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Tiffany has the time of her life in America as an Au Pair

Tiffany has the time of her life in America as an Au Pair

Author -  Tiffany van Til

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did.

 So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” This quote sums up my time in America so far. I have been lucky enough to get to explore and discover America, visiting places I could only dream of.

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Hey I’m Tiffany and I am living in Lexington, Massachusetts. I have been here since February this year and am having the time of my life. It still amazes me that my time here is going by so fast, but when I look back, I know that I have done so much during my nine 
months here so far, and there is so much that I have to look forward to during the rest of my time here.

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I always thought of America as they portray it in movies. But it is so much more than that. Being an Au Pair has allowed me to experience what I now think of as ‘the real America’. Being immersed in an American family gives you an insight into what America is really like – you get traditional American experiences such driving on the right side of the road, watching an American Football game, seeing Fourth of July fireworks, dressing up for Halloween, eating hotdogs and fried dough. You are giving the opportunity to learn about America’s schooling system, the way their government is run, as well as little things like how to tip at a restaurant.

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I am lucky enough to be an Au Pair for three wonderful children aged 14, 11 and 7. The oldest has just begun high school and the younger two are at elementary school. My host family is very involved in the community and all the children play a lot of sport throughout the year. My week consists of getting the children ready for school each morning, doing laundry and keeping the children’s play areas and rooms tidy, picking them up from school, helping with homework and getting them ready and off to sports in the afternoons. I help with dinner, but generally have most evenings off.

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I help out with sports and other activities, such as birthday parties, occasionally in the weekend. During my time off I like to go for Starbucks with friends, visit the mall (I probably spend too much of my time there), go to concerts or events, take road trips to towns and states nearby, as well as spending time going for walks and relaxing.

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From the day I landed in America, I was already receiving emails and messages from other Au Pairs in the same area that I was going to. Au Pair in America has a great Cluster system that allows you to meet with other Au Pairs who live in the same area. Through this, I have made a fantastic group of friends who I enjoy getting to hang out with on my time off in the evenings and during the weekend.

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Over the summer I attended classes at a Community College nearby. Part of the course I did required me to go on a trip to Montreal, Canada for a long weekend. This was such a great experience as I learned a lot about American history during the classes and also got to see a bit of Canada and learn about their culture also. 

This weekend, myself and three others are driving to upstate New York to attend a weekend course at Silverbay. This course is specially designed for Au Pairs where you spend time participating in various workshops throughout the weekend.

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During the ten weeks that the children were on summer vacation, we stayed in the family’s holiday house in Cape Cod. Each day the children had tennis and sailing lessons, and spent nearly every afternoon swimming at the beach. I was lucky enough to participate in tennis tournaments, take a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard and also made some new friends.

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Since arriving in America, I have been privileged to see other parts of the country. Last winter I went with my host family to ski in Vermont, as well as spending a week at Disney World Florida with friends. I am a huge tennis fan, and was lucky enough to get tickets to the US Open in September this year – this was an experience that I will never forget. 

In January I am spending two weeks travelling across the country. I will spend some time in New York City before continuing onto Colorado, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and then driving up through California to San Francisco.

For those of you considering coming to America to be an Au Pair, it is something that I recommend you do. It is such a fantastic way to see America and a great way to meet people from all over the world. It is such a rewarding job to have – being able to be part of a family and seeing the children grow over your time here. The memories that I have from my time here are memories I am sure I will never forget. Tiffany van Til


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