Being au pair in Denmark
I was already 27 when I made a decision to come to Denmark as au-pair. I was really lucky with the family who could speak not only in English, but also Russian because they used to live in Moscow some time and knew a lot of about my country, so in this case, it was easy to find in the beginning a lot of common. Second good thing was that I lived in the capital in Copenhagen, which is a wonderful city where you never ever be bored. In my host family were 2 kids: girl 5 years old and a boy 8 years – both of them sweet and really cute. Despite the fact that I couldn’t speak in Danish in the beginning, we liked each other from first sight. I got used to them and after some time had a feeling that it’s my younger brother and sister.
My working days were from Monday to Friday and in really rare occasions parents could ask me to look after the kids at weekend in the evening. My daily chores were mainly about housekeeping: cleaning, washing, Ironing, cooking etc. I have got a plan from my host mother where was a description of everything for each single day. From time to time I had to bring/pick up the boy to/from school or the girl to/from kindergarten. I also used to cook for the whole family quite frequently; therefore, I know now a lot about Danish food. Especially I liked their tradition to have a dinner all together at the same time. When its winter we ate in the dining – room with the candles or if its summertime – on the terrace, which is super cozy.
My host family are very easy-going people and we never had any problems during the whole period, because from the start we made a promise to share with each other everything if something goes wrong. Thankfully it never happened. After 1 year of living in the family I already got a feeling that it’s my real family on whom I can count every time. I was a good helping hand for the parents and became a good friend with the kids. At my free time I attend a lot of cultural events, which you can find in Copenhagen easily and as a result I have got a lot of friends from all over the world. I could travel to Spain, Sweden. Holland, Norway where I also had really good time. Unfortunately I couldn’t learn Danish language as much as I wanted because it was allowed to learn only 2 modules of language, what is quite basic things, but it was enough for communicating with the kids.
Danes are very kind, friendly, tolerant and open-minded and always ready to help with the smile on their face. They are called the happiest people in the world and it’s true. They really love their kids very much and there are all opportunity to rise up the kids in great conditions.
Like everywhere, there were sometimes not happy days where you can probably feel alone or insecure, some days you are really tired because you have to do really a lot of things, but it’s temporary things and I can say that during these 2 years I have got so much emotions which I would never have in my previous work. It’s really great way to discover new thing in the life. Before I thought that to have a big family is to have a big stress, but now I realize that first of all its coziness and mutual help. This experience gave me understanding that the kids are not problems; they are fun, happy and good teachers to be natural and sincere.
My future advice for the girls who are thinking to go as au-pair to Denmark: it’s a risk, which is really deserve to take, because I am pretty sure that this experience will change your mind and will leave only positive. In the beginning it could be a bit scary and stressful, but after some time you will love it for sure! New culture, food, people and tradition – all these make you feel almost part of this nation, which you will never forget.