Why Au Pair in the U.S?
Being an au pair is a great way to secure a U.S visa.
While foreigners are usually restricted to a 90-day tourist visa and prohibited to work – as an au pair you can apply for a J-1 Visitor Exchange visa, allowing you to stay for up to 12 months. If you go through an au pair agency, there’s also the possibility for them to sponsor you so that you can stay longer.
But where to go?
The U.S is HUGE, and depending on what you’re looking for – big city, country town, beach culture, ski fields, etc. – there’ll be somewhere with exactly what you’re after.
Here’s my choice of the 5 best cities in America for au pairs:
1. New York, New York
I probably don’t really even need to explain this. Everyone knows how amazing and electric New York can be, and experiencing it when you’re young is the best way to do it. A bonus of being an au pair here is that it is one of the most expensive cities in America, so having a free accommodation and food, is a real help. But there’s always something on in NY and as a popular au pair hub, you’ll easily make friends to explore the Big Apple with.
2. San Francisco, California
San Francisco has the best of both worlds; beautiful, long white beaches, and big city comforts with looks of action. Everyone I know that’s been to San Francisco has said it’s hands down one of their favourite places in the U.S. It’s got a vibe like no other, that’s electric and addictive – though it’s also a very expensive city, so again, that free au pair accommodation would be really helpful!
Also consider nearby San Jose and Berkeley too!
3. Washington DC, District of Columbia
As the capital of the country, there’s lot’s going on Washington DC and so it’s a great place to be. The area has lots of cultural activities, entertainment, shopping, festivals, outdoor recreation, and great restaurants and the weather is fairly mild. It’s location is also great for travel with Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York all fairly close by.
4. Nashville, Tennessee
For a real American experience, Nashville is a great choice. As the home of country music, Nashville has amazing nightlife with live music scene like no other. It’s also in a fabulous spot for travel, as Tennessee boarders 8 other states Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Packed to the brim with musical opportunities and southern charm, Nashville is great spot for and au pair adventure.
5. Los Angeles, California
I nearly didn’t put this on the list, as I wanted to be a little more original – but a list without it seemed wrong. LA is one of those places that everyone should go at least once, as there are so many different places to explore. With direct flights from both Australia and New Zealand, LA is easy to get to, and a good place to be while you’re young.
Houston, Texas – with direct flights from Auckland, warm weather and New Orleans nearby it’s a strong contender!
Detroit, Michigan – a hub for young people, you’ll make friends easily here and enjoy weekends listening to Motown beats at stylish, local jazz clubs.
Seattle, Washington – a stones throw from Canada, get the best of both countries!
What do you think? Have you been an au pair or travelled in the U.S? Where would you recommend?