I’ve been an au pair in Dublin for a little more than 2 weeks now. That doesn’t make me the biggest expert, but it does give me a good basis for telling you about some of the things that I’ve had to organize in my first days here:
- At first, think about a bank account: Will you need a bank account for your stay? Do you get your pocket money in cash or some other way? At the most banks you must be 18 years old and you need two proofs of idenity (passport and identity card) and a proof that you’re living in Ireland. In some banks it is enough to show them a letter from your host family. If you don’t want or need a bank account, then it is good idea to have a credit card. Some European banks have credit cards that make it possible for you to withdraw your money in the whole EU with no costs. Good to know: You can pay in Irleand in the most shops and pubs with your EC card from Germany.
- Buy a sim card for your mobile phone with an Irish number. In the most phone shops you will only get a prepaid contract. Before your stay you can also ask you phone provider at home what possibilities are available. Maybe there is an EU flat for you contract and you can use all your flats in the whole EU. This is what I’ve done. For only 3 euros per month extra I can use all my flats in Ireland.
- Get to know your family and your neighbourhood. Ask your family to show you all the important routes and ways around where they live. Where is the school of your kids? Where is the playground? Where is next bus stop? Where is the next supermarket? And how do you come to the city center?
- Try to drive a car in left hand traffic, if driving is necessary for your au pair position. Ask your host family to practice it with you. And ask them to show you how it works with the public transport in your new city or town. Good to know: In Dublin you need to signal the bus, if not the bus might not stop. Here in Dublin you can buy a “Leap Card”, which you can upload with money and then you can you use all forms of public transport in Dublin (Luas and Dart (commuter rail systems) and bus)
- It’s always a good idea to make a copy of your travel documents just in case you lose one of them.
- It is also a good idea to make schedule with your family. A schedule helps you to organise your working hours and free time. Your host family can include all your duties and appointments. You will find a schedule to download at AuPairWorld. I have my own schedule with my host family. But I know that it is necessary to be flexible sometimes. For example during the holidays, and I will help with babysitting at the weekend sometimes.
- You can organise a library card for yourself maybe. In Dublin it is for free and it’s useful for improving your English with reading some books. And it is also good, if you need a computer or internet. My laptop didn’t works for a few days, so I booked a computer for one hour in the library.
- Get to know the house: How does it work with the washing machine? What about waste separation? What is different in your host country? And do you need to care of any pets?
- Look for special prices for au pairs or students for activities, tickets, tours etc. You can ask your host family or other au pairs, if they know anything. You often get a student card at the language school.
- Look for a language school. This is what I will do next. I want to go one or two evenings a week in a language course to practice my English. I will search for a good school with google and I will ask my host family and other au pairs for some tips. I’m in Facebook group “Au pairs in Dublin”. I think this is a good place to ask for good language school here in Dublin. I’ll keep you updated how it works out.
You can always ask your host family or other au pairs, if you need help or some good tips. And I will also ask you: Do you have some good insider tips for me? Are there some specials for au pairs in Dublin that I should know about? Or something else special that I need to know in Ireland?
Talk to you soon,
PS:I got this tip from another au pair here and it’s good to know before your au pair stay when you’re packing: You know that you need an adapter in Ireland. But bring an adapter and multiple sockets so you only need one adapter but you have enough possibilities for all your stuff. I wish I knew that before my stay. 😀