Deciding how to spend one’s gap year can be a hard thing and trying experience. With fiends and family all sharing their opinions sometimes there is no easy answer. Regardless of what one may hear an exciting option to consider is being an au-pair in the United States.

aupairWhat Exactly is an Au-Pair?

Not sure what an au-pair is? An au-pair is a young student, typically between 18-30, who lives and works with  a host family in a foreign nation for a year or two. While the au-pair is living with the host family, the au-pair may be responsible for some domestic work as well as helping to care for the families child or children.

What are the Benefits of being an Au-Pair?

Being an au-pair comes with many benefits, especially in the United States. The au-pair industry within the United States is federally regulated with some agencies being recognized by the federal government as an au-pair organization in the United States.

An au-pair in the United States will receive an hourly wage based upon the federal minimum wage, one day guaranteed vacation per week, one weekend per month off, a private room, and the first five hundred dollars towards the required course work at a the United States accredited college or university.

Furthermore, under federal law, an au-pair living and working within the United States shall not have to work more than forty-five hours in a single week, be a general housekeeper for the host family, or be a household manager.

Cultural Immersion

Perhaps the most important benefit of being an au-pair in the United States is the cultural aspect. No matter where you may be assigned the rich cultural heritage of the United States means that you will be surrounded by interesting and often unique opportunities.

Also, to the many cultures, an au-pair will be exposed to there is also a wide variety of natural beauty and outdoor activities. Many of these activities will be surprisingly close to anywhere the au-pair is living. From forests and mountains to rolling wine country, and desert.

All in all a gap year spent living abroad in the United States and working as an au-pair would be a year well spent. The au-pair would have an opportunity to explore the natural wonder of various parts of the country, see a variety of different cultures, make some money, and get a jump start on eating that university degree. So consider coming to the United States for your gap year to work as an au-pair.

Check out the video below to have a better idea of what is the daily life of an au-pair in America: