If you are between 18 and 30, student and ready to offer some domestic help to a local family, this might interest you. Though mainly for females, now a day more and more male students are getting seen in this domain, and your work may vary from changing diapers of their child / children to English lessons and in fact you may need to do any work that is a part of their life (thus it will vary from family to family), what you can always try to negotiate at the beginning, in exchange of your food, lodging and some small pocket money (around 250 euros a month). Just to inform you, Au Pair works are basically about helping children, though you will often end up doing other works as well. Sometimes, you can even hope to get a monthly transport pass which you can use in metro, RER and bus (locally called Carte Orange).
You will have to work in the weekends and in the evenings of weekdays, and the working hour will also vary from case to case.
It can be between 30 to 35 hours a week, but if you are a full time student, it is advised to negotiate lesser hours at the very beginning, say about 15 to 20 hours a week should be fine, otherwise there will be no time spare for your home works. Besides, you will also have 2 days off per week.
If you are coming to France to learn French and to learn the French way of life, this can be the ideal solution for you, though you need at least the basic French to do this job.
To find an au pair position, you can start your search from the American Church of Paris, a wonderful place to meet other English speaking individuals and for other English resources.
Start by picking up the magazine 'FUSAC', you will find it just near the main gate. (Till now the best printed resource for English speaking people who need information in Paris). You can also have a look at the notice board, you may find something interesting, and then put your own message there (for which, yes, you will be needing to prepare a 'looking for an Au Pair position' page printed from your computer or a cyber-café and a telephone number where potential families can contact you).
Besides, you can contact different Au Pair agencies in Paris, and you may or may not need to give a commission for the service as often the agencies take commission only from the host family).
A different version of this Au Pair work also exists, and that is to help old people in their houses. There are a lot of old people here in Paris who don't like going to old homes, and also find it difficult living alone in their deserted house. These people will like your company if you are ready to offer them, and along with some some household works, you can easily manage a free lodgment for you plus some pocket money. The choice is really yours.
If you like children and young family, then go for Au Pair jobs, and if you prefer older people, then you choose the later.
.To get a list of some Au Pair agencies in an around Paris, you can go to the Practical Info section of author's Paris Forum site (below).
Happy surfing..Author is a Paris based professional web developer, owning the Web design Paris firm. Apart from developing professional websites for business establishments, author also develops websites of general interest for the english speaking community of Paris. Two interesting websites that can really make the english speakers stay in Paris easier are Paris Forum and Paris people search.
By: Sourav Choudhury