Ellie’s au pair life : My tips to prepare for departure to France

I crossed the Earth from New Zeland to France. How to prepare my departure for such a faraway country?

#1. Here are finally my tips if you are wondering how packaging to go to France as an au pair

#Tip 1 : Don’t overpack. Just because you’re going far away, doesn’t mean you need to take everything with you. You’ll have lots of exposure to new things and will probably end up filling at least a suitcase worth of stuff. So unless you’re coming in winter and want to bring your ski gear, or don’t plan on doing too much shopping (souvenirs and tee shirts from cool experiences included!), pack light. Kiwi’s love simplicity anyway, and fashion isn’t such a big deal here!

#Tip 2 : Have a get-together with your friends and family before you go. Ask them to write a secret note for you to take with you to help with homesickness. Keep the notes in a wallet or little box.

#Tip 3 : Take some treats and items from your country with you to share with your host family

#Tip 4 Join Facebook groups and connect with other au pairs overseas before you arrive.

# Tip 5 : Try to see what activities and transport systems run in your area. Get yourself excited for the opportunities that await you.

#Tip 6 : On departure day, be at the airport in plenty of time so that you can just chill out and not stress about any technical issues with checking in, or long queues. It’s going to be a loooooong journey anyway, so adding a little bit of extra time at the start to mentally prepare for it, is actually a great idea. It’s not so common in France to hang out at the airport before going through the departure gate. Whereas NZ airports have spaces to do that with your family and friends, I’d highly recommend it!


#2.And now my tips for adapting easily in France

#Tip 1 : Remember that most French people will greet you with the ‘bises’. Don’t worry about how many they’ll give you – just go with the flow.

#Tip 2 : Make sure you know how to say phrases such as ‘I don’t understand’, ‘Please can you repeat that? and ‘Could you please speak slower?’ because sometimes French people can talk very fast and there are lots of words that sound similar or the same.

#Tip 3 : Be open to trying new food – especially different types of cheeses. (If you really don’t like cheese (funnily enough I didn’t unless it was melted), you should let your host family know early on.)

#Tip 4 : Be yourself – the reason you are in France is that your host family wants you to be there, knowing that you come from a different culture and background. Share stories with them and try to find things you have in common.

Have fun and embrace the différences!

I and my French host brother

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