Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Au Pair Paris 101: Letter of Motivation

If you are applying to be an au pair in France, you will be required to submit a motivation letter in French as part of your paperwork to be approved for your visa. It is required that this entire letter be written in French and explain your reasons for wanting to be an au pair in France. Now if you are anything like me, I freaked out a lot when it came to writing a legal document in French... when at the time I really only knew how to order a baguette and say I'm not interested to creepy Frenchmen. So how in the world was I going to write a letter convincing the French government to let me stay in their government and live expense-free?

The motivation letter is not actually as scary as it seems. First of all, they don't expect your French to be perfect, because part of the whole idea of being an au pair in the first place is to go to a different country to learn the language. So don't be afraid of making mistakes. Secondly, the French treasure their culture, and want to know that you will, too. So if you are coming to au pair in Paris, they want you to be interested in the art and museums and food and music––which shouldn't be too hard, right?

When writing your motivation letter, use the formal letter format with the name of your family and their address in the the top left hand corner. Address your letter, "Chérie Famille."

I'm going to have a moment of truth with you. I used Google translate like it was my job to write the next three paragraphs outlining why I was interested in coming to France and why I chose to come as an au pair. I asked my host mom about this, and she said it wasn't a problem, since I was coming to France to learn the language, anyway. So your letter of motivation does not need to be professionally translated.

Some topics you might want to speak to:
  • which parts of the French culture interest you
  • how you became interested in moving to France
  • why you decided to come as an au pair
  • why you want to learn the French language
  • what past history you have with French culture
  • how you will use this experience to help you in the future
Sign the letter "Cordialement" which is "Regards" or "Sincèrement" which is "Sincerely," then your name and contact info. It is likely that your host family will need an electronic copy of the letter, so be sure to email them a copy as well as print one for your visa application. 

Happy writing adventures, mes au pairs futures!


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  2. An Au Pair is, basically, a live-in nanny. However, the biggest difference between a nanny and an au pair is the international aspect; au pairs are hired from another country so it’s also viewed as a cultural experience.

    Know More au pair

  3. Rant N' Rave
    is a site for people to come and vent, complain, bitch about anything and just let their

    feelings out. it is also a place where people can come and praise and compliment things like

    product or anything they like. It's a place where people can come and speak what is in their

    mind and argue if they want to or agree.

  4. Here's a question I have been confused about, when it asks about schooling a diploma, am I supposed to have taken french or have a basic understanding before coming to France?

  5. OMG don't write "Chérie famille" !!! I doesn't mean anything !! "Chérie" is literally "Honey"
    If you want to start a letter to a French family write "Cher famille" ! And finish the letter with "Mes salutations distinguées / Cordialement / Bien à vous" !