An Interview with Alice
- What attracted you to the Cultural Care program?
I was looking at what options I had for a gap year after I graduated from school. My school gave me a brochure of the program.
- What was it like living with an American family?
It was amazing. My American family is my family. My host parents took me in as one of their own.
- Tell us about your host city.
Chicago the windy city is definitely the windiest city. With huge buildings and great views, to shopping and museums, Chicago is one city I recommend.
- How did you find driving in theUSA?
Surprisingly I adjusted very well. I was scared at first but I was driving within hours of my arrival - I recommend that all au pairs get stuck straight into driving the minute you have spare time ask your host parents to take you for a drive. I adapted quickly and felt 100% confident.
- Did any of your friends or family visit?
Yes, my mum came over in the month of July and I met her in New York City and we went on a cruise to Canada together for roughly 4 days then we flew to Chicago and shopped for a day then I took my mum back to meet my American Family. It was amazing, everyone loved my mum!
- Now that you are back inAustralia, what is the one thing you will miss most about the States?
My family. They took me in as one of their own and treated me like an adult and respected me. I love the kids and love my host parents. They are all dear friends now and I wish I could live there.
- What was your favourite travel experience when living in the U.S.?
My neighbours took me on their family road trip. We drove through 8 different states and camped along the way. The big destination was Niagara Falls. We camped in Canada for a couple of days then headed to the country side of New York City! And as we were boating through the Finger Islands we stopped at John Travolta's holiday house - it was amazing! Also in Canada we went boating all around the 1000s Islands which was simply stunning!
- What souvenirs have you brought back from your year?
I made some scrap books over my year abroad and they hold photo's and the memories I shared.
- What piece of advice would you offer for future au pairs travelling?
Even if you have a little feeling of "I don't know if I should but I want to" just do it anyway. I had the same feeling and didn't know how long I would last abroad but it was the best experience of my life and if I could go back to just one day back over in the USA I would. I miss my American Family.
- What was your favourite food in America?
Chilli! American's are big on their Chilli - and boy is it yummy!
- Did you hang out with other au pairs? If so, where were they from and what would you all do in your free time?
I sometimes would hang out but not as much as other au pairs. Because my host mom is Australian we became best friends we are so alike and if one cracks a joke we both are laughing hysterically. I would usually spend time with my family on weekends and hang out with my host parents. We got along so well and would go camping during the summer, skiing in the winter and have pool parties and family and friends over. I was always busy and never had a moment to relax, but I was relaxed around the people I was with. When I did go out with other au pairs we would usually go out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (best place to eat!) go to the movies or shopping or $1 bowling at Kristoffs on Friday nights! Most of the au pairs were from Germany and most had good English. I was the only Australian but didn't mind as I was surrounded by Australian's with my host family.