What I Do: How would you like to be paid to live abroad? If so, you could do what I do - live with a family and take care of their children. I'm an au pair (that's pronounced "oh pear") working in Madrid, Spain. The Olivera's are a busy, two-career couple who needed a live-in nanny for their three children. They hired me, an American, because they wanted their kids to learn to speak English. In return for my services, I receive a modest salary, room and board, and regular days off.
Best & Hardest Parts of My Job: Anyone who's taken care of kids knows how challenging that can be! Among other things, I prepare their meals, take them to the park, and make sure they do their homework. As a bonus, I get to experience a whole new culture while I do my everyday activities. Living with a family is the best way to learn about another country. Plus, I've made lots of new friends and have taken some great trips!
How I Got Started: If you're interested in becoming an au pair, you should contact a placement agency specializing in that type of work. Typically, you have to be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma, and have previous childcare experience. Most agencies want you to agree to a minimum of one year on the job. If you like your new family as much as I like mine, you'll probably want to stay longer!