Au pairs are typically between the ages of 17 and 30. This age group of young people is chosen for au pairing because they are usually entering or finishing their studies and are ready to immerse themselves in a new culture before starting their careers. Au pairs cannot be married or have children, so they have the freedom and independence to embark on a journey for many consecutive months.
Each country has specific regulations regarding age ranges for au pairs, so choose a country below to learn more.
The au pair program is a wonderful opportunity to explore the world while having secure housing and pocket money to experience the local culture. Many countries deem this to be an experience intended for young people which is why the different governments put limits on the age of the au pair.
The intention of the au pair program is for a cultural exchange, meaning the au pair comes and experiences the culture for a year while also sharing her culture with the host family and the local people she meets. After the program, she should return home and share what she learned about the new culture to finish the exchange part of the program.
Some governments have concerns related to older people who want to au pair coming to settle in their host country rather than return to their home country, therefore voiding the cultural exchange component of the program. Hence, the visas have age limits to avoid this possible problem from arising.
Many countries in the EU have limited those who want to become an au pair to a maximum of 26 years old from the previous 30 or 31-year-old cap. This is partly due to the percentage of au pairs on the older end of the spectrum changing the reason for their visa and opting to stay longer, which is not the intention of the exchange.
While this is unfortunate for those who meet the original requirements and do have the correct intentions for the program, there are still countries that have a higher maximum age with host families that would gladly welcome an au pair into their home. Some host families even have a preference for an older au pair so there are plenty of options.
The specific country age regulations are listed below, so check out what your options are so you can find the country that meets your own hopes for the program and where you meeting the requirements regarding age and other standards such as language requirements and nationality.