How is life in Cleveland, Ohio

Testimonials from Ohio

Here is a little bit about my experience in the USA.

I wanted to be an au pair when I was only 16, and last year my dream came true.

I was in Cleveland, Ohio and had the best family you could ever want. I had to take care of 4 little boys and a big dog.

I had two incredibly lovely parents. We had a beautiful big house. The backyard was surrounded by forest and the beach was on the doorstep.

My actual day looked like I got up around 6:40 a.m. and woke up Jake (9 years old) and Will (6 years old) at 7 a.m. and made them breakfast. "B" and Shewy were allowed to go back to sleep if they wanted and hadn't woken up before.

At 7.45 a.m. I took them to the bus right in front of our door or drove them to school by car. It was only 5 minutes by car.

Shewy went to school every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the age of 4. Of

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Then I had my baby all to myself and always had a great time. Brendan (1 year) has shaped my life and made it so much richer ...

But the other 3 also taught me a lot and gave me a lot of love.

It wasn't always easy in the beginning. They were still attached to Andrea. I was the 2nd au pair in the family.

But the guys noticed the change very quickly and we quickly became friends. They explained a lot to me when I didn't always understand it straight away and the whole family had integrated me into everything. I didn't feel like a nanny, I felt like my big sister.

The parents also wanted me to teach the kids German. I did that and you can still speak it today. The little one in particular speaks bilingual.

We have always done a lot. We went to NY for a ski vacation and toured cities. The rest of the family (such as aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas) all took me in and took me to their hearts. And so did I.

I met Anja, another au pair, a lot in downtown. It was just 15 minutes by car on the highway.

I was always free on Fridays. Because my mom was at home there and so I could go to school. I've always been looking forward to that too.

At the weekends we all went to the Erielake by boat and had a great time.

I usually took the boys to one of their sporting events every day. Football, swimming, hockey and basketball were a matter of course for me and the boys.

I usually behaved on Saturday evenings. Maureen and Scott went out there. But I didn't think that was a bad thing. The boys and I watched videos, made popcorn, played hide and go seek or just fooled around.

My Community Counselor had four girls of his own and was my mom's best friend. I also often took care of her four girls. I had so much fun and learned so much about responsibility and compassion. About tolerance and acceptance. Every person is unique and so valuable ... and seeing how the boys grew a bit every day made me grow and made me so proud. They were terrific little gentlemen.

My parents (I can't say they were host parents, they were my mom and dad) helped me with everything and gave me great support. They allowed me to visit from Germany and gave me a lot of freedom. They cried with me when my aunt passed away over Christmas and it was they who helped me make the decision that changed my life so much.

For family reasons I had to leave my family after 8 months and return to Germany. It was the toughest decision in my life because I didn't want to leave. But Maureen and Scott said I'll stay part of the family and come back anytime. And I'll do that next year too. I'm going to visit my mom and dad and my 4 little brothers. And I'm looking forward to it and can hardly wait for the time.

I am so proud to have been an au pair. It was the best time of my life. Not a day goes by without my thoughts in the States. I became an AuPair because I always wanted to live in the USA. (I've been there a couple of times before). It just confirmed me.

The USA is and will be my dream and my future. I feel at home there and I want to go there. The people, the culture, the nature ... everything is just great.

To all au pairs who are leaving now:

Do not go with wrong ideas. America is not Germany. If parents ask you where you are and when you are coming home, or if they ask you a curfew, they don't do it to annoy you. Rather, you know better about the conditions in your city and you should accept that with appreciation and gratitude.

It's not always easy. Children try to test you and play off against their parents.

Don't give up, just talk to your parents. Cohesion is important. But it also depends on you.

Be tolerant and open. They are too.

First of all, don't go to America without information about the country. I've seen that many times, and it was the girls who dropped out after 5 months because "everything was sooo different !!!"

I wish you all luck and good luck!

To a great year in the States with super cute kids and lovely parents like me.

Well, take care then. We all will see you in 1 year, back here in Germany, to wish never came back.

It's a shame you can only do this once in your life, and a shame it was only a year. Where has the time gone ????