Blog Archives

A Kiwi in the United States- Lessons I learned in America

While living as a kiwi in the United States, I’ve learned a lot about myself that I didn’t expect. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned:   I can stand up for myself Living in American has made me way more assertive. Kiwis are pretty laid back, and we don’t usually make a fuss if […]

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My heart still belongs to Chicago

Ahhh Chicago. The coldest winter I’ve had in my life, prettiest city I’ve ever seen, and the best clubbing I’ve experienced in America.   When I decided to be an Au Pair, I was determined that I would be living in New York City. I imagined myself riding the subway, eating pretzels on the street, […]

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Wondering if you should extend your time as an Au Pair?

There comes a time, about nine months into their year, when an Au Pair is asked the question “would you like to extend with us?” Alternatively, you can choose to extend for a year with a completely different family and live in a different city. I was lucky enough to live for nine months with […]

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My thoughts on the Homeless in America

Six months ago I went out to eat with a friend in the Gaslamp District in San Diego. I’d been here for a year so we were celebrating with some wine and a nice dinner. We were sitting at a table outside people watching as we waited for our food. A few minutes later, a homeless black […]

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The Curse of the American Soccer Mom

Au Pairs have to deal with a lot of crap. Soccer moms fall into this category. We don’t really have these in New Zealand, at least nowhere near as bad as I’ve seen here, but we’re also starting to see these moms who are raising wimpy, bratty kids, who will eventually be wimpy, bratty adults. Because […]

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5 reasons why you should be an Au Pair in America

I’m getting close to the end of my time here in America now, and it’s a very bittersweet feeling. Of course it’s exciting thinking about my travel month, and working and traveling in Australia, but it’s definitely going to very hard to leave my kids and not be able to wake up to the Californian sun anymore. […]

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Getting fat in America

When I was here the first time (in 2007) I was eighteen and I gained over ten pounds (around 6 kg) in four months. I worked at a summer camp for two months and the food there was even worse than most American food, with lots of sloppy joe’s and sugar.  When I got home my mum was shocked, both at […]

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Christmas in Florida

Last Christmas was freezing. I was living in Chicago and literally have never experienced a winter that cold in my life. My host parents were going to New Zealand for two weeks (my host mums a kiwi as well), so I had vacation time and was determined to find some warmth. One of my friend’s […]

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Driving in the United States

It’s hard to get used to driving in a different country, so here is some information about driving in the United States. One thing I love about driving in America is the “turn right on red” rule. Basically if you’re waiting at a red light and no cars are coming you can turn right as long as you […]

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Orientation with Au Pair in America: What to Expect.

A lot of future Au Pairs wonder what Orientation is going to be like so here’s how mine went: Au Pair in America sent us to Connecticut which is around two hours from New York City. I flew into JFK, and after a short wait, I was met at the baggage claim by an Au Pair America representative. […]

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Tipping in the United States

One thing is guaranteed to get me flustered… tipping in the United States. It’s hard to know when and how much, but I think I’ve finally got the hang of it, even if I still find it extremely awkward. Anyone who’s performing a service is expecitng a tip over here, and it’s definitely not optional […]

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The Christchurch Earthquake- A Year Ago Today.

One year ago today, my hometown Christchurch was devastated by a massive earthquake. The damage likely wouldn’t have been as severe if the infrastructure hadn’t already been weakened in the first earthquake measuring 7.1 on the 4th of September 2010. You never think this can happen to your city. Earthquakes happen in other parts of the […]

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Are Kangaroo’s and Koala’s in my future?

I’m thinking about moving to Sydney, Australia for a few months when I’m done with this Au Pair thing. The original plan was to go straight to London, but since it’s looking more and more like I’ll have to head back over that side of the world to get my Youth Mobility Visa, I figure I […]

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Review: Air Pacific and Nadi airport

I flew with Air Pacific in 2011 when I went home to New Zealand for Christmas, and then back to the USA before New Years. Flights were very expensive and Air Pacific was by far the cheapest option so I flew LA-Nadi and Nadi-Auckland return. I had read some unfavorable reviews so I wasn’t exactly excited to […]

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Working as an Au Pair- Some Lessons I’ve Learned.

Since I’ve been doing this for awhile now, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips and hints for anyone thinking about working as an Au Pair in America. Some of my friends also contributed to this list, and believe me I wish I’d known half of this stuff before I started! So here are […]

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“I’m…um…an Au Pair”- why are we ashamed to admit it?

One thing I wasn’t expecting when I arrived in America was the realization that being an Au Pair was something to be ashamed of. This was soon obvious when shortly after arriving I went clubbing with a group of Au Pair friends. “Ooh foreign girls”, one guy said. “What are you doing here?” “Studying.” My friend […]

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Texas I love you.

I wasn’t expecting to love Texas. In fact I was glad we were just going for a weekend and wouldn’t be wasting any of our precious vacation time on it. So I was surprised when Austin became one of my favorite places in North America. Austin “Keep Austin Weird” is the unofficial slogan of Austin, and with bumper […]

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Au Pair in America-Some Things You Should Know

If you’re thinking about applying for a job as an Au Pair, here are some things you should know: You earn US$200 a week. It’s not much, but you’re not paying for rent, groceries, utilities etc. However if you want to travel, you’ll need to control your spending.   The program is for one year, and you […]

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Americans: Are the Stereotypes true?

We all have preconceptions about other countries, and let’s face it: America doesn’t have the greatest reputation overseas. Let me be clear here: when I say “Americans” I’m talking about North Americans. Down under in little New Zealand we tend to generalize and North Americans are usually just “Americans”, and if you’re from say Brazil […]

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