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Old 24.11.2015, 04:09
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Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

I'm applying for jobs working as an English teacher in Switzerland, I also have experience as an Au-pair. The job I am interested in is around 12hrs a week and I was hoping to find a family to live with (or live-out? Is this even possible?) to subsidise the cost of living in Switzerland whilst also giving me a lovely Swiss family base and real culture and language experience in a new country.

Is it possible for me to do both? I am an EU citizen. Any help would be great!
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Old 24.11.2015, 08:42
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

Do you have any teaching qualifications? If not I doubt any schools will offer you a job.

Not sure you could do both either, it may be one or the other. Au pairs are supposed to work a max of 30 hours a week, but you also have to attend a language course so I'm not sure that would leave you enough time for teaching.
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Old 24.11.2015, 11:27
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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I'm applying for jobs working as an English teacher in Switzerland, I also have experience as an Au-pair. The job I am interested in is around 12hrs a week and I was hoping to find a family to live with (or live-out? Is this even possible?) to subsidise the cost of living in Switzerland whilst also giving me a lovely Swiss family base and real culture and language experience in a new country.

Is it possible for me to do both? I am an EU citizen. Any help would be great!


Like Medea says, it would initially depend upon your teaching qualification and relevant experience. Do you wish to teach adults or children - two very different audiences. Private (probably more likely if your German is not up to scratch) or state? Swiss teachers also (I believe) need a very specific qualification - one that has to be obtained here. I don't have the details, I'm afraid, but I know you can search for it.


That having been said, I wish you luck in your endeavours.
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Old 24.11.2015, 12:36
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

I'm not entirely sure but my impression was that the OP was looking for a teaching position in a language school rather than in a mainstream school teaching kids. This would fit in better with the idea of working as an au pair and teaching at the same time.
I could of course be entirely wrong.
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:27
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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I'm not entirely sure but my impression was that the OP was looking for a teaching position in a language school rather than in a mainstream school teaching kids. This would fit in better with the idea of working as an au pair and teaching at the same time.
I could of course be entirely wrong.


I understand, but a teaching qualification and experience is desirable. You can't just say "I'm a native speaker therefore I'm qualified to teach it." By that maxim I could say "I eat, and feed my family, I'll set up as a chef..."


Sorry. That was a little snarkier than intended but I don't know how else to put it.
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:33
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

You'd be amazed how many do say just that Rufus. Language schools around here make the point of only employing native speakers- but don't always care for qualifications or (edit) experience.
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:34
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

Back up guys! Why does everyone assume the worst, that the OP has no TEFL qualification or similar? She will soon find out when applying to schools, if she doesn't have the right qualifications/experience. And that wasn't the question...

... The question was "Can you combine work as an Au Pair with another job?"
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:39
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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You'd be amazed how many do say just that Rufus. Language schools around here make the point of only employing native speakers- but don't always care for qualifications of experience.


Really? Then I don't know why I've spent so much time on my CV. Ah well... I am indeed amazed. And a little sad/sick/annoyed... They charge so much!



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Back up guys! Why does everyone assume the worst, that the OP has no TEFL qualification or similar? She will soon find out when applying to schools, if she doesn't have the right qualifications/experience. And that wasn't the question...



... The question was "Can you combine work as an Au Pair with another job?"




Oooh... with respect, please don't get me started on TEFL!
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:43
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

Nobody assumes anything- but just asking if she has qualifications- which can, or won't, make a difference, depending on the school.

I had a 'contretemps' with Ecole Migros here. They asked me to teach here, but wanted to pay me, with a UK B.Ed.Hons teaching Degree and 30+ years experience, the same as someone 'off the street' who happened to be a native speaker and they would 'train' (!?!) for a couple of mornings.

Back to OP, no, you can't be both at the same time, I'm afraid. But you could find a family to live in, and help out against a very low rent, perhaps.
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:46
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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I had a 'contretemps' with Ecole Migros here. They asked me to teach here, but wanted to pay me, with a UK B.Ed.Hons teaching Degree and 30+ years experience, the same as someone 'off the street' who happened to be a native speaker and they would 'train' (!?!) for a couple of mornings.
Ouch. One can only imagine the "discussion..." Do I take it that Ecole Migros were not successful in obtaining your services?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.11.2015 at 22:54. Reason: fixed quoting, I hope :)
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:47
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

Indeed, they did not (btw I am not a native speaker, but after interview decided I would pass/do).

Last edited by Odile; 24.11.2015 at 15:58.
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:49
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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Nobody assumes anything- but just asking if she has qualifications- which can, or won't, make a difference, depending on the school.

I had a 'contretemps' with Ecole Migros here. They asked me to teach here, but wanted to pay me, with a UK B.Ed.Hons teaching Degree and 30+ years experience, the same as someone 'off the street' who happened to be a native speaker and they would 'train' (!?!) for a couple of mornings.

Back to OP, no, you can't be both at the same time, I'm afraid. But you could find a family to live in, and help out against a very low rent, perhaps.
Why can't you do both at the same time?

There's no rule that says you can't have two jobs, as long as they are properly declared and the working hours are compatible.

Working part time in a school is an obvious way of having hours compatible with school-age children if the au-pair role is not full time but to cover out-of-school times for working parents.
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:50
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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Back to OP, no, you can't be both at the same time, I'm afraid. But you could find a family to live in, and help out against a very low rent, perhaps.
You would be very un-likely however to get a work permit based on 12 hours a week. You would need a second job.


... Out of interest how much do Migros pay people they drag off the street?
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Old 24.11.2015, 15:55
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

Because Au Pairs have a very specific status, with very clear rules and guidelines. She could on the other hand be a home help or even a nanny- but not Au Pair.

From top of my head, CHF 40 per hour- age, qualifications and/or experience make no difference. As I would have had to travel nearly 40km each way, and pay for parking- and would be a few hours here and there- no way José.
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Old 24.11.2015, 16:00
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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Because Au Pairs have a very specific status, with very clear rules and guidelines. She could on the other hand be a home help or even a nanny- but not Au Pair.

From top of my head, CHF 40 per hour- age, qualifications and/or experience make no difference. As I would have had to travel nearly 40km each way, and pay for parking- and would be a few hours here and there- no way José.
Thanks, interesting, I didn't realise it was a specific legally recognised special case - but the sticky covers quite a bit.

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Old 24.11.2015, 21:37
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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Oooh... with respect, please don't get me started on TEFL!
Well what qualification should one have to Teach English as a Foreign Language if not a TEFL type (CELTA, TESOL etc) qualification?

Last edited by Island Monkey; 24.11.2015 at 21:49.
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Old 24.11.2015, 23:47
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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Well what qualification should one have to Teach English as a Foreign Language if not a TEFL type (CELTA, TESOL etc) qualification?




TEFL can be obtained fairly easily in many, many places, and does not have the "clout" of CELTA, which appears to be more robust. My knowledge of TESOL is, admittedly, about 16 years out of date - other than it used to cost around 2k and was a pass/fail, do not collect £200 situation. It's likely cheaper now! One of the "UK's leading TEFL providers" from the hallowed halls of Google, seems to pretty much want 120 hours of your time and around £400 quid. I suppose that's the attraction.


My father in law (who has been "in" Education - training trainers globally for about 40 years and who was consulting in Mongolia when he was 75 - does a bit of a shudder when TEFL comes up. CELTA he rates, providing the support from the providers is substantial and it's not just run as a business.


Call me old fashioned, however, but I believe there should at least be some kind of background in the subject you want to teach - and teachers should have a degree or equivalent in order to be able to teach. It's not an easy option. The "knack" of teaching - of successfully delivering content and facilitating further learning/consolidation - is everything.


I've met several people here who've "done" the CELTA course, bright, capable people, who wanted to change careers but who have no background in education or training, , who have been fairly knocked on their arses by the reality of it.


Again, my opinion. My horse is even higher when I get on the subject of unqualified teachers being let loose in some UK academies and private schools.
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Old 25.11.2015, 00:46
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

Okay maybe I should have been a little clearer: I'm not really looking for advice RE being qualified enough to obtain a teaching position in Switzerland, rather advice on whether or not it is legal for me to come to Switzerland and work as both an Au-Pair AND English Teacher. I will be coming to Switzerland on the basis that I will be working for XXX school, and I know there are a lot of rules and regulations around working as an Au-Pair, so really I was wondering if anybody knew the law pretty well and could point me at some information online.

I actually do have a CELTA qualification, and as others have said, places do often tend to accept native speakers without a qualification anyway. The position I'm applying for is 12hrs p/w with a reputable company who then match you with a (usually) upper-secondary school. I can speak French so I'm more likely to be placed in the Western cantons.

Odile is there anything you have read that specifically states I cannot do both? Would you be able to send me a link?

Newtoswitz, thank you for the sticky!
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Old 25.11.2015, 08:27
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

I'm not sure a position for only 12 hours a week is going to get you a permit as it may not pay enough. The Swiss authorities may consider you wouldn't be able to financially support yourself with so little work.

Not sure you could be an au pair as such, maybe more like do baby sitting or domestic helper. I can see confusion with regard to the employer part of the au pair as they're supposed to arrange your health insurance, AHV, etc, which presumably would be done by this other firm while you would organise your own health insurance.

Another possible problem would be the language side. If you already speak French I assume you want to learn German and it may be difficult to find a German speaking host family in the French speaking part of Switzerland. depending on where the school is located. It could depend on how rigid/flexible the relevant cantonal migration office would be regarding the au pair rules, seeing as you're an EU national. Au pair would have to live in with the family, that's one of the conditions.
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Old 25.11.2015, 08:41
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Re: Can I be an English teacher and an Au-pair?

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I'm not sure a position for only 12 hours a week is going to get you a permit as it may not pay enough. The Swiss authorities may consider you wouldn't be able to financially support yourself with so little work.

Not sure you could be an au pair as such, maybe more like do baby sitting or domestic helper. I can see confusion with regard to the employer part of the au pair as they're supposed to arrange your health insurance, AHV, etc, which presumably would be done by this other firm while you would organise your own health insurance.

Another possible problem would be the language side. If you already speak French I assume you want to learn German and it may be difficult to find a German speaking host family in the French speaking part of Switzerland. depending on where the school is located. It could depend on how rigid/flexible the relevant cantonal migration office would be regarding the au pair rules, seeing as you're an EU national. Au pair would have to live in with the family, that's one of the conditions.
This is what I think too. A teaching job plus extra hours as a home help/babysitter etc would be the only option and not an official au pair contract arrangement.
I'm not sure but I believe that there need to be a minimum number of hours in a contract to get a permit and it's not many. 12 hours teaching may be enough for that.

As a French speaker if the OP does decide on the official au pair route rather than teaching then she would be advised to look in one if the bilingual towns such as Murten or Biel.
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