Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Au Pair in Germany

According to Wikipedia: Au Pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country - working & living for a host family. Your job and responsibilities includes helping out with childcares & household chores. Since Au Pair is a french term that means ''on par'' or  ''equal to'' -- it is expected to be treated as an equal member to the host family.


So far, the German Embassy in Manila requires the following:
-- Age Limit of at least 18 years old but not more than 24 years old upon submission of the application.
-- Must have the A1 certificate as proof of basic knowledge of the German language
-- Contract for the Au-pair relationship must be at least 6 months but not more than 1 year
-- there must be at least 1 under-age child or minor in the host family
-- There must be no kinship between the Au-Pair and the host parents.
**NOTE: kindly double check on the website of the German Embassy in Manila for updates or changes of rule.

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I am lucky & a month ago, I was able to meet a new friend who is an Au Pair. I took this chance & ask her regarding her experiences so we can share it on this blog. This is our way of helping to other people who wanted to know more about this topic. Read on about her experiences, observations & advises.

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DOCUMENTATIONS

-- She need to make an appointment via the callcenter of the German Embassy in Manila. 
-- She was interviewed twice: (1) the agent who checks her documents, & (2) the Consular officer who checks on her basic German language skills.
-- Since she needs a residence permit to stay here in Germany, her waiting time after the submission of application is around 2 - 3 months.
-- Her host family here in Germany needs to have the ''contract'' authenthicated at the Philippine Embassy in Berlin. This is also to protect the Au Pair. 
-- When her visa gets approved, her host family was also notified by the Embassy.
-- She also need to attend the CFO seminar and obtain the CFO sticker.


OTHER INFORMATION

-- Currently, the standard monthly allowance for Au Pair in Germany is around 260€ -- though some host families offer more than that. Comparing to other allowances in other European Countries, this is consider abit low.
-- Some of the host families are willing to pay for the Au Pair's plane ticket. However, there are others such as my friend's host family who doesn't since there are cases where the host family send money but the Au Pair never shows up. But thru saving most of your allowances, you can earn the plane ticket money back.
-- If you love kids, then Au Pair-ing is for you. Or if not that much, then must possess a long patience. If also not, then maybe it's time to re-think it over as it may not be workable for you & the host parents. A great deal of flexibility will be a big plus!

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I also ask her to list down the Pro's & the Con's based on her experiences. Here they are:

PROs

-- You get to travel to Germany and stay for a year! 
-- You can get some perks such as a travel card so you can go ''tourist mode'' & explore the city you are in.
-- You get to meet new friends.
-- You get to learn the culture firsthand & improved your German language.


CONs

-- Since its a totally different culture & have different preferred child rearing, expect to have a compromise with the host mom from time to time.
 -- Since you are going to spend with a family that is foreign and totally different from you, expects to have some ackward moments.
-- In terms of free time, there is no definite schedule for that. If you plan to go out on a specific day, you need to tell them in advance. However, the working hours is definite at 25 hours / week.
-- In terms of food, be prepared to eat potatoes and breads instead of rice everyday or most of the time at your host family place.
-- Expect to encounter homesickness.

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For my friend, she have mixed emotion regarding the Au Pairing but admits that it was quite an experience. She would definitely recommend this to others if they are in for an adventure! She did get to meet other Au Pairs who are not after the cultural experiences but consider this as a means of earning money. Others who just wanted to have a vacation in another country, while there are some more with other reasons.

Whatever reasons a person have in considering to do Au Pair, she believes you  need to be:

1. Emotionally strong. The German people are straight forward who do not hesistate to talk their mind off but with no intention to hurt anyone's feelings. Filipinoes, on the other hand, are mostly emotional type.

2. Physically healthy. Like in the Philippines, the weather here in Germany is also crazy. But you are dealing with cold or colder temperatures.


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My friend & I sincerely hope that we get to give you an overview picture of what to expect when you apply for Au Pair in Germany. And for those who will push thru with their plan to experience the life of an Au-Pair: we wish you a happy adventure! 

Good luck!



12 comments:

  1. My host family just sent me a contract and invitation letter but do they need to authenticate it first then mail it to me via courier?and another thing, I don't have any idea how to speak German will that be ok?
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Thank you for dropping by. With regards to your questions, I asked the advice of my Au-Pair friend and this is what she replied:

      1. She initially got her contract without Red Ribbon, but she was able to process her documents (German Embassy Manila receive it without question). However, upon attending the CFO, CFO ask for the Red Ribbon - this in turn had cause her delay. [you won't be able to fly out of the country without the CFO sticker].

      To sum up: the contract should be notarized (in Germany), Authenticated at the Philippine Embassy in Berlin (by your host family) & translated to english.

      2. One of your requirement is to obtain the A1 Certificate. This is your proof of knowledge of German language. This is for your own good as well as not everyone here can speak or understand the english language.

      Hope it helps! Good luck!!

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  2. Thank you! It does help a lot. But my host family wanted me in Germany by January and I don't have the time to study German because I currently have two jobs and it would be impossible to have time for it. And it says on the German embassy website that they will only need the contract, invitation letter, passport, photos, and NSO. How does an interview happen?
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello again Anonymous,
      I made a quick check on the German Embassy Manila for the list of requirements for Au-Pair. Under the 'requirements' is the: Basic knowledge of the Au-Pair of the German language. If you read a little further, there is a category: Basic Knowledge of the German Language. This is where they included a link to Goethe Institut Manila regarding the examination schedule for the 'Start Deutsch 1' (this is the A1 Certificate when you take the exam).

      I heard its possible to pass the exam without taking formal German classes. Just do self study & when you felt you are ready, contact the Goethe Institut for the schedule of exam and registration. Though I admit I have NOT personally met anyone who have tried it this way YET.

      When in doubts, please redirect yourself to the German Embassy Manila as they are the best individuals to confirm regarding the documents needed (such as the A1 Certificate). I can only share from our experiences but we (Au-Pair friend & myself) are no way connected to the Embassy. Kindly re-read my Blog Disclaimer.

      Regarding the interview, you need to make an appointment with them. The instructions are listed in the German Embassy website: can be via person or via the call center. For my personal experiences & tips: kindly go to 2012-January under the Blog Archive. Though our situations are different: the 'visa appointment' & 'Interview at the German Embassy Manila' entries may interest you.

      Good luck! :)

      Delete
  3. Thank you and i have another question, They have scheduled an appointment for me this coming October. What do i have to bring to the embassy on the day of my submission?Do i need to bring my medical certificate and other documents besides what where required of me to bring on their website. I am from Cebu and it would be so much help if I dont have to fly back and forth from Cebu just for some missing papers. Thank you so much and sorry for being "makulit". =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello again Anonymous,
      My apology for a slightly delayed reply. Good to hear about your appointment and hope you have a smooth transaction with them. :) As for what to bring, only the ones written on the official website are enough. They will double check your documents and will give you a checklist incase you are lacking them. But JUST INCASE a document is needed right away, you can ask for instruction on how to mail it to them. Medical Certificate, to my knowledge, is part of the requirement for people heading to the U.S. , but NOT to Germany. Hope I get to answer all your questions. & gosh, don't worry & I don't find you 'makulit' YET. (Hehe. Joke lang!) Basta feel free in sending in your questions & I will do my best to answer them. :) I went thru visa processing and nakaka loka nga naman in a way. :)

      Have a happy and safe trip to Manila! Good luck! :)

      Delete
  4. Hi! Thank you for the information. Can you give me some idea on what the consular will ask in the interview? And by the way. I already took basic german course in goethe and valid until oct. 2014 and already have a host family in germany and wants me to be with them as soon as possible. We have an agent who will assist us there,but failed to reply on time. should I be the one who will set the appointment for au pair visa? Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon. Vielen Dank!;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mr. Aprejillo,
      Thank you for your questions.
      My friend said that she was interviewed twice:
      (1) the girl who assisted her at the window where you give your documents
      -- Ask info about self and educational or work background, how did you meet your host parents & so on.
      (2) German who is working for the embassy.
      -- interview just to test your German language abit (A1 questions like your name & other basic informations) & ask what would you like to do after the Au-Pair year.
      To clarify, she did not go through an agency so she directly applied at the Embassy & asked for an appointment herself. She is unsure what are the procedures on the case you have an agent to 'help' you.
      When I have my family reunion visa done, I also do not have an agent... so I am not sure how to advice you from here. But if we may suggest that if you have all the documents ready that you can ask for an appointment (or call via the call center).
      Incase you felt that we misunderstood your letter & is sending you to a different direction, kindly message me again. Good luck to you!!! :)

      Delete
  5. What are the accredited au pair agencies to Germany in The Philippines? Or where did u apply as an au pair in germany before? thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the super late reply.
      My friend look on own and did not went thru an agency.

      Delete
  6. Thank you for your reply. I already have host fam and scheduled for visa interview on 1st week of August.Do u have any tips on how to ace the visa interview?

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  7. hi,just want to ask kung may previous visa denial ka eh mkaapekto ba ito kung mag.aaply ako ng au pair..hope for your reply

    ReplyDelete