Post # 1
I am in the process of the next step in my life as an au pair (nanny). The 2 countries I’ve always wanted to visit before I die are Ireland and Spain. I need some outside advice and perspective on where to go! Here are my pros and cons for each:
Spain: I took many spanish classes in HS and college, and have lost a lot of it but always promised myself I would become fluent. Spain is warmer and the family I’m talking to now is right on the coast, so after living in Kansas my whole life, living on the beach sounds pretty appealing.
Ireland: I love the culture of Ireland and feel like I would enjoy the people more. And of the 2 I think Ireland is way prettier. Plus I feel like it’s be easier to immerse myself in the culture since it will be less touristy..It will be freezing/raining there most of the time…:(
Anyone been one or both of these countries? What was your experience like? Advice? Tips? Thanks!
Post # 3
I vote Spain! That’s where I would go. The climate, the opportunity to learn a new language…
Post # 4
Do you have a work visa for either of those countries? Or do you mean, which to go to for a visit?
Post # 5
@Horseradish: Whichever I decide, I will get all the necessary paperwork. I am just starting the process, and deciding where to go is the first step!
Post # 6
I vote Spain for the language. I’ve lost so much of my French and Spanish competence since finishing my BA, and I wish I could spend some more time immersed in the languages so that I could regain my fluency.
Post # 7
My friend actually was an au pair in Spain this past year and loved it. Her host family had a house in the city and then a cottage in Valencia and it was a really amazing experience for her. Here Spanish was basic when she left and very good when she returned.
Post # 8
i vote go for what ever family you fit best with.
As a Nanny ( of two familys) I can say that is the most important factor. Both countries will be equally amazing. I am biast against Ireland ( red hair and such) but spain seems to have a good amount of bennifit for you.
Post # 9
@shrubfish09: that’s the thing, though. Both Ireland and Spain have incredibly high unemployment rates, and getting approved for a work visa as a Nanny might be beyond difficult. Here’s an excerpt from expatica.com which is a great resource for expats:
Landing a job requires the Spanish Employment Institute (http://www.inem.es) to agree that this position cannot be filled by any other Spanish or EU citizen. If this isn’t the case your employer will have to be interviewed to make a claim for you to work for them.
Ireland is probably not going to be any easier. The unemployment rate is near 13% and there are loads of Irish/Spanish/EU citizens who would be more than qualified as an au pair/nanny. I’m not going to say that you’ll never get a work visa in those countries; but it’s going to be very, very hard and you need to figure out what you can offer that no one in those countries can offer (speaking English and teaching English isn’t enough unfortunately).
you may be more successful to find an American family to work for who travels a lot. If you want to peruse the dream though, it may be easier to figure out which countries are the easiest for a non-citizen to get work papers.
PS Spain is very aggressive about making sure people are not over-staying their tourist visas or working while on a tourist visa. Ireland probably is too, but I don’t have any first-hand knowledge there.
Post # 10
I adored Ireland and spent three weeks there with one day of rain. I know it isnt always or even often nice, but when it is, it is incredible. Though I wouldnt agree it would be less touristy. After their tech bubble burst, a huge sector of Irish economy is based in tourism, which is part of why I am sure everyone we met there was so incredibly nice. But it is an amazing country I plan to take Darling Husband back to soon!
Post # 11
@Horseradish: I will be getting a student visa
Post # 12
@shrubfish09: then you can’t work for pay in most cases. Make sure you understand very clearly what your visa allows you to do. If you get deported you might not be allowed back into the EU ever again. It is very easy to get caught.
Post # 13
Also, definitely go through an agency! They will be able to help you along the way in terms of paperwork, placement and expectations as well as a good central contact while in another country.
Post # 14
I would love to go back to Spain, so that gets my vote!
Post # 15
Im at school in Ireland at the moment. I have EU citizenship, so i didnt need a visa, but i know my canadian classmates are not able to work on their student visas, so make sure you get the right paperwork. Also there arent alot of families around that would require a nanny (i havent met a single one, and i am a medical student in the hospitals, so i would assume the most likely crowd to have a nanny would be the doctors and such). Alot of the families stay close together, and its assumed a family member will mind the children and house… Its just in their culture… . At least in the peripheries… I havent lived in Dublin though, so it may be different there.
it is a highly tourist rich country, especially the “prettier” places. The coasts are pure tourist towns, as is dublin. And youll still see a fair share of tourists (and their massive buses that really dont fit on their roads (ex. a)) in the more central locations during the summer.
its a nice place to live, and most people are super friendly. The weather can get gloomy in the winter and my skin has become so pale im pretty much translucent…
Also plan on paying for healthcare. Im from canada where all my doctor and hospital visits are covered, and having to pay while in hospital last year set me back a few grand that i really couldnt afford…
Post # 16
Spain, purely because the langauge learning would be so great!