- The first step when you arrive is to relax! Au Pair School was likely hectic and you didn’t get much sleep (or good food). Take the time to get to know your host family and children. You will learn the ropes in time – so don’t worry if you don’t learn everything in the first week! If you have questions – ask your host family! Or if your English isn’t good, ask that your host family to write things down.
- The next step is to get your social security card, then open a bank account, and sign up for a driver’s license test (if you are going to drive and your host family’s insurance company requires it). Your host family can help you with this, there are certain things you need to take with you to get a social security number in San Rafael (1001 Lootens Place in San Rafael, 3rd floor): 1) your Program Participation Letter (in your Extranet account or in your host family’s account under “Your Au Pair”, at the bottom, under “Related Documents”) – you’ll need to print it out 2) Your DS-2019 form and, 3) your passport and your I95 form stapled in it. You can’t get your driver’s license without a social security number – check out the car section on this website on how to do this. There is a bank in Mill Valley that will open up a free checking account without a social security # right away: Celeste at Wells Fargo in downtown Mill Valley or Laura (former au pair in the Strawberry Wells Fargo) opens up a lot of au pair bank accounts and is familiar with the program. US Bank will do inexpensive wire transfer.
- And right up there with #1 and #2 is to make friends – this will make your year enjoyable. I will email you a list of au pairs in the area. Reach out and call or email some au pairs to go out
for coffee or a movie. If they are new – they also don’t know anyone – and if they aren’t new, then they remember what it was like not to know anyone – and maybe their friends have just gone home after their year.
Every Wednesday night is Au Pair Night at The Cheesecake Factory at the big Corte Madera mall) – so if you would like to meet other au pairs from Marin, please plan to be there from 8pm onward.
I’ve also heard that many au pair go to the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur Landing on a Tuesday evening….au pairs – please post on here if there are any new places to meet up.
If you have questions, or feel lonely – give me a call! I’ll be glad to help in any way that I can….