind to learn about a new culture from a unique standpoint – right in the middle of it!
What you will need to be an au pair in France:
- A completed registration form
- A dear family letter – this is an introduction about yourself for your future host family. You might like to write about your home life, family, interests, studies, and most of all, why you want to be an Au Pair in France.
- A small photo album with smiley photos of you and your family/friends.
- Copy of your school grades/university certificate and any other courses you may have taken (i.e. first aid, sports, languages).
- Passport or valid ID that you can travel with
- 2 childcare references and one character reference (3 people in total). We will need to be able to check these so please make sure that they are reachable and happy to be contacted.
- Clean enhanced DBS/Police check – we can help UK applicants to apply for this.
- Medical certificate – a short statement for your doctor saying that you are fit enough to work with children.
- Driver’s license – if you would be happy to drive, that is!
- If you are not from the EU, you will need to be able to apply for a “Long Stay Residence Permit” or a “Working Holiday Visa”. Please refer to the French Embassy where you are from to find out if you are applicable or use the French Governments Visa Wizard (found here). You may need other documents for these applications.