Work abroad as an au pair in Rome
Rome is home to 200+ au pairs every year, many young people from around the world, who live with an Italian family for an average of one to 12 months. Au pairs help out with childcare and language skills in exchange for rent-free living, meals with the family and an experience of Italian culture. Does it sound like something you could do?
Why you should consider it:
You’re in your late teens or twenties:
It is common for young people, typically females aged 18 – 25, to undertake an Au Pair opportunity in Rome or elsewhere in Italy and have an unforgettable experience. However, the country’s requirements state that you can be anywhere between the age of 18 – 30, as long as you are unmarried, with no children and not of Italian nationality.
It’s the right time to try something new:
Many people choose to be an au pair in Rome if they’re taking a gap year before or after university, travelling the world, wishing to study Italian or want to learn more about Roman culture. As Rome is the capital and always bustling with opportunities, it’s easier for au pairs in Rome to make friends and try new experiences compared to au pairs in more rural parts of Italy.
You like children:
This is important! Although au pairs can pick and choose what age group they look after, it is still vital that you like children. The families put their trust in their au pairs to often collect the children from school, play with them, help with homework and form a close bond, like an older sibling. If the thought of an occasional temper tantrum or high pitched singing in the early morning is something you cannot stand–then maybe au pairing is not for you. Yet the smiles whilst eating ice cream, or an excuse to see kids’ films at the cinema and spend time in sunny parks often outweigh the cons.
You are native or fluent in English:
English seems to be the preferred language a family wishes their au pair to speak but other families look for native Spanish, German or French speakers–it can depend on the family’s origins or what languages the children study at school!
You want to grow in confidence:
It’s likely if you have chosen to be an au pair you are open minded and confident anyway, as moving to a new country to live with a family you met online is not for the timid. Yet as you spend more time in Rome, your confidence with the language, interaction with locals and your own individuality will grow as you become accustomed to life abroad.
How do I find a host family?
There are many au pair agencies out there willing to match you up with a family and support you through the process. The most popular au pair website is aupairworld.com, where families pay a fee but au pairs can create a profile for free. Remember to include lots of information about yourself so that families can gain a better idea about who you are. Sometimes families advertise on social media, such as Facebook but it is best to try an accredited au pair organisation first.
How do I know if a host family are right for me?
It depends what you’re looking for…a bit like online shopping! Consider how many children you think you could manage and what age range you prefer. Then you can narrow down your search and start speaking with families over email, phone or video calls to see what requirements they have, what their routines are and whether you’d be a good fit. It is good to research what neighbourhood the family live in–would you like to be central or in a quieter area? Consider smaller details as well, are they friendly? Have you told them about any dietary requirements? Can they show you a photo of your bedroom? Are there any shared interests like sports or hobbies? Take your time looking and you’ll soon be able to secure the right family for you; there are surprisingly plenty.
I’m in Rome, settled in with my host family, now what?
After settling in and getting to know your new housemates, you’re probably itching to explore the city with some new friends. The great news is that there are many au pairs in Rome and it is easy to connect with them over Facebook or WhatsApp, for example you can join the RoMEAUPAIR group, there are always au pairs looking to go for coffee or visit museums, parks and attractions.
Consider meeting people who are not au pairs: there are many groups that offer language exchanges, expat events or you can join a sports, book, food, wine or art club. Rome is also home to many students–consider attending student events or trying out the nightlife. Remember to stay safe and always leave an event or gathering if you feel uncomfortable. Another perk about au-pairing in Rome is that there is public transport available 24/7 so it’s convenient to get home even at night.
Another great way to meet people and learn, is to attend a language school in your spare time, such as in the morning or evening depending on your family’s schedule. Further info here on finding an Italian language school in Rome.
Italy is a diverse and beautiful country and it is worth travelling to other cities or places on the weekends when au pairs usually have time off. There are methods of getting affordable travel deals if you book ahead, such as train deals on Omio or coach deals with Flixbus.
Advice to remember:
Au pairs are not paid a lot because it is considered a cultural exchange rather than a job but the weekly average pocket money is in the region of €60. Families may also contribute to your travel card, Italian phone number or language lessons, it depends.
Double check if you need a visa and always make sure you have travel, health and au pair insurance.
And remember, after a few days, weeks or even months and you are not happy with your host family or are ready to move on to a different adventure, that is perfectly okay and most families are comfortable with one to two weeks’ notice.
Sometimes Italians don’t know the phrase “au pair”, you can say “io sono una ragazza alla pari” or “io sono una babysitter”.
Be prepared to finish your au-pair experience having gained numerous international and Italian friends, a love of pasta and many eternal memories!
Further help and guidance at: aupairworld.com.