LSI offers Demi-au-pair programmes at our schools in Australia and New Zealand. For many young people this is becoming a popular way to study English long term and to learn about the local culture and people. These programmes allow LSI students to study on a General English course whilst working part-time within a Kiwi or Aussie family helping out with childcare and housework. We asked two students to tell us their thoughts about the programme.
Michelle Seigies comes from Germany and she worked with her Aussie family for nearly 6 months. ” In Germany I’d done baby sitting and helped out in a kindergarden whilst at high school but that was it really. Luckily, I had a really great family , just a mum and her 10 year old son and I stayed in their house, a typical Australian home – a large bungalow with ‘yard’. The family were used to having demi-pairs so that made it all quite easy.”
“The programme was perfect. Studying at the school gave me the opportunity to improve my English but also to make life long friends which, I think, also helps as you can explore Australia together. By being part of a family I was able to get to know the Australian lifestyle as well as practice my English. Yes sure, there were some difficult or stressful times in the family, like any family, but I would say the programme is amazing for people like me, who want to work part-time and improve their English.”
Alexis is from France, and he worked with his Aussie family for 6 months. “The family I stayed with was very nice, and it was quite easy as the host family children were 13 and 16 years old. Mostly my duties involved driving them to places, preparing lunches and their school uniforms. The house was lovely with a swimming pool and tennis court. I would say that most of the families who have demi-pairs have money and live in nice houses. I found that the LSI schedule fitted perfectly with my demi-pair duties. I was able to drop the children at school, go to class and then pick the children up after my classes.”
Michelle had a similar experience in terms of juggling her studies with her childcare duties. “It wasn’t a problem for me to coordinate the childcare and study, especially because my host mother supported me and gave me less jobs to do when I said that I needed more time to study. In fact as you only work between 15 to 20 hours per week, there’s always time to study.”
Alexis summed up his experience , “To be an Au Pair is a really good experience. You discover a new culture and can really learn English but it is really important to find a good family here to make the most of the experience!”
Michelle offers one more tip. “Don’t forget to plan enough time for your travels after your stay in the host family. You can’t imagine how big Australia is and how much there is to see!”
Thanks Michelle and Alexis for sharing your thoughts. We hope this has inspired more of you to try the LSI Demi Pair Programme.