The Truth Behind Au Pairs in Denmark

I spent one year as an Au Pair in Germany and had an incredible experience to say the least. Of course my hatred for children grew even stronger, but besides that trivial fact I met the nicest people in the world and felt a part of a loving family while experiencing true German culture. During this time I took on the tasks of a typical Au Pair, including light housekeeping, laundry and cooking, as well as childcare.

As I explained in my first blog ever, the definition of an Au Pair is to be “on par” with the family and to take part in a regular family regimen. I look at an Au Pair as an older sister. One that takes on house chores as any other family member would and looks after the younger siblings when the mother and father are too busy.

So as my Au Pair year in Germany was coming to a close, I decided that I might as well try to be an Au Pair in a new country where I could learn a new language and experience life in a different culture. Denmark would be the next destination.

***

I didn’t know this at the time, but the Au Pair situation in Denmark is actually extremely controversial and politically involved. I would come to find out why within only two weeks of work in my new Au Pair family.*

*I want to explain the situation in my two Au Pair families before I expand upon the Au Pair controversy.

Upon first impression of meeting my new host family in Denmark, I thought that the dad was incredibly nice, the children were very cute and the mother had a great sense of humor. The location was great (just 10km from the city center of Copenhagen) and the opportunities for my coming year there seemed so promising.

When I moved into my host family’s house I had not yet received my Au Pair visa from the Danish government and was under the impression that I wouldn’t start officially working until the visa arrived, which was supposed to be just a couple of weeks. Well, it only took one day before I was asked to help with the laundry. Then, they asked me to get up early in the morning to help with breakfast. I quickly realized that the idea was for me to start working while still waiting on my visa. Of course, the illegal aspect of it didn’t bother me at all. I thought that these are nice people and they’re still going to pay me for my work even though our contract is not valid yet.

 A few weeks went by and I still didn’t have my visa. I kept questioning my family about why it was taking so long and also about when I would finally get paid. They vaguely explained to me that the Danish government was behind on issuing visas and that they would pay me at the end of the month. My first host family was very good at avoiding direct conversations like that.

During those few weeks that I was waiting for my visa I was working almost 10-hour days. I was waking up at 6:15 every morning to ensure that the children’s breakfast was ready for them on time. Then, I would have to clean up the kitchen, but in no way was I allowed to start cleaning until everyone in the family had already left the house. I found that very strange that they didn’t want to see me do the cleaning. While the parents were at work and the children were at school I was asked to vacuum and mop all floors, do the laundry, clean the bathrooms and children’s rooms, iron, make school lunches and afternoon snacks, and not to forget to clean my own room each day. This took me until about 5:00 in the afternoon when everyone would come home and I would start to prepare the dinner. Afterwards I would clean up the kitchen and my day was over around 7:00 in the evening. I spent no time interacting with the children and instead spent my days as an in-house maid. For all of this work I was to be paid $600 a month. That equals out to about $3 an hour. The minimum wage in Denmark, for even a maid, is $20 an hour.

I finally left that house five weeks later after the parents gave me a 10-page packet of specific directions on how to do my chores. That’s when I realized this family was out of their minds. I was still without a visa and had never received a full payment. I thought that I had terrible luck with this family and that I could surely find a better family in Copenhagen to work for. I desperately wanted to stay in Copenhagen because I had made great friends there and had fallen in love with the city.

***

 I found a new family within only one week of searching. I truly believed that things were going to be different with this family. But after just one month, a month full of intense cleaning, they told me that I wasn’t doing the job well enough and that I should leave. During that month I was asked to do the oddest chores, such as scrubbing their kitchen floor with bleach. And each week I was told that I hadn’t cleaned thoroughly enough and that I had forgotten to vacuum underneath the parent’s bed. These people were crazy.

 I was left, yet again, with no work and worst of all, without a working visa. I searched again for more Au Pair opportunities, but found that all Danish families in Copenhagen were just like the other two I had previously been with.

 I had begun to realize why the families were all the same.

 I’m not sure exactly when it first began, but somewhere along the way Danish families became accustomed to having Philippine girls as their Au Pairs.  These girls came to Denmark solely to earn money and to send it back to their families in the Philippines. The money they earned in Denmark was worth a lot in their home country. Most of these girls were leaving children and families behind just so that they could have food to eat and a place to live. Some of the girls were even going to extreme limits to marry a Danish man while there so that they could live in luxury in Denmark.

 The Philippine girls are extremely hard and humble workers because of where they have come from. There is no problem for them to work 10-12 hour days, doing the dirties and grimiest work that the Danish families make them. Unfortunately for me and some of the other non-Philippine girls, I was not okay with doing that amount of work.

 What makes the Au Pair situation worse with the Philippine girls is the way that most of the Danish families treat them. During my time in Denmark I learned many things about the relationship between Danish families and their Au Pairs. Many families would not allow the Au Pair girl to eat with the family or even be seen around them. They would be forced to hide if company was coming over. Some families even went to the extreme of paying for the Au Pair to take a vacation on a weekend so that she wouldn’t be around the house. Basically, the families would avoid any confrontation with the girls and almost pretend that they were not there. Maybe this made it easier for the families to avoid thinking about the immoral ways they were treating human beings.

 The actual controversy surrounding this situation is that the Philippine Au Pair girls are using the money they earn and sending it back to the Philippines. This means that the money is not being circulated back into the Danish economy. Not to mention, these girls do not need to pay taxes because of the little amount that they are making. And we all know how important taxes are to the Danish socialist society.

 The other part is the inhumane way that the girls are being treated. Denmark does not want to be responsible for the breaking of the Au Pair contract that most families are doing. The Au Pair contract specifically says that an Au Pair cannot work more than 30 hours a week and that the Au Pair is supposed to become a part of the Danish family in order to experience the Danish culture. Since this is not the case at all, Au Pairs may no longer be allowed in the country of Denmark.

 I find this situation very unfortunate because before I knew any of this I found the Danish people to be very friendly and accepting people. I thought Denmark was a great country and were not affected as much by greed and money. Now, I see that some systems there are corrupt and that some people are in fact racist and can act in inhumane ways.

Of course, I cannot judge a whole country on one problem that’s occurring in one small portion of their society. Most Danish people are truly wonderful people that would never treat other people in the fore-mentioned manner. And since I see that the Danish government is thinking about removing the Au Pair system from their country, I can see that some people have seen the problem and want to end it. It’s a shame for the few families that are using their Au Pairs in the correct way, but it may be more beneficial for the country as a whole to remove it completely.

I still think that being an Au Pair is a great experience and that if someone is thinking about doing it, they should definitely still try it. Just don’t go to Denmark to be an Au Pair!

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54 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Golda Alpha T. Pimentel
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 13:49:42

    I understand your feelings and situation because I am filipino from the Philippines.
    I am applying also as an aupair in Denmark and expected to arrive on September. I might find a nice host family in Veerst Ribe. I wish I will have a great time staying in Denmark and whatever the issues were said about improper treatment of Aupairs I still hope that my host family were nice enough to accept and treat me equally. Thank’s.

    Reply

    • Rachel Dent
      Jun 26, 2012 @ 16:45:11

      I hope you have a great experience as an Au Pair in Denmark! There are some exceptionally nice families out there, so I hope you find the right one!

      Reply

    • Michelle Andersen
      Aug 15, 2015 @ 19:33:19

      Hi its true..just don’t let them abused you and u should know your rights as an aupair beforehand.If host family can feel that you are not the one who can be abused then they will not ask you more what an ordinary aupair should do..Just show them you have a fighting spirit. .palaban ika nga..fight for your rights. .don’t let them abused you and don’t say ok if its not really okay..Here in Denmark the will tell you straight forward and thats what we should also do.I was an aupair before and I always tell my host if they start abusing me.Its good to be open.Just help to aupair girls to find a new family because they we’re abused by their first family.Really glad to help some of my fellow Filipino.

      Reply

    • Purple Romero
      Jun 22, 2016 @ 05:53:58

      Hi, Golda. I’m conducting a research on the au pair system in Denmark. I hope to interview Filipinas who served as au pairs there. May I send you my questions through email? Thanks!

      Reply

      • Ivy
        Jun 29, 2017 @ 22:12:43

        Hi! I am willing to be interviewed. I am an au pair here i Denmark but i don’t feel like one. I worked 10-12 hours a day.

  2. Golda Alpha T. Pimentel
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 03:17:23

    Thank you Rachel.. anyway how old are you? are you still willing to be an aupair in another country? So what are your future plans..

    Reply

    • Rachel Dent
      Jun 27, 2012 @ 11:51:12

      I am 24 years old and I think that I am definitely done being an Au Pair. After having a really bad experience, I don’t think I am ready to try it again. I think that being a nanny or babysitter would be okay, though. Otherwise, I hope to go to school again soon!

      Reply

  3. Ana
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 21:49:51

    You probably landed in a rich area of northern Copenhagen.. 🙂

    Reply

  4. lina
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 16:50:15

    I have also suffered alot in denmark as an au pair, i have been to three families in one year now but changing has not made it any better. One time I was kicked out in the middle of the night by my host for trying to talk about the much hours i was working. I think to most families they take advantage because its cheap labour. Au pairs in Denmark also pay tax despite the small income.

    Reply

    • jazmin
      Dec 17, 2013 @ 18:50:36

      Hallihallo guten tag! Rachel I’d like to ask about searching a host family in Germany? Where did u find it? Did u go through agency? Before? I’m 19 had my a1 basic german language and I’m still confusing about being an aupair? ,is it really true? 18to26 the age would allow to work in eu? Just thinking if our country will allow me to work in Germany? Because of my age? I prefer Germany because I also want to explore and know their language cultures and so on? Can u please give me an advices can I add u on fb? Thanks! 🙂

      Reply

      • jazmin
        Dec 17, 2013 @ 18:53:59

        I been searching a host family through an aupair sites still no luck 😦 .. I love Germany I wish I could find a genuinely family there 🙂

  5. Hellige skov
    Dec 21, 2013 @ 19:43:18

    Damn, my thoughts on your blog. You are absolutely right about everything, definitely not “on par”. I’m a filipina and was an au pair in DK for 2 years. Like you, my first and second family was just about the same, as they treated me like a maid. I did not only scrub their nasty floors with bleach, they also made me climb on their windows so I could “wash” them. The day I was ill and missed cleaning a certain area, the first host-momnster scolded me for slacking and being unfair. Just great! Mind you, they live in a 4-storey mansion in Aarhus and vacuum cleaning as well as mopping the widest kitchen (of a house i’ve ever seen my entire lifetime) was a daily must as she took the time of having it printed. The couple were quite known, specially the damn husband and i can sense their dislike towards me, as i am not a moron like their previous ones who nodded on every bullshit they demanded. So i left.

    The second family was equally as bad and gross! My daily suffering is made of shit stained undies on the laundry, and smelly everything inside that house! I was also tasked to clean everything. EVERYTHING. And oh, babysitting their kids until the wee hours. And no, i cannot sleep until they are home.

    What made me finish my contract? I befriended a danish boy. See it’s still not typical i.e. a young filipina and an old gross fart, no. He’s a poor, young (my age) danish boy who used to be my drinking/heavymetal-concert-buddy and we ended up well, you know..involved. I stayed because 1. I know I won’t be seeing him anytime soon once i leave, 2. None of us can afford to travel frequently just to see each other, and 3. We wanted to build a solid foundation of our relationship, and at that point, I had the choice to stay with a mere consequence. Despite that, at the end of the day, I’d get to see him. So I guess that made my stay in DK worthwhile. And no, we aren’t married and he does not send me any money or presents. 😉

    Anyhow, everyone following this blog. I REPEAT, DO NOT GO TO DENMARK!

    Reply

  6. maggie
    Jan 19, 2014 @ 21:57:27

    Hi Hellige skov,
    could you give a name or some more details about the families you stayed with? I think maybe we shared the same experience. I just came back home after horrible weeks in Denmark…

    Reply

    • Helligeskov
      Aug 13, 2015 @ 03:33:25

      Hey maggie, If you don’t mind leaving your email, I would gladly send you the details. 🙂

      Reply

      • Melina
        Aug 13, 2015 @ 04:18:55

        Helligeskov,

        Can you also give me the name of not-okay host family in Denmark as well?
        Or maybe we should share these info to other aupairs in the closed group page or something like that. Then we can avoid these people and have a good experience ever in Denmark as other aupairs do. 🙂

      • Purple Romero
        Jun 22, 2016 @ 05:28:47

        Hi Helligeskov, I’m conducting a research on the au pair system in Denmark. I hope to interview Filipinas who have served as au pairs. May I ask for your email address so I may send you my questions? Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.

  7. Lia
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 20:53:36

    Wow this is amazing. I am coming from Eastern Europa and working as an au pair in Denmark now and I have to say it’s terrible, I can’t wait to go away. It’s just the worst time if my life. I have no cultural exchange or anything. Before coming to Denmark I was here in hojskole it was amazing and I taught why not to be an au pair here in Denmark and now I am so sad and disappointed .,I am just working all the time more than 30h per week and get paid less then 3000kr ..
    I am just wondering if there is even anyone in charge of this au pair thing ? Some person who I can contact with ? It’s madness how this is even happening. I need help…

    Reply

  8. Attee
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 21:17:48

    Don’t be an au pair in danish family. I am so sorry for all of you. It’s so bad. I have been an au pair in denamrk as well .. And it was so bad. I had to work over time of course and they payed me so less .. I have been au pair before in UK and it was much better so I tell you better choose UK or any other country just be aware danish are nice people but being an au pair is not the right choice I have made..

    Reply

  9. Eirini
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 22:32:57

    Hello girls! Has maybe anybody of you worked in Odense, i am thinking of working as an au pair here. Should i ask from the family to give me the name of their former au pair(she is a filipino and they would prefer one so now i am worried) so i could ask her?

    Reply

  10. Grant
    Jun 28, 2014 @ 08:20:15

    Hello people,
    Am coming from outside Europe(Africa in particular),i got an opportunity to be an Au pair in Denmark,the area of Kolding.My residence permit is due and am hoping to leave for Denmark any time soon.one thing i do not like about my host(single divorcee man) is that he is already asking for an intimate relationship with me even before i arrive.i was thinking of changing my host family as soon as i arrive in Denmark but do not know any body yet,how can i do this? ,i have also thought about using my residence permit for Denmark to travel direct to Spain since i have made some contacts in Spain,is this possible without the residence card that they issue to Au pairs?,does any body know how long it takes for the Danish authorities to issue a residence Card once u arrive in Denmark?,is it punishable if the au pair does not register the first 5days of arrival or if the au pair breaks some contract rules,does the punishment really happen so much?the host families are breaking the contract rules as many of you have described and they go unpunished,does this apply to the au pairs as well or they normally go punished?
    please people with experience on being au pairs in Denmark,i would appreciate answers to my questions and some advice.
    Hoping to hear from any of you.
    Thank you
    Best Regards

    Reply

    • Rachel
      Jul 07, 2014 @ 00:18:25

      I think you should definitely know that you will have a hard time switching families once you get to Denmark. The office that deals with au pairs and visas is difficult to work with. I would certainly suggest saying no to the single divorcee man in Denmark. You will be able to find another family to be an au pair for, but I would hang around at home before flying all the way there. I would hate for you to get stuck in a foreign country in an uncomfortable situation.
      Good luck!
      -Rachel

      Reply

    • Kuh
      Sep 06, 2016 @ 18:59:19

      Hi Grant, am an African girl who applied for an aupair job in Denmark, I have not yet found my host family though. I’d like us to talk privately, please send me your email address if that’s fine with you

      Reply

  11. Anne
    Jun 28, 2014 @ 14:43:10

    I feel bad for u girls. Oh my! I have found a host family in Denmark and my friend too. We’re planning to apply this month in the embassy. We’ve been planning a lot, making our life so much learning and friendliness. This blog makes me think….

    Reply

    • Rachel
      Jul 07, 2014 @ 00:19:53

      There are some really nice families in Denmark and I hope that’s the kind that you and your friend found. You will have better luck if the family lives in another city besides Copenhagen. I hope it works out for you!

      Reply

    • Jhill
      Nov 21, 2017 @ 13:44:52

      HI, Anne. There are lots of good host family too.. Just be honest, nice and have a better judgement and you are good to go! 🙂 I had my first host family, and to tell you I didn’t like it but I gave them a chance so I stayed to 3 months. Things didnt change so I ran away lol. Then I found a new host family which was the best ever!

      Reply

  12. Olya
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 16:02:36

    Hello. I am from eastern Europe and now in Denmark as au pair. I was already as au pair in Germany for year and thought it gona be same here but nope….Denmark it’s a nightmare. I thinking to change family but after read this blog dont even know what to do.

    Reply

  13. Shantel
    Dec 16, 2014 @ 15:50:54

    Been aupair in denmark its the worst experience ever….am currently an aupair in denmark in my second family now and am almost losing it.i hate my days in denmark and each day i wish my contract should just end.Danish families are the worst to work for as they use aupair for cheap labour doing all sorts of dirty jobs in their big houses without thinking you are human too and need to be respected.i have not heard any single aupair in denmark saying she is happy with what she is doing all i have met are always complaining….a have a friend who is an aupair too in åarhus and she said she will write a book about life in denmark as aupair.to be very precise danish women are very devious and jealous they change like chameleons…..Denmark its a nightmare been aupair
    Thanks to this blog that i have come to learn that so many aupairs are suffering in denmark.(i come from africa).

    Reply

  14. rowena
    Jan 09, 2015 @ 06:30:35

    It’s true. I am a filipino and au pair here in DK. I changed family twice. Their first au pair was filipino too. They don’t treat me as a family. And they gossip about me especially the au pair

    Reply

    • Purple Romero
      Jun 22, 2016 @ 05:30:31

      Hi Rowena, I’m conducting a research on the au pair system in Denmark. I hope to interview Filipinas who have served as au pairs. May I ask for your email address so I may send you my questions? Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.

      Reply

    • katherine
      Dec 29, 2016 @ 17:10:27

      hi rowena, i am planing to accept the offer of a danish host family. i want to ask some info regarding the application. do u mind to send me an email? balane_keith@yahoo.com thanks a lot happy new year also

      Reply

  15. Lotta
    Mar 02, 2015 @ 15:23:10

    I have been working as an Au Pair in Denmark for 6 months now and I haven’t experienced any of those things that you wrote above. My family is really wonderful and welcoming, and I have had a great experience here in DK. I’ve been allowed to use the car always if the family doesn’t need it (for free) and been able to participate in so many things.

    I need to clean up a bit but that takes total of 3 hours per week. I cook the dinner 3 times a week and pick up my host brother from school everyday around 3 o’clock. And that’s about it. My problem is having too much of free time 🙂

    So, I don’t want people to think that you shouldn’t come to Denmark as an Au Pair. It’s all about finding a right family and I have certainly been really lucky with mine. I’m leaving Denmark in two weeks, and I’m sure the next Au Pair will be really happy with this family.

    Reply

    • Melina
      Jul 03, 2015 @ 17:09:35

      I will go to Denmark as an au pair in a couple months. My host fam once had au pair from Philippines……This is gonna be a nightmare as well? I am quite worried but whatever. Nothing i can do now just fix what is gonna happen…

      Well, Lotta may i know the name of your host family? Or can i contact you via email?

      Reply

    • Anna
      Jun 07, 2016 @ 15:14:26

      Hi, Lotta!
      My name is Anna and I am an Danish-American woman looking to Au Pair in DK this next year, would you happen to still have your family’s information?? I want to make sure I end up with a nice family who does not treat their Au Pairs badly.

      Reply

  16. Serona
    Jul 11, 2015 @ 15:00:08

    Hi,the agency already sent my contacts to my possible host family in DK. I saw their profile in fb and they look nice but I know not all impression are ok but still,I wanna take the chance.I believe that God will see me through if I arrive there.I hope I can find Filipino friends too…..If they can contact me soon,I wish to see Filipinos in Copenhagen.

    Reply

  17. Kathrine
    Jul 13, 2015 @ 03:41:56

    Hi!, i am a Filipina girl, i was asked by my cousin who actually worked in Denmark as an au pair for two years, she has this friend whose going to end a contract as au pair by january next year, she asked me if i would like to worked there, and based on their stories it makes me think that the job is just okay and that the danish families and culture are nice. but then after i have read all the blogs here i am now confused whether to accept the job or not.

    Reply

  18. Mateth
    Aug 10, 2015 @ 00:36:25

    What Rachel said is really true specially in the last part. We cannot judge the whole country and all the danish people. They are not the same at all. I was in denmark for 3 and half years, my host family and their parents are really nice both parties. Even once, they never treated me as an aupair, i never experienced that i need to hide because they have friends coming, not at all. I even call rhem mor and far, also all my friends who is coming in the house. We are having a party with my host family inside the house joining us. They send me to school and paid for it but sad to say the danish authority denied my last visa application. This is my experienced as an aupair, it was really great. The family are so amazing. So for all the filipina who is still trying to be an aupair i suggest and i believe, not all danish people are the same. But my sympathy and respect for you Rachel is really high. My own sister has a very bad experienced with her two former host family in denmark, i mean really worst, but my brother and i had a great one. Keep safe and GodBless us everyone.

    Reply

  19. Rachelle
    Aug 10, 2015 @ 08:38:47

    This blog is true, but I cannot really agree with it 100% percent.. Yes I can definitely admit that there is SOME host family who is abusing their Au Pairs.
    I was an Au Pair in Switzerland before, And they treated me like a slave while I was with them for 8 months. Yes we Filipino people can handle to work 10hrs or more per day. And yes because we need to earn money to send it back to our family in the Philippines.. And yes we are so damn scared of having the thought of if we will complain they will send us back home having nothing. I am saying this because I am particularly experienced this things..Just for the first month of being Au Pair in Switzerland was really a hell for me..Trying to make it work and talk to my host family. But everytime I talked to them they just give me the choices of stay or go back home.. I was really scared going back home. Because I’ve already sacrifice a lot. I left a stable job in the Philippines just to be an Au Pair because of it’s “Promising and Exciting Life” waiting for me there. But what happen to me is in the other way around. And it’s just so hard to start again in the Philippines finding a new job though we have our University degree because of the economy in our country.That’s why we always chose to just keep quiet and stay even though we know in ourselves that what our Host families doing to us is not humanitarian anymore. And it took me almost 8 months to have that courage to stand up and speak up for what is my right.. It took me that long because this is not only my journey,, I am not doing this for myself but most of all for my family. Yes It is so easy to say to those other Au Pair girls (specially to my fellow Filipina girls) to leave their host families and just find a new one but what people cannot understand is the reason why we are doing this and why we are just letting those abusive HF.. But everything comes to an end. Everything has it’s turning point. Where what you only want is to get out of that hell. I left and I freed myself from that. I don’t know if I want to be an Au Pair that time. But suddenly a woman message me in facebook and tells me she was looking for a new Au pair. I’ve heard a lot of things about Au Pairs in Denmark. Something like this in the blog. But I chose to trust and to take risk again..Trying my luck, praying and hoping that this Host Family is better than the HF I have in Switzerland. Now I am already two months with them. And I can definitely tell that I would love to be with them for the next 22 months more of staying in Denmark..
    There’s a lot of bad people in the world. But I just find it unfair to discourage some other girls telling not to be an Au Pair in Denmark.. Because this happens all over the globe. And Denmark is not the only country who has an Au Pair Scheme. And it is just not fair to tell that it is good to be an Au Pair but not in Den mark. Because I can definitely say that it’s better to be an Au Pair but not in Switzerland. I can say it here because of what I’ve been through there. But I’m not gonna say it and I will never do it.. Because every situation is different.. We just have to learn how to appreciate it..
    P.S TO ALL MY FELLOW FILIPINA AU PAIR HERE IN DENMARK AND EVERYWHERE ON EARTH.
    PLEASE DON’T LET ANOTHER HOST FAMILY GIVE PERMISSION TO ABUSED AND TOOK ADVANTAGE OF US. NEVER LOSE HOPE. THERE’S A LOT OF BETTER HOST FAMILY HERE. WE NEED TO FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. STOP ABUSING YOURSELF FOR LETTING THEM ABUSED YOU..

    Reply

    • Purple Romero
      Jun 22, 2016 @ 05:33:17

      Hi Rachelle I’m conducting a research on the au pair system. I hope to interview Filipinas who have served as au pairs. May I ask for your email address so I may send you my questions? Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.

      Reply

    • Chinah
      Jul 04, 2017 @ 12:27:35

      Hi! Where did you apply as an au pair? I’ve been searching but got no luck at all. Is it possible to find a HF even if you’re in the Philippines?

      Reply

  20. pinoy55
    Aug 11, 2015 @ 19:08:48

    i am a filipino with a filipino – american husband living in denmark. though i am not an au pair, i have friends who are and who had been au pairs. i also met most of the danish hosts that they had worked for and lived with. it was very unfortunate for you to have experienced such things but not all danish families are like that. and not all filipino au pairs are treated badly. as a matter of fact they have such nice hosts that they even bring their au pairs with them whenever they leave for vacation, either within denmark or outside the country. they have plenty of free time and friday night is the start of their weekend, which they could either spend in their room or spend in a friend’s house.
    i just think that when you said being an au pair is okay but just not denmark is a little bit harsh. it may have been a not – so good experience for you but it can be different to another person.

    Reply

  21. Thamires C. Milanes
    Aug 24, 2015 @ 04:07:14

    Hi, I am a brazilian girl thinking about going as an au pair to a small town in Denmark.

    This post and his comments made me really scared (as if I wasn’t before). So many people agreeing with the post makes me think that perhaps we can’t say all Danish families are terrible, it builds a strong pattern.

    Someone willing to give me some advice on how to avoid a terrible situation? Or things I should ask before going?

    Reply

    • Taya
      Jan 26, 2016 @ 23:04:31

      ouch! well.. I give you some tips: 1 DON’T TRY TO GO TO NORWAY FOR AU PAIR EITHER!!! I have been in two families and both sucks, they wanted me to work more than I should, actually all the day, dont even pay me, dont give me good food etc, they were crazy, maybe I got really but lucky because all the families wanted filipino au pairs, and it has been very hard for me to get a family there, I didn’t have to many options because filipino au pairs have a really good reputation, I don’t know why, I thought it was because they were just well know and were sweet, but the reality is that my host families were comparing me all the time with ” what a filipino would do” when we were having a discussion, they were saying ” a filipino wont sleep” (yes, she was leting me all the day and night with her kids while she was singing with her friends and not even saying thank you to me) ” a filipino would work all the day” ” a filipino would let my kids to do everything what they want” when their fucking kids were monsters and once they try to hit me, those people were disgusting, I feel so much pity for all this filipino girls that need to live as an au pair in the cold norway to survive, my suggestion is to be strong and do not get shit from no one, not even once,2 MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU WANT, TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU MOVE WITH THEM, LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU KNOW THE LAWS IN THEIR COUNTRY!!! I dont now if in denmark is a place that helps au pairs, but in norway the place that helps au pairs is called Au Pair Center/ OOTHER AU ne in denmark as well, do not be afraid and talk to them! they will help you! I basicaly think, that the problem is that many au pairs do not know their rigths, but they have many rights! even more than the own families! ..
      3DONT WORK FOR THE FAMILY JUST FOR BEEN FRIENDLY WITH THEM! that was my big mistake, I wanted to be part of that family because I was interested in the culture and they just tooked andvantage from me… no way, do not make favors for them at least not in the first period… COUNT YOUR HOURS OF WORK!!! at first I didnt done that, because I thougth the kids were nice.. but every day.. was getting worst and worst.. and then that bitch thougth she deserved everying for free…
      4 ASK ABOUT YOUR SALARY!! ask them when are they going to pay you, and make them sign it!! and you must sign it as well!!… that bitch was giving me little money by little… at the end she was owning me 3 months of salary! ( but she did paid taxes) and she said ” I did paid you” I was like.. when???.. I have the papers here.. of all the money u have gave to me, and I have put it in the banck.. you can see my income” and she was like ” mmm yeah.., I dont know what happeed.. I dont know how much money I gave to you… but I have pay you, and I dont have more money”.. then I told her I was leaving.. and she promesed to pay me all … and I told her I was not going to stay anyway… and then, she refuced to pay me, and plus, she didnt want to pay my holdiday money and my ticket back home!… and told me… ” Oh I paid once the taxi for you!. I gotta discount that as well” so it comes my other tip.. if the family gives you a present ask… 4 IS IT A PRESENT?.. cause many families give presents from chrismas and so one and then they discount from you…
      she was stupid, ignorant, but she was not looking like one at first, she was having a profesion and people around her would never think she was that sort of stupid person that breaks the laws without dont even know them!! ( yes! she didnt know she was obligated to pay my norwegian leccions and so one)… the first bitch was even more stupid, she belived that I was amazed with norway and thougth I was planing to live there for my entire life without no reason, she was crazier than the other one getting mad for no reason, screaming for no reason, she bougth a dog for her family, just because I was there so then I could take care of it… but no one from the family wanted to play with the dog, or pet with him, and then when I leaved they send the dog back to the petshop… imagine how aswholes they were… they just know how to eat pizza and nothing else, and I was cooking everyday but those kids coudent eat anything so she was just throwing the food to the garbage and saying ” I do this everyday” awww… discusting… amenaza
      she was stupid, ignorant, but she was not looking like one at first, she was having a profesion and people around her would never think she was that sort of stupid person that breaks the laws without dont even know them!! ( yes! she didnt know she was obligated to pay my norwegian leccions and so one)… the first bitch was even more stupid, she belived that I was amazed with norway and thought I was planing to live there for my entire life without no reason, she was crazier than the other one getting mad for no reason, screaming for no reason, she bought a dog for her family, just because I was there so then I could take care of it… but no one from the family wanted to play with the dog, or pet with him, and then when I leaved they send the dog back to the petshop… imagine how aswholes they were… they just know how to eat pizza and nothing else, and I was cooking everyday but those kids coudent eat anything so she was just throwing the food to the garbage and saying ” I do this everyday” awww… discusting… and at the end she was threating me, saying that she was going to send me back home, but I wanted to try other family just to see I just wanted to see how was norway and I was not going to let any stupid bitch to stop my curiosity … I feel I have been stupid, but I hope I can help other au pairs..

      Reply

      • Taya
        Jan 27, 2016 @ 17:35:45

        OH and sorry for my mess up message! my computer got crazy and chanced some places of words and paragraphs without I realised! but I hope u girls are going to understand my message!! 🙂

  22. Nin Atmngtyz
    Oct 09, 2015 @ 15:51:35

    Hi..
    I’m in DK for a month now and luckily I got a super nice and care family! The host parents are totally different with most of bad-stories-of-Danish-families I’ve heard before. There must be an awareness before I came here, but I told to them directly about how Danish families would treat an au pair later because I’ve heard some bad stories regarding this issue. Then my host family said, “we’ll prove you wrong.”

    And yes, they prove me wrong. They treat me very nice, relax, and are not typical perfectionist ones. Not ALL of Danish families would treat you bad. BUT, really, I’ve heard so many stories about how unethical the families treat their au pairs. The au pairs even have to work like 8 hours/ day, or do tasks those are not common; like cleaning the windows everyday or steaming the carpet almost all the time. Beside cleaning the house, they even have to take care the children.

    I won’t say I’m brave enough, but mostly, the families would treat like those to some introvert au pairs. These “characters” of au pairs is believed would be avoiding any confrontation and easy to please. So, girls, please be brave and speak up whenever needed! It’s really important to make your years more memorable. Don’t accept the task that you think it’s too much! REMEMBER: We are not a housekeeper or nanny!!

    And please, don’t come to DK if it’s about money! Your pocket money will be higer than before, 4000kr, but it would be deducted about 30% or more every month. So, totally you’ll get less than 3000kr per month because of tax deduction.

    Reply

    • Erica
      May 20, 2017 @ 15:03:04

      Hi! I am currently seeking a job as an Au Pair and would like to know how did you applied to you job? Pls email me

      Reply

  23. Rey Labto
    Mar 23, 2017 @ 08:30:07

    General costs of hosting an Au Pair

    These are mandatory costs that are applicable to all Host Families participating in the Au Pair program. They include:
    Accommodation and food

    You have to provide a room for the Au Pair in your house. As it should meet certain criteria, you might need to buy some furniture or other required things to make it livable. In addition to accommodation, you need to provide the Au Pair with full board.
    Pocket money

    Each country has its own standards for the monthly amount of pocket money that the Host Family pays to the Au Pair. The amount is defined by the official Au Pair program of the country.

    The approximative amount the Au Pair has to receive is the following:
    Au Pair cost per week: starting from 140 €
    Au Pair cost per month: starting from 550 €
    Au Pair cost per year: starting from 6,600 €

    Reply

  24. Martina
    Mar 29, 2017 @ 11:12:47

    Hi everyone,
    sorry to hear all the bad stories, but I have a different question. How was it with kids and english? Did any of you were in family were kids could speak only danish or little english but you couldn’t speak danish? How did you deal with that?

    Reply

  25. Gel
    May 21, 2017 @ 09:13:44

    I am a 25-year-old man and I’ve been dreaming to be an Au Pair either in Denmark or Norway. The idea of learning about their language and cultures fascinates me that much. However, when I read this article, it’s like my dream has torn apart. It saddens me so much. Because I really am willing to set aside my profession to embark new wonderful experience, and I think being an AU Pair would help me to do that. But, after reading all the posts and comments above, the willingness, the spark, the passion to be an Au Pair were all gone. Well, anyway, I am currently based in the UAE now as a Telemarketer.

    Reply

  26. Reese Rd
    Sep 17, 2017 @ 17:17:35

    Hallo Frau Rachel,
    Thank God I found your blog. While my Au pair contract in Berlin was moved to September next year, I decided to go to Copenhagen first to visit my partner who is currently taking his Masters there. Of course, I want to maximise the opportunity and work part-time/full-time as a babysitter or even as an au pair for a month or two. But after reading your blog and the comments above, I think I’ll just stick with the babysitting part and do online jobs. There is no way I am letting them treat me that way, and I hope this improves over time. One question though, how were you able to move from Germany to DK before you got your working visa?

    Reply

  27. Timmy
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 21:31:30

    Hi Rachel,
    I feel bad about you had to experience these things as an au pair in Denmark. These two families you’ve been with were really out of their minds, I agree. But I am pretty sure that a Filipino au pair would leave like you did. And just a little correction, au pairs pay taxes. But there are some instances, for an unknown reason, that some do not receive letters from the SKAT. Also many of HFs are paying for their au pairs taxes. And with regards to the money that is suppose to go back in DK, au pairs are spending as well. They travel around DK, buying transpo tickets, food, shopping etc.. that withhold taxes too. 80% of au pairs population in DK are Filipinos so I guess there will be something coming back in the state of Denmark. But I won’t be denying that there is a lot of instances that au pair program is being abused by both parties.

    Reply

  28. Rubie
    Nov 21, 2017 @ 17:54:21

    Hi Rachel, I am rubie. I am an aupair from philippines currently here in denmark. I read your post. It is a great post to read. Very informative. What i am concerned about is i hope you shouldn’t generalized us and citing degrading issues. Let’s say, you said half true or not. But, i suggest you should be fair in describing us. Every human being has its own experience, own struggle regardless of what ethnicity you are. Also, we don’t have the right to judge anybody. Honestly, im a bit sad what you wrote. I hope in citing editorial or any piece of writing. You should be fair.

    Reply

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