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Overcoming Homesickness

Most au pairs will feel homesick during the early weeks after arriving in the UK. Many have found that if you can survive the first six weeks as an au pair you will find everything is much easier. After six weeks you will have settled, hopefully made friends and will have got to know the family better. You will have more confidence to explore your area and the rest of the UK.

Life may be very different to what you are used to at home. The English will have different ways of bringing up their children, different foods and different customs. Try not to feel critical of the differences but see this as part of the fun in exploring another culture.

  • Telephone any au pairs that you have the numbers of - even if they are not the same nationality - and arrange to meet up. You may find it hard to speak to someone you don't know but they will probably feel the same as you.
  • If you have been placed by a BAPAA au pair agency in the UK, you can register with and email other au pairs in your area.
  • Keep busy, don't spend hours sitting in your room on your own.
  • Try not to call home too much as this usually makes homesickness worse - email or write letters instead.
  • Be honest with your host family and tell them how you are feeling.
  • Try to talk, show interest and ask questions when with the family. It doesn't matter if your English isn't very good. It will only improve with practice.
  • Don't just watch the children - play with them.
  • Find out from this website, and from your family, things to do, where the nearest leisure centres, libraries, cinemas are and start to explore your area.
  • Talk to other people in your language class and ask if they want to go for a coffee or meet up.
  • Try to make plans to meet up with friends on your days off, so you have things to look forward to.
  • Make a list of the places you want to see while you are in the UK and see if you can find other au pairs who are interested in going with you.
  • If you have left a boyfriend or girlfriend at home maybe you can plan a time for the friend to come to the UK to visit you. This will give you something to look forward to and to plan.

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