2021 LoveMyHostFamily Contest Alumni Winner and Runner-up

/2021 LoveMyHostFamily Contest Alumni Winner and Runner-up


Au Pair: Adriana, Colombia

Host Family: Peterson Family

Being an Au pair changed my life and I’m ready to share my story with you now. Please join me as I tell you how beautiful and inspiring this journey has been! Everything started when I decided being in the Au pair Program could be a great opportunity to improve my English skills and work as a professional translator back in Colombia (my home country).

I was really scared of leaving everything just to have a better opportunity in life. I video-called with many different families all over the united states for almost a year; but to be honest, I didn’t feel that ‘instant click’ everybody was talking about. I was sad and worried that I thought I had wasted my money, time, dreams and effort; until I received an email out of the middle of nowhere (my host family was from Alaska, so it counts basically as the middle of nowhere lol). At the first skype conversation, I felt it… the magic, the famous “click”.

We started the process, and yes I was crossing half of the globe in September 2015. Don’t make fun of me, but I’ve seen a lot of “American movies” and my favorite singers are from the USA. So I thought I knew the culture pretty well, ie. that the people don’t lock their doors the way that we do in Latin America and that I was destined to eat fast-food all the time. Also, I assumed people liked to have house parties all the time. I know this might sound silly and ignorant but it was my perception lol. But let me tell you, it was far from reality.

My host family showed me what life in America was really like, by meeting their neighbors, friends, family, exploring places together, trying a variety of food and of course including me as a member of their family! Now I know that even in the USA there are many ways of living, different accents, different beliefs and special celebrations. Definitely one of my favorite days that I really enjoyed all the time was the 4th of July! It is beautiful to see all the people coming together, the parades, the food stands, the kids playing in the streets, the fireworks, oh dear, that was awesome! Another memorable aspect I really enjoyed of the American life is the variety of culture, beliefs, ideologies, the way pedestrians are important in the streets and cars should yield (If you have driven in Colombia or another Latin American country, you know what I’m talking about…lol!) and you know what? I kept all these beautiful things that I have learned in the USA into my daily life, such as sharing special dates not only with my family and friends, but also inviting neighbors to hang out as well.

After this experience I’m rich!! Why? Because I found the best treasure humans can have: friends all over the world! I met so many Au pairs of different ages, races and places and after four years, I still speak with many of them! I also met many American citizens from many different states and I had the chance to visit them, exploring their cities and hanging out with their friends and family too! Personally, I will say this experience helped me a lot to overcome my shyness. It made me more open-minded and kind, seeing and understanding the world from a different perspective. I don’t take anything for granted now.

As I mentioned previously, I was supposed to be a translator, that’s what I studied for and what my family expected me to be. But during that time, I discovered that my real passion was in hospitality and working with people of different nationalities. Because my English is fluent now and I know different cultures, I became really good with international customer service. When I meet people in my daily life and I tell them that I lived in Alaska for two years, they are impressed (it’s definitely an ice-breaker) yay! Nowadays I am happy, serene and with no regrets. I have so many beautiful memories every time I remember it.
Although I finished this program a long time ago, I keep in touch with my host family and even visited them before covid started; it felt like no time had passed! We still chat and share videos and photos to update each other on our lives. We made a connection for life. The pandemic that shutdown the world was a big challenge but I definitely appreciate the fact that I could video-call any of my friends, remember our trips together, our adventures and dreams. It really helped me to not feel alone or depressed during these times. Being an Au pair was one of the best decisions I ever made!


Au Pair: Nayad, Brazil

Host Family: Imes Family

Hello, my name is Nayad and I am Brazilian, I’ve been an Au Pair during 2016/2017 and I am now living in New Zealand since February/2020 all because of a scholarship I got and a lot of this is thanks to the Au Pair program.

Now I work in the marketing industry which is the field I graduated from back at home and also the same subject I took my classes while in the USA.
If it wasn’t for the program I wouldn’t have find myself and the place I want to occupy in the world. It helped me to build my confidence and learn how to stand up for myself, which is a necessary trait for succeeding in life, in my personal opinion.

If it wasn’t for the Au pair program I wouldn’t have developed my English so well and maybe wouldn’t haven got this amazing scholarship opportunity here.
Also, being in a beautiful country like the US and being given the opportunity to travel you inspire you to go even further and discover more of the world. The program helped me to achieve some of my biggest dreams related to that and I am so thankful.

Being away from home sometimes can be hard and you will face a lot of challenges, but the family I was living with made me feel welcome and part of their lives as much as they could. I learned so much about people and about myself. It’s so important to have someone you can talk to and that share their lives with you and make you feel at home away from home. I was so thankful for finding a family that made me feel good that me and the kids once made a little surprise thank you party for their mom and we made a huge card and baked a cake as well. It was so nice to get everyone involved.

I personally always loved the United States, and being there made me feel like I was in a movie so many times. From the most simple things as seeing the yellow buses go around while picking up the kids at school from the training in NYC, everything was magical. I loved being there for s’mores and 4th of July fireworks and to see beautiful and different landscapes, seeing snow for the first time and also going snowboarding for the first time! My favorite thing about our home  was that they had this huge window in the living room where I would see the sunset everyday and it was amazing.

I am such a sky affectionate and everyone knew, that I remember once while the oldest kid was learning how to drive and there was this rainbow up in the sky and she knew I liked it so she parked somewhere so we could take pictures, and it was so sweet of her. We would share playlists, talk about life, all those things. Also, one of my favorite memories was coming home with the kids from school and having a snow fight, the laughs and smiles warm my heart to this day when I remember.

Me and the kids keep in touch through social media and it’s crazy to see their pictures on Instagram, all growing up some going to college and some almost graduating college already. I can’t wait to come visit them again and see everybody.

I am so thankful for the opportunity I had there because it made me become more of the person I want to be. It was like a first step into a world of opportunities and dreams to be achieved. I believe that everything we live, if we take the time to learn and do it with an open heart, we can get the best out of it and that’s what I did while I was there.

So now I live in New Zealand – for now – but I know that there is so much more to come, more languages to learn, places to visit, dreams to turn into reality. But if I hadn’t take the first step to be an Au Pair maybe nothing of what I am living now would be possible. I remember saying that my year as an Au Pair was a year to make dreams come true because I did so many cool things and now I realize how much impact it had on the life I live today.
It might not always be easy but it’s worth it all the time and it was one of the best and more enriching experiences of my life and if that was a year to make dreams come true, now I feel like I have the my whole life to do that.

By |2023-10-23T10:47:04+00:00September 1st, 2021|LoveMyHostFamily Contest|

About the Author:

Shonna has worked for Go Au Pair for 9 years. She started as a Placement Coordinator creating connections between Host Families and Au Pairs. Then moved in to the Au Pair and International space working with Au Pairs from all over the world. Now she writes helpful, inspiring, and fun content for Go Au Pair. If you are interested in sharing your experience, or if you have questions or would like assistance, please reach out to @ShonnaAuPairSis on Facebook or email sanderson@goaupair.com.
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