There is a topic that personally caused me a lot of curiosity before subscribing to the Au Pair program, HOW MUCH AM I GOING TO SPEND? (Or well… my mom hihi)
Something I have to tell you now is that the Au Pair program is the CHEAPEST thing that I have seen, because when I was in junior high I started to look for programs to study abroad, things like school years, camps, cultural trips and more… from this, indeed, everything is VERY EXPENSIVE :( or at least for me at that moment.
When you start to find out in private agencies like Cultural Care and Au Pair Travel or Au Pair in America (that's mine, find out below why I chose ) they send you a presentation where they describe every detail of the program like the concept, the requirements , the costs, among other things ...
According to my research, prices SHOULD NOT be altered between agencies (at least in Mexico), it may vary in payment but not quantity ... all of these prices in my opinion prices are VERY CHEAP, especially for how much they offer (Go abroad, getting a job, house, food, studies, airfare, training, etc.)
My agency offered me making the payments in 3 exhibitions, to that I added my visa requirement and trips to Guadalajara (I live in a small town 3 hours away where there is no consulate) and I made a little board like this:
What I spent was a little more, remember that you have to ADD small expenses like RECORDS , the LICENSING (if you do not have 'em), COPIES , among other things. And all these expenses vary in cities, countries, etc..
I hope this chart can help you calculate how much you are going to spend as an Au Pair, if you're not Mexican just change the Currency Exchange (click to go to a currency converter). You should add to the table other areas where you think you'll spend also.
Now, getting back to the agency, I chose Au Pair in America for the following reasons:
1. Because the mom of a person that I knew was the one who was selling the programs in my town, and that person I knew, was in USA Au Pairing! That gave me a lot more confidence, knowing that somebody nearby could give me references.
2. More than 5 girls in my town had gone with that program (the lady I mentioned earlier had helped them manage the paperwork).
3. Because it felt safer to have someone to help me with the paperwork, in my case I live in a small city and other agencies had only branch in big cities (remember, 3 hours away).
4. And definitely cause if someone sends her daughter to WORK to America, knowing there is CRAZY people out there and you RECOMMENDED it, it must be because she is very sure that the agency is serious.
I could not tell you which agency is better, I have only heard good stuff about mine and so far I am very happy and tranquil because they have helped me a lot, I advise you to research before choosing and search experiences from other Au Pairs with their agencies, REMEMBER that you are going to LIVE with a family and it is 1 YEAR, must be prevented before regret.
Are you happy with your agency? Did it cost the same to you to being Au Pair? I want to know your opinion :)
Until next time, Amelia ;)