Au Pair in Sweden – Insights and Tips for 2024



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If you’re curious about experiencing life while taking on the meaningful role of an Au Pair in Sweden, you’ve come to the right place. Sweden, famous for its stunning landscapes, excellent quality of life, and progressive social systems, has long been a sought-after destination for Au Pairs.

In this article, we will explore all the ins and outs of becoming an Au Pair in this wonderful country. We’ll cover the legal aspects, how to find a compatible host family, working conditions, and even what day-to-day life looks like when you’re thousands of miles away from home but making a difference in a new family’s life.


  • Understanding the role of an Au Pair in Sweden helps set realistic expectations for both parties involved.
  • Legal requirements, including the visa process, are essential steps that should not be overlooked.
  • A comprehensive contract with the host family helps ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
  • Adapting to Swedish culture enriches the Au Pair experience beyond just work.
  • Learning Swedish can significantly improve your daily life and job prospects.
  • Health insurance is not just a legal requirement but also crucial for peace of mind.

Understanding the Role of an Au Pair in Sweden

If you’re considering becoming an Au Pair, it’s crucial to understand what the role entails.

An Au Pair is someone who travels to a foreign country to live with a host family and help with childcare and light household duties.

The term “Au Pair” is French for “on par,” signifying that you are not merely an employee but part of the family, sharing responsibilities and experiences on an equal footing.

One of the most enriching aspects of being an Au Pair is the cultural exchange. You’ll be immersed in Swedish culture, from its unique traditions to its delicious cuisine. Host families often look forward to introducing their Au Pair to local customs and holidays, making it a mutually beneficial relationship where both parties learn from each other.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

So, what can you expect to be doing as an Au Pair? While the responsibilities can vary depending on the needs of the host family, here are some common duties you might encounter:

  • Childcare: From getting the kids ready for school to helping with homework, you’ll play an integral part in their lives.
  • Light Household Chores: Expect to help out around the house with tasks like laundry, dishes, and meal preparation.
  • Family Activities: Often, Au Pairs participate in family outings or events, adding an extra layer of support and camaraderie.

Legal Requirements and Visa Process

Navigating the legal requirements and visa process might seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry—we’re here to guide you through it step by step. It’s essential to get these elements right to ensure a smooth and enjoyable Au Pair experience in Sweden.

RequirementDescriptionAdditional Notes
Work PermitMandatory for non-EU/EEA citizensValidity varies
Health InsuranceRequired for the visa applicationCoverage varies
Age RequirementUsually between 18-30 yearsExceptions may apply
Language ProficiencyBasic understanding of Swedish or EnglishMay require certification
Contract with Host FamilyNeeded for visa and work permitMust be signed and notarized

Eligibility Criteria

Before you jump into the paperwork, it’s a good idea to check if you meet the eligibility criteria to become an Au Pair in Sweden. Generally, you should:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Not be married or have children of your own.
  • Have at least a basic understanding of Swedish or English.
  • Be prepared to stay with your host family for a minimum period, usually around 12 months.

Application Steps for a Work Permit

To work legally as an Au Pair in Sweden, you’ll need a work permit. Here’s a simplified overview of the application process:

  1. Find a Host Family: You need to have a host family lined up before applying for a work permit.
  2. Sign an Au Pair Contract: Once you’ve found your host family, both parties should sign an Au Pair contract detailing the terms of your stay, working hours, and responsibilities.
  3. Submit Application: With your signed contract in hand, you can now submit an application for a work permit to the Swedish Migration Agency, either online or through your nearest Swedish embassy or consulate.

Required Documents

To complete your work permit application, you’ll generally need the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Completed application form for a work permit
  • The signed Au Pair contract
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Once you’ve submitted all the required documents and your application is approved, you’ll receive your work permit. With this permit in hand, you’ll be ready to embark on your adventure as an Au Pair in Sweden.

Finding a Host Family

Finding the right host family is a significant step in your Au Pair journey. The family you choose will not only provide you with a living environment but also play a big role in your cultural experience in Sweden. So, let’s explore how you can go about finding a host family that’s a good match for you.

Where to Look for a Host Family

You’re probably wondering where to start your search for the perfect host family. Here are some channels you can consider:

  • Online Platforms: Websites like AuPairWorld or GreatAuPair offer a platform to connect potential Au Pairs with host families. You can browse through profiles and even chat online to see if it’s a good match.
  • Au Pair Agencies: These agencies can help streamline the process for you, though they may charge a fee for their services.
  • Social Media and Forums: Online communities and social media groups can be a goldmine of information and may also feature host families looking for an Au Pair.

Importance of Setting Expectations

Communication is key to any successful relationship, and it’s no different when it comes to finding a host family. Discuss everything—working hours, days off, responsibilities, and even little details like dietary preferences or allergies—beforehand to ensure that both parties are on the same page.

Tips for a Successful Interview

Once you’ve identified potential host families, you’ll likely have a chance to interview with them. This is a crucial step to assess compatibility, so here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be Open and Honest: Speak candidly about your expectations, concerns, and wishes.
  • Ask Questions: Use this opportunity to clarify any doubts or queries you may have.
  • Discuss Scenarios: Discuss how different situations would be handled, like illnesses, emergencies, or conflicts.

Related: Swedish CV or Resume Writing: Proven Tricks & Tips

Contract and Working Conditions

A well-defined contract is actually your best friend; it ensures clarity and peace of mind for both you and your host family.

Key Elements of the Contract

When you and your host family sit down to draft the contract, here are some elements you should definitely include:

Working Hours: Specify how many hours you’ll be working each week and if there are any specific times of day you’re needed.

Days Off: State the number of days off you’ll get each week.

Duties and Responsibilities: Outline the tasks you’re expected to perform, whether it’s childcare, housework, or a mix of both.

Salary and Benefits: Define your salary and any additional benefits, such as food, accommodation, and transportation allowances.

Standard Working Conditions

While each contract may have some unique clauses tailored to the host family’s needs, there are general working conditions often seen in Au Pair contracts in Sweden:

Working Hours: Generally, you might be expected to work between 25-30 hours a week.

Days Off: Most Au Pairs in Sweden get at least one or two days off per week, often during the weekend.

Salary: Payment can vary, but it’s generally in line with Swedish labor laws for Au Pairs, which ensures you get a fair wage for your work.

Additional Benefits and Allowances

Beyond the salary, it’s also important to discuss any additional perks or allowances you might receive.

Some host families are willing to contribute to the cost of language courses, which is a great way to immerse yourself in Swedish culture.

If your duties involve driving the kids to school or other activities, check if a car will be provided or if you’ll receive a public transport pass.

Related: The Best Credit Cards in Sweden for Expats in 2023

Life as an Au Pair in Sweden

Once you’ve navigated the legal requirements, found your host family, and sorted out your contract, it’s time to actually live the life of an Au Pair in Sweden. And let’s just say, it’s much more than just a working experience; it’s a lifestyle, a cultural immersion, and sometimes, even a route to personal growth.

Understanding Swedish Culture and Expectations

Living with a Swedish family offers you an authentic experience of the local culture.

From celebrating traditional holidays like Midsummer’s Eve to understanding the Swedish concept of “lagom,” which translates roughly to “just the right amount,” you’ll be learning constantly.

Swedes value their personal space and are generally straightforward, qualities that might take some time to understand but will eventually help you integrate smoothly.

Overcoming Language Barriers

Although Sweden is one of the most English-friendly countries in Europe, knowing some basic Swedish phrases can go a long way, not just with your host family but also in day-to-day activities like shopping or using public transport.

Many Au Pairs take language courses, often partially funded by their host families, as a part of their cultural experience. However, learning from the kids and the family, and maybe even teaching them some phrases from your language, can be just as enriching.

Building Your Social Life

Let’s talk about fun! While your host family will become like your second family, building a social circle outside the home is equally important.

Join local clubs or groups that interest you, be it sports, arts, or anything in between. Many cities have international communities where you can meet people from all around the world, including fellow Au Pairs.

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Balancing your responsibilities with leisure activities is key to enjoying your time in Sweden. Thankfully, the Swedish emphasis on work-life balance plays in your favor. Use your free time to explore your surroundings, take short trips, or simply relax with a good book in the cozy settings of your new home.

Healthcare and Insurance

Sweden has one of the world’s best healthcare systems, and as an Au Pair, you’ll want to know how you can access medical services and what kind of insurance you might need. Let’s delve into the topic to give you a sense of security as you embark on a new adventure.

Navigating the Swedish Healthcare System

Sweden offers excellent public healthcare services, and once you’re a legal resident with a work permit, you can typically access these services. However, it’s always a good idea to understand how the healthcare system works. For example, you might need a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) to easily schedule doctors’ appointments or receive treatments.

Health Insurance: A Must-Have

While the Swedish healthcare system is top-notch, having health insurance can offer an extra layer of protection. In fact, proof of health insurance coverage is usually required when applying for your work permit. There are various options to consider:

  • Travel Insurance: Some Au Pairs initially opt for comprehensive travel insurance that includes health coverage.
  • Private Health Insurance: Depending on your and your host family’s preference, you may choose to take out private health insurance for the duration of your stay.
  • Swedish Social Insurance: In some cases, you might be eligible for social insurance benefits through the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, but this often depends on the length of your stay and other factors.

Emergencies and What to Do

Emergencies can happen, and it’s good to be prepared. Know the contact details of nearby medical facilities and the emergency number in Sweden (112). Always keep some form of identification and your insurance details on hand; this can speed up the process if you need urgent care.

Education and Skill Development

Sweden, with its excellent educational infrastructure and cultural emphasis on lifelong learning, is a fantastic place for this aspect of your journey.

Learning the Language

Acquiring language skills is one of the most rewarding aspects of being an Au Pair.

While English is widely spoken in Sweden, learning Swedish can deepen your cultural understanding and improve your daily interactions. Many host families are supportive of their Au Pairs taking language courses, and some may even contribute to the cost.

Swedish Culture and Social Skills

Living with a Swedish family provides a first-hand experience of the local culture, traditions, and lifestyle. You’ll likely participate in family outings, social gatherings, and holiday celebrations, all of which will enrich your cultural knowledge and social skills.

Professional Development

Being responsible for children and managing household tasks can significantly enhance your skill set. Time management, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills are just a few of the attributes you’ll likely improve. These skills not only make you a better Au Pair but also equip you for various challenges in future career paths.

Additional Courses and Certifications

Depending on your interests and the free time your working conditions allow, you might consider enrolling in additional courses or obtaining certifications. Whether it’s a cooking class, a digital marketing course, or even a first-aid certification, these additional skills can be a valuable asset for both your personal and professional life.

Exchange of Skills

Don’t forget that the skill exchange in an Au Pair experience is a two-way street. You might teach your host family some aspects of your own culture, language, or even unique skills you possess, like playing a musical instrument or specialized cooking techniques. This mutual exchange makes the Au Pair experience enriching for everyone involved.


Sofia is our Relocation Expert, who brings first-hand experience in moving to Sweden from abroad. She moved to Sweden over a decade ago and navigated the complexities of relocation herself.

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