Working Abroad - We have spoken to a young woman who travelled back to her birthplace to experience life in the hustle and bustle of England’s capital city! From au pairing to bartending and waitressing – Nicole got to enjoy the vivacity of London while chalking up valuable life experiences! Read more about Nicole’s story here….!!!
Did you struggle to find work or did your agency assist you? What jobs did you do during your time in London?
Nicole: My agency organised my first job for me at a bar in a quieter district in London, the job actually included training in mixology which was a lot of fun. The job was really fun and actually gave me the chance to experience the excitement of London’s nightlife while getting paid for it. The hours were crazy but during our weekend shifts we actually got so involved in the crowds that we forgot we were working and ended up just enjoying the party along with the guests. After about 3 months at the bar I decided to start looking for live-in au-pairing position and stayed with a young family in a quiet English suburb.
How do you think your time abroad shaped you as a person?
Nicole: Well, it definitely made me grow up. I had to learn to do my own washing, cleaning, cooking – I couldn’t just wait for my mom to do it for me. It also taught me money skills; you don’t consider how expensive rent, food, transport and just plain living expenses are until you have to pay for them yourself.
What was the highlight of your time abroad?
Nicole: Honestly, it was the people I got to meet over there. Another highlight was also my trip to Paris with my best friend from South Africa. She came to spend a few weeks with me and we decided to go to Paris for a long weekend. The visit gave me a piece of home while also letting me show her the adventures that await in Europe.
Is there any advice that you wish someone would have given you?
Nicole: If you are going to use an agency then it will also benefit you to do your own research as well. Try and get a friend to experience it with you as well, it can be very lonely overseas by yourself and you can get homesick. If you don’t have a friend to go with you then make sure you get a cell phone as soon as possible and organise Skype or video calling – seeing your friends’ and families’ faces does make it a little bit easier.