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Take my advice: the moment a crazy, outlandish idea of adventure pops into your mind, write it down, then analyze it. So, I wrote it down…

Image Credit: Vontobel.com


Here was my insanely brilliant idea: “I want to travel across Europe.”

I set the piece of paper down I had scrolled my idea on and stared at it for a few seconds, studying it slowly. Then I crumpled it and tossed it into the trash bin.

How the heck was I going to do that?

After pondering this crazy idea for a few days, and searching tirelessly online for some inspiration, and quite possibly a miracle, I found a solution:


I decided to become an au pair. An au pair is a foreign young person, most commonly a woman who helps with light housework and childcare in exchange for room and board provided by the host family. Basically, I’m going to become an American Mary Poppins, minus the magical bottomless carpet bag full of tricks and treasures.

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I am a 20-year-old college student with adequately rusty French language skills and a hunger to travel, so I did a thing…I created a profile on an international au pair website. The conversation I had with my folks when I broke the news to them this past summer, saying that I had decided to travel abroad and become an au pair shook them up a bit. But after laying the ground work and printing mountains of testimonies from successful young ladies and gentlemen who have ventured abroad to care for foreign children…they eventually gave in.

After a couple months of searching, I managed to connect with a lovely family with 2 adorable children (ages 2 and 5) from Luxembourg, a small European country sandwiched between Belgium, Germany, and France. The country of Luxembourg is smaller than Rhode Island, the smallest state in the United States of America. I decided that this tiny nation would be an excellent place to explore during my summer. As of now, I am scheduled to stay with my host family from mid-May through mid- August when I am due to return and get ready for my senior year. Wish me luck! Stay tuned for more details on how to register as an au pair and what experiences you may have while preparing to live overseas.




Marisa Maicke

St Vincent '20

Marisa Maicke is a junior student at Saint Vincent College located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. She is an Early Childhood Education Major (Certification to teach Pre-k-4th grade) with a Minor in Special Disabilities (with Certification). As a future elementary school teacher, Marisa's dream is to promote a legacy of kindness, understanding, curiosity, and unconditional love in her classroom.
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