Looking for becoming an au pair in Geneva, Switzerland ?
For most of us, experience comes from travelling. And we can all agree on one thing : becoming an au pair is one easy way of acquiring new experience.
Each year in Geneva, many young women and men send their application to Swiss families. Looking to join the party ? Here’s all you need to know about becoming an au pair in Geneva.
What is it like to be an au pair in Geneva ?
- Are there any previous requirements ? Do I need thorough experience ?
Of course this differs from one agency to another, but in most cases, agencies are hiring young women and men from 18 to 25-30 years of age. Some agencies will likely ask you to be unmarried and without children. Your mother tongue needs to be different from the language spoken by the family and in the specific region of Switzerland, and you have to be willing to participate in a language course during your stay. Keep in mind those requirements change between EU and non-EU citizens (as an au pair from a non-EU country can apply until the age of 30 for example), but also from one agency to the other.
The experience required, again, differs from one family to the others, but most host families will be more willing to hire you if you already have references. Those do not have to be nanny-related of course – they need to testify of your wide panel of skills. Thorough experience is not mandatory, and most of the times, it is also about the family’s sentiment towards you.
- What is the actual content of the expected work ?
The main focus of an au pair is the children, which accounts for taking care of them, playing with them, taking them to different activities and classes. This also implies some light housework related to them : ironing their clothes, cooking for them, etc – but the au pair is not a cleaning lady in any way. To avoid any possible misunderstanding, it is very much important to discuss those terms with your host family before hand through a contract.
- How much time am I required to work ? What is the duration of my stay ?
The au pair is legally allowed to work up to 30 hours a week in Switzerland. Both parties (au pair and host family) need to schedule their activities in order to manage time correctly. Compensation is to be excepted when and if you work extra hours. Days off are usually on the weekends – but this is something to be previously discussed with the family of course.
The duration of an-pair’s stay varies according to his or her nationality. EU citizens can stay up to 3 months as an au-pair in Switzerland without any residence permit( if your stay lasts longer than three months, register at your family’s municipality of residence). For non-EU citizens, it also depends on the duration of your visa (see below).
- How much will I be paid ?
Being an au-pair implies that your host family pays for your board and lodging – it is called a non-monetary benefits, and accounts for 990CHF (1000 USD or 870 euros). As for your monthly salary, it comes in the form of pocket money. It must correspond to the amount outlined by the cantonal authorities and to the age of the au-pair. It varies from 500 to 750 CHF net per months (510-762 USD or 435-657 euros).
- Will I find friends ?
Moving in a new country can be scary – especially if you do not speak the language. Luckily enough, many of the au-pair companies (linked below) are willing to connect the au-pairs to each other. On the other hand, many forums exists, such as English Forum or Expats which offer you the opportunity to look for other foreign au-pairs in Geneva.
Moreover, and as said below, registration as an au-pair implies to sign up for a language course. Moving in to Geneva means learning French (the spoken language of the canton), and what better way to meet friends than in a classroom ? RL Learning is currently offering a Beginners class in French – the perfect program for non French-speaking au pairs who are currently looking to practice and learn the language in French-speaking Switzerland, quickly and efficiently.
How do I become an au pair in Geneva ?
- Where can I find a family ? Where can I apply ?
Geneva being such an international city, it is easy to get lost in the amount of Swiss au-pair websites. Luckily, RL Learning has selected three of the best au-pair companies in Switzerland :
Sign in, create a profile, apply for an au-pair job, and follow the guide lines !
- What are the documents I need to apply for an au-pair job ? Do I need a VISA or a work permit ?
|an application form delivered by your host family’s cantonal immigration and labour market authority||a registration certificate from the municipality of residence|
|a statement by the Swiss agency, recognized by SECO (the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs) showing successful placement||a short term resident permit that can be extended to 12 months|
|proof of your registration to a language course corresponding to the language spoken in the area you will be staying in||an insurance cover (your host family has to apply for an insurance certificate at the social insurance organisation)|
|proof of registration with a recognized Swiss health insurance company|
For more informations about VISA :