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Au Pair in The Netherlands

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Employer

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Pay and Benefits

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Professional Development

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Traveling will change your life!

You absolutely must do it. If you're as far gone as looking at reviews, do it. Follow your heart to the other side of the world. Don't hesitate. It will be the best decision you ever made. Whether you au pair or teach English... Whether you go to France or Spain or New Zealand... just do it.
I personally am really enjoying my experience with GeoVisions in the Netherlands. The program and support are superb, and the Dutch people are warm, kind, and welcoming. This is truly a wonderful place to begin your lifetime of traveling (and the Netherlands is situated ideally for travel all around Europe on your free time - I just got back from Paris this weekend)!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Professional Development

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Pay and Benefits

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • The Employer

    10

WONDERFUL Au-Pair Experience in Utrecht, Netherlands

I have loved every minute of my time here in the netherlands. Utrecht is the city I'm staying in and it's amazing so many au pairs that I can be with on my time off, which is definitely needed. I was very nervous coming into this program. I can be shy, at first, and non-confrontational. You never know what to expect, but I have had no problems so far and my host family has been extremely helpful and kind to me. The first few weeks were a bit scary and overwhelming, but after that it's an amazing time. Every day I'm grateful to be in this country and to get to travel Europe on my time off. You get a chance to meet so many great people and see so many beautiful sites. The pay isn't amazing, but hey you are getting free room & board so it kind of evens out. Anyone who is has an interest, even a tiny one, please go do it! It's a chance to see the world and not just as a tourist.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • The Employer

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Pay and Benefits

    5

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Professional Development

    1

  • Social Life

    10

A rich cultural experience

GeoVisions helped me a lot to get going on the au pair program, and assisted me with paperwork and logistics before heading abroad. They were always available to talk and even checked in a few times while I was over seas, I would definitely recommend working with them!

The job itself definitely had its ups and downs. The lifestyle took a lot of getting used to; it was very different than my lifestyle the previous 4 years in college. While that is expected, it still came as a bit of a shock when I had to adapt to earlier bed times, having to let my host parents know my plans outside of work (it wasn't required but just a courtesy), and feeling like a guest when it came to making food and just hanging around the house. My host family was more than welcoming and kind, however, it still feels a bit weird to open up a strangers (at the beginning) refrigerator and make yourself a sandwich.

With that being said, that all went away after about 2 months. I just want to put it out there so that future au pairs are prepared for things that I didn't even think about before going. Don't let it change your mind of going though because it was truly one of the best years of my life. I learned so much about the Dutch culture, and while some of their traditions are very different than my own, I was more than thrilled to experience that.

The schedule for me was ideal, I worked 4 days a week and had every weekend off. The host parents would often give me random days off as well, so I really took advantage of my location and travelled all over Europe! I always had a friend to go with as well because there were a lot of other au pairs in my area (The Hague).

As I said in the title of this review, it was a very rich cultural experience. American traditions and Dutch traditions are different and I absolutely loved being put out of my comfort zone and living that life for a year. I would recommend the program, it really helped me grow as a person and The Netherlands will always be in my top 3 favorite countries!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • The Employer

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Pay and Benefits

    5

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Professional Development

    10

  • Social Life

    5

The year that defined who I am

I came to the Netherlands after working in the Hollywood Entertainment industry for several years after University. I needed to get away from that lifestyle and experience something totally new and refreshing while I "gathered" myself and started to focus on a new direction in life. I live with a very kind and loving family who go out of their way to make sure I'm happy. The pay is quite bad, but since you're not spending any money on room or board, all that money goes directly to your bank account as spending money, so if you're frugal you will have plenty to explore the Netherlands on the weekends.

The social connections here are fantastic between Au Pairs (I know I rated it a 5/10, more on that later) because through House of Orange Au Pair Agency, they give you the contact list of EVERY one of their au pairs in Holland, so you have at least a hundred if not more people to reach out to in order to make new friends. I rated it a 5/10 for two reasons, and one is because I'm the only Male au pair here, and I'm a bit older than the other au pairs. All the other au pairs I've met are young teenage girls fresh out of high school, and though I don't mind spending time with girls I really have a hard time meeting other "dudes" to hang out with. Luckily many of the girls I've met are more mature than the typical teenage girl, but that doesn't apply to all of them.

Secondly, keep in mind that Dutch people are very, very private. Spontaneity is not a word many Dutchmen are familiar with. Meeting strangers in public, at bars or events is considerably more difficult than in the US. Dutchmen keep to themselves and tend to have a big "wall" constructed around their lives, and the only way to meet Dutchmen is through an organized activity or social event. It is considered taboo to show up unannounced at somebody's house (even children looking for playdates). ALL social events are scheduled well in advance, so calling up a Dutch friend for a spontaneous drink or to "catch a film tonight" just isn't likely at all. It's more like "The third Thursday of next month I'm free, maybe we can do something then?" Being a spontaneous, outgoing person like myself, this kind of lifestyle was the hardest part of adjusting to life here.

But otherwise, the au pair program has been fantastic and the last thing I will say is one of my favorite quotes:
"Nobody said it was going to be easy, but they promised it would be worth it."