Tips for Becoming an Au Pair in France


2 minutes

Thinking about becoming an au pair in France? Excellent! Take a moment to read through the following key points, which will help you gather your thoughts and prepare.

An InterExchange Au Pair at Pont Neuf in Paris
An InterExchange Au Pair at Pont Neuf in Paris
Image courtesy of Mary Hannah

1. Prioritize host family connection

You want to make sure you feel good about the people you’ll be living with for up to a year, even if they don’t live in the heart of Paris. Location flexibility is key.

Having some flexibility about family size and kids’ ages is also important. Don’t match with a host family who has three-year-old twins if you’re uncomfortable working with toddlers, but if you have at least some flexibility regarding the kids’ ages, it can make the matching process faster.

Your agency will look for a good fit, but you’re a big part of the matching process and should take your time, asking all the questions you need when chatting with potential hosts.

2. Know the Au Pair France visa requirements

Make sure you know what’s required to make your Au Pair France program official. For long-term au pairs (anything more than three months) this means you need a visa. You’ll have to visit a French embassy or consulate with a basic agreement between you and your host family, along with other documentation and money for the visa fee.

Starting in March, 2019, regulations for au pairs traveling to France include a limit of 25 working hours per week with the family. Your agency can speak with you about other rules and regulations that apply to you and your host family during your program.

3. Put thought into your au pair application

Host families want to be confident that they’re making a good choice, just as you want to be sure you’re joining a good home. Choose family-friendly photos. Have someone review your spelling and grammar.

TIP: Including a 20-second selfie video where you introduce yourself to potential families will give your application a personal touch and can go a long way towards instilling confidence.

Marissa B with Her Host Family
Marissa B with Her Host Family
Image courtesy of Marissa

4. Brush up on your French language skills

You don’t have to be conversational in French to be an au pair in France, but it helps if you get comfortable with the basics before traveling. You’re joining a French host family so you should do your best to talk the talk! Once you’re matched ask us about connecting with French speakers for virtual language exchanges so you can squeeze some extra practice in before you travel.

Learn more about the process to become an au pair in France

At the Park with the Kids
At the Park with the Kids
Image courtesy of Pexels

James Bridge

James manages the programs for U.S. citizens at InterExchange.

Au Pair France
Au Pair France

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U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation