Does the word au pair sound familiar to you? An au pair is a young person who moves to another country to live with a foreign family and takes care of their children. In exchange for this childcare and education services (such as teaching your mother tongue to the children of the family) for about 30 hours a week, the family provides housing, full board, and a weekly stipend.
Why work as an au pair in Spain?
Does the idea of being an au pair sound exciting? Many au pairs come to Spain every year to live a life-changing experience, learn Spanish and immerse themselves in the Spanish society and culture.
The reasons for working as an au pair in Spain are many:
- The Spanish language. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world by native speakers, a true ally to grow new professional, academic and personal opportunities in Spain and most Latin American countries.
- The climate. In Spain, we can find different types of climates. The climate of Northern Spanish cities has nothing to do with that of Southern Spanish cities, but as the saying goes – “variety is the spice of life”.
- The gastronomy. This is something Spanish people are proud of. If you want to bond quickly with Spanish people, enjoy and talk well about the food! Every city has its typical dishes, and they are all extraordinary.
- Spanish people. As it happens everywhere, everyone will be different and you can’t expect all people from a certain country to behave exactly the same (beware of stereotypes)! But in general, Spanish people are warm-hearted, welcoming, outgoing and friendly people.
- Rich culture & history. Civilizations after civilizations such as the Pre-Romans, the Celtic and the Iberians, to the Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, the Greeks, and the Arabs, have made of Spain of what is it today. Living in Spain is taking a journey to the past, present, and future of human history.
- Tourism. Spanish cities enclose boast of many wonderful spots that delight both locals and tourists.
- Nightlife. The strong tourist activity of the country means that cities such as Madrid or Barcelona have a nightlife like no other in the world.
What are some of the general requirements to be an au pair in Spain?
- Being 18-30 years old.
- Being an EU national with English, French, or German as mother tongues or having a full command of those languages (though people with other languages as mother tongue may be accepted as well).
- For non-EU nationals: only those whose mother tongue is English or Chinese and only if they contract private medical insurance for their stay in Spain.
- Having experience and interest in working with children.
- The initial length of the stay can’t exceed one year which can be extended up to two years.
- Having an elementary knowledge of Spanish.
- Not having any criminal records.
- Be in good health.
To know more general requirements to work as an au pair in Spain, we advise you to check specialized agencies that handle all the au pair formalities.
Do I need a visa to work as an au pair in Spain?
Au pairs coming from EU countries only need their ID or passport to work as au pairs in Spain. If their stay is longer than 3 months, they must register with the Central Register of Foreign Nationals. Au pairs coming from some non-EU countries do not need a visa if they are not staying longer than 3 months (if nationals from your country are not legally required to be in possession of a visa to enter the Schengen territory). For stays over 3 months they do need a student visa, being admitted to a Spanish university or Spanish school, proving they have sufficient financial means to pay for their studies and stay as well as contracting private medical insurance.
What are the working conditions?
Au pairs work a maximum of 30 hours a week. If, by any case, the au pair has to work more than 30 hours the families pay them more. Au pairs get around 300 euros each month and have their weekends free, although some families may ask them to work on Saturday mornings. When it comes to holidays, au pairs are entitled to a week’s vacation for a 6 months´ stay or 2 weeks for a one year period. However, speak with your host family about this and the details of your contract.
What to do next?
Let’s say you have lived your au pair experience, you already know some Spanish and feel happy and integrated into the Spanish lifestyle. Are you thinking about staying longer? You may be concerned about looking for another job or how to extend your visa. We have good news for you!
If you speak English to an advanced level (which is very likely) you can make a career in Spain by teaching English as a foreign language. With EBC’s TEFL courses in Madrid you’ll be able to obtain the prestigious Trinity CertTESOL certificate, acquiring all the skills to become professional English teachers, that opens many doors in Spain and the world. We also help students to make all the arrangements for their visa extensions and find a new job with our lifetime job placement service. Lifetime and worldwide job placement service is an exclusive benefit for our EBC graduates.