June 29, 2015

Connecticut is a great place to be an au pair — and here’s why

6 minutes
Au pair stories

Though Connecticut is the third smallest state in the U.S., it is home to many Cultural Care au pairs! Read more to learn why au pairs love living in this amazing state. 
Images (clockwise from top left): Autumn leaves (Matthew Hester, Flickr / Creative Commons); Yale University building (slack12Flickr / Creative Commons); apple picking season (CJ BuckwalterFlickr / Creative Commons); beautiful lakeside view (submitted by Austrian au pair Nina Klopf); historic CT home (Tracy Lee CarrollFlickr / Creative Commons); panoramic view of Long Island Sound (submitted by German au pair Svenja Kluge); beautiful gardens of Elizabeth Park (billandkentFlickr / Creative Commons); Mystic Seaport Lighthouse (Manuel OrtizFlickr / Creative Commons)

  1. Connecticut is located close to big cities like New York City and Boston but you still get to live in nice quiet suburban areas and it is close to the water which is lovely.
    —Johanne Høj, au pair from Denmark
  2. Connecticut is a family state and there are tons of au pairs. You will NEVER be alone—it doesn’t matter where you live. You do not have to drive far to get to the next au pair. I don’t even know all the au pairs in my town. Me and my friends are a group of 10 people and there are many more living in this town.
    —Kathrin Poechlinger, au pair from Austria
  3. Fall in Connecticut is also called “Indian summer”. With all the pretty brown, yellow, orange and red colors it’s the prettiest fall I’ve ever seen. It’s not like a normal fall because it seemed like all the colors were heightened. You know like you use a filter on your photo, increase the saturation and all the colors appear more intensive, but there’s no way you can use a filter on reality.
    —Jessi Küsters, au pair from Germany
  4. It was very easy to get on a bus and meet my friends in Stamford to drink a coffee or just go to my favorite mall. I also loved the little shops and restaurants in my town and the amazing library!
    —Silvia Loiacono, au pair from Italy
  5. There are many restaurants from different cultures such as Brazil, Perú, Germany, Mexico, Italia, and Colombia too! I loved CT and I still miss everything about it.
    —Jessica Ardila, au pair from Colombia
  6. I lived close to the ocean and also close to the center of the city. It was close to Manhattan and easy connections. There’s a lot to do, gym cinemas, nice food, malls etc. I never got bored!
    —Sara Håkansson, au pair from Sweden
  7. I love the classic simple suburban life in CT. My host kid is in pre-school so everyday when I pick her up I get to chat with the other moms, and I realize how perfect this area is to have children and a family. I love the simplicity of this state so much.
    —Nina Klopf au pair from Austria
  8. There are lots of places to take classes. In the Canton area there are lots. First there is St. Joseph University in West Hartford, second the University of Hartford is close by and third there is the Northern Connecticut Community College (NCCC) in Winsted where I used to take my classes. It’s also about 30 minutes away.
    —Jessi Küsters, au pair from Germany
  9. You have everything you need: beaches, small towns with beautiful parks and soccer games but also a big city nearby to experience the night life with clubs to dance. If I had to choose again I’d probably choose Connecticut again!
    —Ana Miramontes, au pair from Mexico
  10. All the lighthouses along the shoreline are so beautiful and typical for New England.
    —Anna Andersson, au pair from Sweden
  11. It’s close to NYC but you can still escape the stress and hectic when you drive back home to Connecticut. It is also not that far from Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, the state right next to Connecticut. You have two famous universities nearby: Harvard University in Boston, MA and Yale University in New Haven, CT. I always dreamed of visiting these two universities.
    —Kathrin Poechlinger, au pair from Austria
  12. Every season has something special. In spring you can see the trees and grass turning green. Summer is all about sun and fun at the beach, which is probably my favorite time. Summer nights are spent outside with happy people and live music. In fall the leaves turn into beautiful colors and you go apple picking and pick your own pumpkins for Halloween. Evenings are spent in front of fireplaces with friends, family and pumpkin spiced everything, from latte to pie. In winter you go sliding, skiing and iceskating.
    —Melanie Brandner, au pair from Austria
  13. Also, schools are very good and there are a lot of interesting thing to study.
    —Lady Crespo, au pair from Colombia
  14. I love how friendly the people are!
    —Maria Sanchez, au pair from Mexico
  15. The most important of all it was my host family—a family forever!
    —Monica Osuna, au pair from Mexico

Beautiful East Haddam Bridge over the Connecticut River (Patrick Franzis, Flickr / Creative Commons)
Lighthouse Point Park in New Have (m01229, Flickr / Creative Commons
Sunrise from Compo Beach
Sunrise at Compo Beach (Michael Levine-Clark, Flickr / Creative Commons)
Most beautiful things to see in CT:
Saugatuck Reservoir; the sunsets in wintertime and the beautiful colors in the fall; Westport beach; Yale University; the Patriots winning the NFL :); the amount of animals that you can see around (deers, squirrels, bunnies, and more); fall—it’s just magical; the Long Island Sound; snow—wow, it is like fantasy movie; Compo Beach; Elizabeth Park; Tod’s Point Beach in the summer; Greenwich Point Park
Best places to get coffee or a meal in CT:
Little Pub in Ridgefield; Starbucks (where they know my order by now already); The Village Café & Bistro in Canton; a little café in Stamford; little student coffee shops in New Haven; Bar Taco; Stew Leonard’s in Danbury; Yuan for sushi
Great things to do with your host kids in CT:
Stratton Brook State Park; lasertagging or bowling at Blue Fox Rock’n & Bowl; the YMCA; Connecticut Science Center in Downtown Hartford; ice skating at the hockey rink in Simybury
Great events in CT that you won’t want to miss:
Country festival in Ridgefield; bull-riding at the Jonny Utah’s bar; night parade in Stamford; Brownstone Water Park in Portland; St. Patrick’s Day parade; apple picking at a farm in Shelton; BBQ picnic at Compo Beach in Westport
Perfect way to spend a day in CT
Meet up with friends in the mornings and get some waffles or pancakes at the Redding Ridge and talk and laugh for a while. Drive to one of the wonderful lakes nearby. Lie in the sun and go swimming (simply the best in summertime). Grab some dinner and drive to Peach Wave to get a frozen yogurt and take it to the concert at the green. Enjoy the music of the live band playing in the background and enjoy the evening together.
—Lisa Siemers, au pair from Germany
Have a Lord Of The Ring/ Hobbit night with my best friend Ricky. Sunbathe and swimat the CT shore. Jam with my musicians. Cuddle with my “host dog” Shadow. See the smiling faces of my host kids when the dinner I make them tastes fabulous. Have a margarita with my host dad at our house.
—Svenja Kluge, au pair from Germany
Go to the mall with friends and go shopping, relax at the beach, eat Japanese and watch a movie.
—Silvia Loiacono, au pair from Italy
Start with coffee from Starbucks and then go on a road trip to a new mountain or city you haven’t been to yet.
—Melanie Brandner, au pair from Austria
Gett breakfast go to the beach or Lake Mohegan, and then have dinner at a Thai Restaurant or make a bonfire with friends and go for a beer.
—Johanna Bardenhewrt, au pair from Germany
A visit to Stew Leonard’s, shopping at the mall, some coffee from Starbucks and a day at the local lake.
—Anna Andersson, au pair from Sweden
Connecticut is—for sure—a great place for au pairs to spend a year. What do you love about CT? Or the state you are currently living in? Click here to share your state love with us.