Bring on the rest of my adventure!

My name is Sarah, I am 18 from Australia.

My adventure started when I received my results at the end of year 11 and I decided that I wanted to have a gap year.  I have had a fascination with London and England/ Europe for quite a while so this was my chance to live my dream!

Forms and information was all sent in and my parents believed that I was actually serious on wanting to move across the world to London. So when I received a profile from a family in Leeds I was a bit divided, where they seemed to be a lovely family, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live so far from London.

How I was wrong.

1

I have been so lucky to have been blessed with the most amazing host family. The children are wonderful and my host parents are amazing and have made me feel at home, a month in and I feel like I am part of the family, which I felt from day one!

The day I was leaving came by way too quick for mine and my families liking. I am very close with all my family so saying goodbye to everyone at the airport was really hard. Thirty hours later I arrived at Manchester airport to be greeted by my host Dad, and we drove back to Leeds, and after meeting my host Mum we walked to the kid’s school to pick them up. When Hannah (Host Mum) and I walked into Lucy’s (5) classroom everyone, even the teacher, was excited to see me, apparently that is all they had been hearing about all day!

2

To begin with, jetlag and getting lost were the biggest things on my mind. I was so worried I would get lost, or not be able to sleep for two weeks.  Having moved across the world, I was now eleven hours behind the time I was used to, so at about 4-5pm I would started getting really tired and explaining this to a 5 year old was a bit difficult but Oliver (9), completely understood, he would work out what time it was in Australia, so we could explain to Lucy that my body is thinking that it should be asleep right now or just waking up.

I have only gotten lost on one occasion in the city which is fabulous! Google maps and widespread free WIFI helps with this a lot!!

To be honest I haven’t missed home all that much so far. I have had a few days where I have shed a few tears and said I wanted to go home after the Skype has not worked or my parents haven’t answered my calls. But I think that I am extremely lucky to be travelling in a world that I can sit on a computer in a café or at home and be able to talk to my parents through the internet. I use apps such as Viber and Skype which are both fabulous!

I love to travel around and explore, which I am now starting to do a lot more of! I love the history of all the places and I love London, especially as I have some close friends who live there!

3

There isn’t much I would change about my experience so far. I would love to make more friends and be able to travel around the UK more, but I have heaps of time left to do that! I love my job, the people and the kids! My host family are very relaxed and easy going which makes it heaps easier for me!
Bring on the rest of my adventure, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me!

Sarah 🙂

Testimonials from Host Families

This is a lovely time of year for us, as we hear so many fantastic stories from families and au pairs who are parting ways after spending a year together. Many host families are also confirming their new au pairs in time for the summer or next academic year.

We would like to share with you some of the wonderful feedback we have received over the last few days.

The Clifton family is a long term client of Smartaupairs. They live in Kent and have had Spanish, German and Swiss au pairs through our agency:

“I have been using Smartaupairs for several years now and every year proved successful thanks to the Smartaupairs team’s diligence and kindness.


Thanks to them, the process of finding the “right” au-pair for my family has always been fool-proof: a quick phone-call with a very helpful and supportive person at the end of the line; a few emails exchanged to finalise details and there I was with a list of pre-selected candidates.


I really enjoyed using the Smartaupairs website for its easiness of use as well as finding all the information I needed with just a few very simple clicks.


Once, I have had an emergency where my German au-pair had to go home following a bereavement. It was a stressful time for everyone in the family but thanks to Smartaupairs, some of this stress has been removed within days.


I have recommended Smartaupairs to all my friends with young children and will continue to do so in the future for the quality of service provided is exemplary.


If you looking for reliability as well as outstanding service, you are in the right place!


(by the way, I am not related to anyone in Smartaupairs, I am just a really satisfied customer!)

 

We were delighted to place the Cummings family’s first au pair with them. We understand that the search process can sometimes be daunting for first time host families so do our very best to make things simple.

 

“A huge Thank you for connecting us with three wonderful candidates.

 

We were impressed by all of them but sadly only one can be successful.

 

I can’t tell you how much less stressful our trip will be made with an extra pair of hands and how excited we are to give such a lovely young woman an opportunity to improve her level of English and taste a little slice of English life. I may be married to a French Man but I was born in Yorkshire and a ‘Yorkshire’ household I run no matter where that may be 🙂

 

Thank you again”

 

It’s great to also hear how excited au pairs are about their upcoming placement when they receive their offer from a host family. When Amelie got her confirmation this week, her German agency passed on the news. They told us:

“She is over the moon. She was actually breathless :-)“

 

For more testimonials, please see our website.

We look forward to matching lots more families and au pairs in time for the new school year!

If you are interested in hosting an au pair, please call us on 0800 917 8166, email on info@smartaupairs.com, or register on our website for a call back

Feedback from Host Families

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We were delighted for all the support and feedback we received as part of our recent survey.

Please see below for some of the testimonials:

“I am extremely impressed both with the service offered and with my au pair. Not only is she fantastic with my children, she is also lots of fun to have around. It feels as if she has always been part of our family. I will miss her when she has to return home.” Clare, Surrey


I want to say a big thank you to both of you for finding me good aupairs and supporting me throughout. My experience with both of my aupairs has been great. My current au-pair Gesa is leaving in early April and we are really going to miss her. “ Seema, Longfield

“The smart au pair service has been great throughout. I know four families who have used smart au pairs and none of us have been disappointed!” Name Withheld

“Smartaupairs is a very professional and reliable agency that made me feel secure and confident about taking on an au pair for the first time. I would highly recommend their services to anyone.” Victoria, London

“The service I have received from Smartaupairs has been excellent. The well thought out information and attention to detail has made smartaupairs stand head and shoulders above any other au pair agency I have ever dealt with.” Jenny, Surrey

“We’ve had au pairs for a number of years but this was the first year I’d used Smart Au Pairs, having been let down by my previous agency. We’re delighted with our au pair and I found Smart Au Pairs very efficient and helpful with a broad range of potential au pairs to choose from – I will be using you again. “ Wendy, East Finchley

“I’ve had a lot of au pairs before but this is the first time I’ve used smart aupairs and Alex, our au pair is one of the best au pairs we have had. ” Kate, Salisbury

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All of our customers rated our website and written information excellent or good. Our verbal communications were rated excellent or good by 97% of our customers.

94% of our customers are highly likely to use our service again & recommend us to their friends.*

Feedback from Families:

“I am writing to let you know how much we all love our au pair.
She is super sweet and really fantastic with the boys.
She seems to be settling in very well and has already met some other local aupairs she is becoming
friends with and enrolled at an english school.
I am grateful to find her at short notice, so thank you.” Host family,  Middlesex

“Thanks for all your help in getting our lives organised… Good au-pairs are mother’s saviour!
Denise”  Host Mum in London

“I was anxious, as a lone parent, as to how I would adapt to live-in help. But within weeks of our au-pair joining us friends and family have commented on how much happier we seem as a family. Help with the children and in the house has made such a positive difference to my life and as a result my children’s.” Name Withheld,Host Family

“I wanted to say how delighted we have been with the service provided by SmartAupairs, from the search to the handbook to the welcome pack and other little touches.
“We are also thrilled with the wonderful girl who has joined our family. She is everything we hoped she would be. Thanks so much.” Host Mum Suzie

“Jennie is leaving us tomorrow and I just wanted to say that she has been a HUGE success, thank you very much.
The last 4 weeks would not have been possible without her help as I had very big jobs on and we have been packing to move house. She came into our home when things were upside-down, I was preoccupied with work and was able to give her little guidance, and she took it all in her stride and just got on with everything, mastered public transport and just cracked on with life.
The children loved her immediately and are really sad that she is leaving, and my husband has voted her ‘best au pair ever’ (well, that includes our lovely Polish Aga who has helped us for years!) So thank you, it has been great having her and we are sad that it is not her staying in Sep, but we have high hopes for Elisa and look forward to seeing her” Thanks Beth xxx

“Thank you for the folders which I received yesterday for both myself and Kate. I have to say the professionalism with which this has been dealt is fantastic and I want to thank you all for your hard work and commitment to ensuring that this au pair placement goes well.” Kind Regards Samantha

“This was an extremely quick and effective process, thank you” Lennon Family, Tunbridge Wells

“We are delighted with our au pair and I am pleased to learn she is happy with us. We just need to help her find some dance classes! We have enrolled her on an English course.

I have been very impressed with the agency and it was nice to accompany our au pair to London on Saturday for the induction session (her first visit to the city). We also appreciate the packs you sent out. She was very pleased with the handbook and other information which I think was very well put together.//

She was pleased with the links recommended on the induction session.  Thank you again.” Best wishes Chiquita, Gloucestershire