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The reason why I will not use interexchange Au Pair USA again
I worked through the interexchange au pair program and felt disappointed with their service (from an au pair's side)
The flights: Obviously the agency buy their tickets and bulk and take the cheapest option. My flight was from CapeTown to Frankfurt , Frankfurt to Newark. I had to wait 12 hours on Frankfurt airport till my next flight boarded. Another friend of mine was expected to wait 24 hours on the airport to get her flight home. This is not due to delays. This is the flight schedule. I met a girl on the plane that was also going to au pair. As we reached the arrival gates an au pair representative was holding a board with the company name and the au pair's name! They were welcomed at the airport and I was left to search around the airport for a shuttle bus (a system very unknown to me).
Hotel & Welcome: Finally made it to the hotel (on my own cost) We were met in the lobby by a girl that looked like she just woke up from a night after a long party. There was other au pair agency that used the hotel for their training. They had a great table with name cards , balloons and professional staff, Our girl was not sure what to do and how things worked...to me she was a weak ambassador (and first face) of the interexchage company)
Rooms & Food: The sleeping arrangement was very uncomfortable to me as 4 girls shared a room and you had to share a bed with someone you just met. We got a voucher each day for breakfast-a choice between a bagel or a muffin and that was it. Lunch was a sandwich (white bread with tuna fish, everyday) a soda and an apple (i only ate the apple as i am vegetarian, not a fan of white bread or soda). Dinner had to be bought by the au pair.
Au Pair Training: The training we received was not really helpful, we spent most of the time getting to know the other au pairs and what their countries was like. Till today I still don't know how to perform CPR because they only told us how to do it and never had us practice on a doll or something.
It was also shocking that in my group, at least 3 au pairs never showed up at the hotel, they used the program just to get into the country.
Counselor: My local counselor was also a bad ambassador for the agency because her house was smelly, dirty and a mess, we had to sit on the ground at our meetings because she only had 4 chairs.
This agency is advertised as non profit, but I am failing to see where the money (the money I paid and the host family's) money is going....
Miss D, from South Africa