Lorena S. from France
“This is a story about a very shy 21-year old French girl, who left her country, her family, friends, and her daily life, to become an au pair for one year in the United States.
This French girl is me, but now I am 22. I have been here in the United States for 7 months. I live in Cumberland Foreside in Maine, and I can tell you… time has passed very quickly, really fast. I arrived in June to meet my American family. Lisa, my host mom, came to welcome me at the airport with Sophie (5 yrs) and the twins Henry and Oliver (3 yrs). I then met Romeo, my host dad, when he came home from work.
In September, Laura, Lisa’s mom, came to live with us, which brought me great happiness. I had already met her before, and I immediately got along very well with this French and Spanish teacher. Sometimes, she talks to me in French and I answer her in English. It’s always pleasant to meet people who like your culture, your country… and who understands you when you miss ‘baguettes’ and ‘pain au chocolat’.
Oh au pair life! I think to be an au pair is something unique. Each experience of this adventure is different. We all come for the same purpose and to do the same thing, but: Can we define what it’s really like to be an au pair?
I was here to take care of three children, who are now like my little sister and brothers, and I share many things with them (even microbes! Because yes, when one is sick, the whole family is sick). I teach them French, they teach me English. I teach them my culture, they teach me theirs. We have our own cooking workshops where I teach them to make crêpes and mousse au chocolat, but I think they are more interested in the tasting than the preparation lol. But I really like them, they bring me so many experiences and the love…it’s amazing. I learn more from them than I do in school. I don’t feel the homesickness. It’s as if I have always lived in Maine.
In any case, I am thankful for this experience, this new life to finally give me more confidence. I have found that even if there are difficult times, I always remain positive and optimistic, and at the end I find that I have grown and I have become even more capable of conquering new challenges than I ever imagined. If you are not sure whether or not you should become an au pair and if you are experiencing doubts, I can tell you without hesitation: Go, really… GO! Sometimes you will feel afraid at the thought of traveling far away, leaving everything, your country, your family and your daily routine to go to a country where everything is new and the language is different and everyone is a stranger. But , I can tell you that Americans are so warmhearted and helpful and I’ve never regretted my decision. To leave everything to experience this adventure is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. This year in Maine changed me forever and most definitely, for the better.
Being an au pair is indefinable, you have to live it and and I encourage all girls to try this wonderful experience. This amazing journey is so wonderful that I intend to stay one more year, to prolong this magnificent adventure.”