An Au Pair is someone who lives with a family for a defined period of time and performs some tasks for financial remuneration.
This method is not new, but it has increased in the years of youth and young people who, in addition to generating income, seek to learn the language, have cultural experiences outside the country, or simply travel and see the world.
Carlos Paz Live spoke with a woman from our city who used to live in California, United States.
It is Clara Torossi, 20 years old, and she told about her experience as an “Au Pair” in that country.
What is the job you currently do as an au pair?
-The work consists in the care of the children, and in general, it is about the work that they do around the activities. I will take care of the 4-year-old and 2-year-old, take the 4-year-old to school and prepare lunch, I will also take care of washing and folding the children’s clothes. The duties of the other household members do not correspond to me. I usually take care of them and I’ve been here for a year now. The contract lasts for one year, you can extend it and in my case I extended it for six months with the same family.
What is the work schedule?
-From 9:30 am to 4:00 am, Monday through Friday. I have free weekends. Scheduling is something that is established before living with a family.
How did you approach the family to work?
By the agency of Au Patr. With the family you do macht and you have a choice throughout the whole process. Not that the family chooses anyone, but that the choice is mutual on both sides. There are pre-conversations in which you clarify all the issues, to avoid future problems. The whole question of how to schedule has been discussed and clarified before, because each family varies in their requirements.
Why do you want to live this experience?
-I researched about the institute through my sister’s friend and I wanted to leave the country and visit other places for a long time and this way is the easiest, so to speak. In addition, the agency helps a lot with the visa process, and get you a job and a home for a long-term contract. Regardless of the subject of your visa processing and refund.
What is your balance so far from the experience?
-Totally positive. Emigration is such an extreme situation that you have no choice but to open your head and fully open yourself to the experience. My job is very nice, I am lucky with a family with whom we got along well from the beginning, we understood each other very well, the communication was always good. For me this is beautiful, because I literally have a second family, which is from another country, with another language and with other customs. Thank you for me. It is difficult because they are my family, I love them, but they are also my bosses, this is a new thing and it is not easy to bear.
– There are girls who report that the agency does not comply with their contract and there are also complaints from young people, especially those who go viral on social networks, who regret having made the trip because they clean or cook for everyone when it was not. Did you hear what was stipulated in the contract?
-That’s the B side of the program and it’s a pretty ugly side. I’m obviously talking about my agency because I have experience. The problem can arise because when the agent is super present in Argentina, they talk to you, they send you members, they ask you how you are doing, whatever you need, they are there. It’s like when you come here, I’m not telling you that we’re going to filter you because it’s not like that, but in my case, if I came to the United States and the problem was a person. contact I couldn’t put my finger on it and say if it was a fault of the family or the institutions. For me, it has to do with the fact that we are immigrants and we are very vulnerable and that kind of means that someone accepts the contract rules that they give you. But they definitely don’t like to force you into anything. I have friends who are with families who work strictly 45 hours a week. I haven’t been with my family for nearly 45 hours. It is hard work, and it is not easy to work with children.
-Did you feel any discrimination when you were outside the country?
-I never perceived that there was a difference neither for Argentina nor for Latina. I’m sure, where I come from, California and the whole San Francisco area, because they have so many immigrants from all over the place and it’s like there’s no discrimination here. So, for example, there are other places in the United States that I felt were super conservative and uncomfortable. It happened to me that I was coming to the Grand Canyon with my friends, we stopped at a service station and I didn’t want to speak Spanish, because you know how they are and when you know it, you don’t want to become a stranger.
-How much is the salary?
-They are all paid USD 195.75 per week. Some families have around up to $200. One thinks when in Argentina, “uh yes…they will pay me 200 dollars a week and their heads will blow”. That happened to me. But it’s worth the price of real estate. You must know how to speak English and it is exclusive, although they require a fairly low level of English, they call the conversation.