Topic: How the Au Pair Program Has Impacted Your Life
Reezah, from South Africa, talks about his experience and how his life has been forever changed by the U.S. Au Pair Program in this interview with the Au Pair Sis.
Reezah has had such a wonderful time with his Host Family, he was the first Au Pair to turn in a nomination for the 2018 #LoveMyHostFamily Contest! In his nomination letter, he says that, from the very beginning, his Host Family “made it very clear that I’m not just an Au Pair.”
“It’s not every day complete strangers open up their homes to someone who they only met on a video call. The reception I’ve gotten so far is more than I could have asked for.”
Reezah says he joined the Au Pair program because he wanted to find out if he could “survive life in another country.” But this turned out to be easier than he anticipated, as he says Bynum Family “really pulled out all the stops when it came to making sure I was comfortable.”
Great Host Parents
Even more than this, the Bynums supported Reezah in achieving his goals in the program.
“It makes me feel good to know that I’ll always have a solid team behind me making sure that I’m well cared for & do all the things I dreamt of for as long as I can remember.”
Among Reezah’s goals are learning to become a better person, and making a “success” of himself.
“I know for a fact they are going to make sure… that I reach and achieve everything I set out to do… people who would go through this much effort for a complete stranger definitely deserve to be given credit. It’s no easy task making sure someone is comfortable in another country, and they do all of it without breaking a sweat.”
Reezah says his mentality and outlook on life have been forever changed by the U.S. Au Pair program.
“I have not even been here for two months and it feels like I’ve stayed in America for years.”
Watch the Video Interview
Or, skim the timestamps (below video) to hear more about how Reezah feels his life has been forever changed by the U.S. Au Pair program. Reezah also shares his personal tips for other Au Pairs, and he describes what it’s been like to bond with his Host Kids & Host Parents.
00:40 – Why Reezah joined the Au Pair program
“To see if I can survive in another country by myself… [It will] just be motivational, because now I have this background. I’ve lived in America for a year or two. And it just gives you a confidence to do things you never thought you would have.
“My goals were just to challenge myself, being a new environment, being with a different type of child. Just challenging myself to see if I can make a success of myself.”
1:30 – Bonding with Host Family
“You never know what to expect. Like, when I got here, the family was really sweet & they immediately made me feel like I’m being taken care of and they have my back in every possible way. So, it was a nice surprise to come and find out that, uh, [it’s] not as bad as you could make it out to be.”
1:55 – Cultural Differences
“There were some words that I didn’t know even existed, because we speak a different type of English in South Africa… And just like, how much infrastructure there is. From little kids to big kids, they all have a big chance & big opportunities to make it in sprots & that’s something I really admire about America.”
“The way I think [has changed], in the way I look after myself, in the way I do things. Like, it mainly changed me in more ways than one. Like, even my diet changed, the way I eat. I eat healthier food [now].”
3:20 – Personal goals as an Au Pair
“Having the family be pleased with the work I do. And they show their appreciation all the time, I can’t ask for more than that. It was really important for me. I came with the intention of working really hard, and just like, wanted to be acknowledged for the work I do. So, they never let me forget how much they appreciate the work I do. So, it’s very comforting to know that, because it goes hand in hand in making this whole journey work.”
“The goal is to hopefully extend… I’ve been enjoying my time so much.”
“It’s just like, little things that [are] gonna make me a better person. And like, do a lot better at the things I’m trying to achieve… Like I said, they just make it very comfortable for me [to do that].”
4:45 – Bonding with Host Family
“Having the relationship with the kids that I have… From Day 1, it was like now I have four little brothers and sisters. So, immediately we [were] very affectionate and very close. I have an impact on them and they appreciate me being here. And like, they have a big influence on me wanting to stay, because me wanting to stay is coming from them. So, that’s something that really motivates me to wanna continue to like, go with them on this journey…
“It’s really great. And we have a blast every single day… It means so much to me.”
“There wasn’t a moment when I felt excluded or singled out. They included me in every single thing.”
6:54 – How Reezah’s life has been forever changed by the U.S. Au Pair program
“You’re doing [this job] for such a long period of time, and it becomes such a routine, that everything else you do just becomes a little bit easier… By doing things at such a pace, you learn to do a lot more than you thought yourself capable. So yeah, it’s going to help a lot in the future because now, you can handle a lot more than you thought. And you can have better opportunities, better jobs, because you can handle a lot more.”
“Now, I don’t think the same as I used to like, a year ago. I don’t think impossible is something that exists for me anymore. Like, that’s just a word that exists, but it’s not a real thing. Because, if you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t do. I’m basically living proof of that.
“100%, there’s no way I would’ve adopted like, a new way of going forward in life if it wasn’t for being in the Au Pair program.”
Many other Au Pairs say their lives have been forever changed by the U.S. Au Pair program. Read: America Gives Au Pairs Freedom
8:06 – Observations about America
“Family is very important in America. And, like, how everyone respects like, America in general. Like, the love that Americans have for their country. That’s something that really stands out for me. By the past holidays that have been, and Memorial day, like that was something that I really admired a lot, when I got to learn what it’s about and what it means.”
8:52 – Tips for Au Pairs
“There’s no time to be negative or down… Life moves so fast, you can’t doubt anything. You just have to keep pushing forward, bad day, good day. You just like, have to keep it moving forward… It took me a while to adjust to, but once you get used to that, nothing’s gonna stop you from getting what you want.”
“I didn’t know this was going to happen, like, so much change and positive effects on me.”
Has your life been forever changed by the U.S. Au Pair program?
Tell us about your experience in the comments, or message the Au Pair Sis on Facebook to share your story!