July 28, 2015

Loving life in Illinois: an awesome place to be an au pair

5 minutes
Au pair stories

Cultural Care au pairs rave about Illinois—the beautiful neighborhoods where families live and the stunning city of Chicago. And there are LOTS of au pairs in Illinois so it never gets lonely. Our au pairs shared lots of other reasons why Illinois is a great place to live.
Images (clockwise from top left): Brazilian au pair Nathalia bravely sitting on the famous ledge in Chicago’s Sky Deck; spring in Chicago (photo by Venezuelan au pair Daniela); standing in front of the famous Chicago Bean is Mexican au pair Alicia; Austrian au pair Melanie visiting Wrigley Field—Chicago’s baseball park—with friends; Chicago’s beautiful skyline (photo by Swedish au pair Karolina); German au pair Irina after a Chicago Color Run; German au pair Melina and a friend cheering on the Chicago Bears football team.

  1. I live in Winnetka! A beautiful neighborhood of Illinois….here all the houses and things are beautiful!
    —Natália Santarelli, au pair from Brazil
  2. The sports teams are great. We have the Chicago Blackhawks (hockey), the Chicago Bulls (basketball), the Chicago Bears (football) and the Chicago White Sox (baseball)!
    —Kristina Loike, au pair from Austria
  3. Illinois, especially Chicago gives a cultural experience with its many people with different ethnic backgrounds who share their culture through unique shops and exotic restaurants. The events throughout the year also gave a taste of different music and food. Chicago is for sure a very special city. I could walk around for hours in that city not getting bored at all. It’s a beautiful, interesting and fun city that just seemed to give me more and more to love every time I spent time there.
    —Karolina Johansson, au pair from Sweden
  4. We have mountains, beaches and a stunning skyline.
    —Melanie Haas au pair from Austria
  5. I love Illinois because it is in the middle of the USA and you get a little bit of everything! A cold winter, a hot summer!
    —Kira Ansperger, au pair from Germany
  6. The people from IL are kind and friendly and they always have a smile on their faces. Talking about seasons, winter is great if you’re just living here for a year (ha ha—tough but snow is just beautiful!).
    —Marisela Quiroz au pair from Mexico
  7. Illinois has a lot to offer. Lake Michigan makes Chicago beautiful, and the Chicago skyline is outstanding and breathtaking. Summertime in Chicago will keep you too busy for all the things the city has to do. Although the winter seems to last forever, the wait is always worth it. You can enjoy every season: spring, summer, fall and winter, all in one city. Fireworks at Navy Pier twice per week! Doesn’t it sound incredible? It is.
    —Alicia Manjarrez, au pair from Mexico
  8. The Illinois pizza is the best!
    —Esteban Quinones, au pair from Mexico
  9. I love my state because there are a lot of opportunities to study, eat the best pizza, meet kind people and visit amazing places such as the towers, the beautiful view in the Michigan Lake, the beaches and the big malls.
    —Zulma Barragan, au pair from Colombia
  10. Illinois is the state that brought me to cities with unknown adventures. Illinois taught me to pronounce a silent “s” but proudly shouting and commotion his great first name: Chicago.
    —Daniella Agudelo, au pair from Colombia
  11. Chicago smells like the best hot dogs in the world. The soundtrack is pure Blues. Every corner of Chicago reminds me of the best Jazz & Blues songwriters and musicians. The feeling is: a big city without the chaos of a big city. Chicago has nothing to envy of NYC. The skyline of the city is beautiful. The people have a spark that ignites you to stay active and happy, even when the weather is awful outside. I saw snow for the first time there, and I was so amazed when I saw The Bean covered with snow. So beautiful and peaceful. Since I came back home, I can’t stop thinking when I go back and visit that beautiful state where I had the chance to have the best experience of my life.
    —Daniela Pineda au pair from Venezuela
  12. I lived near Chinatown which has the best bubble tea and Chinese restaurant ever!
    —Jiwon Kim, au pair from South Korea
  13. Chicago has tons of museums, great rooftops, to have an amazing overview of the whole city, and the beach always welcomes you. Even if the winters are freezing cold and you wish to be somewhere else, the summers pay everything back. No matter which type of sports, everyone is cheering for it! That means no matter what time of the year, Chicago is always cheering.
    —Melina Knispel, au pair from Germany

Most beautiful sites to see in IL:
Lake Michigan; Oak Street Beach; the view from the skyscrapers; Chicago Bean; scenes from Chicago Riverwalk; all the paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago; view from the ferris wheel at Navy Pair
Best places to get coffee or a meal in IL:
Giordanos for deep dish pizza; Yard House in Glenview; Old Town; the Cheesecake Factory; Starbucks; Five Guys; Flat Top Grill; Bennigans in front of the Art Museum in Chicago; Portillo’s; Jimmy John’s; Potbelly; Molly’s Cupcakes; Lou Malnati’s; Yoke; Tempo; Crosby’s Kitchen; Au Bon Pain; Oak Street Beach
Great events in IL you won’t want to miss:
Pepsi summer bash; Memorial Day parade; St. Patrick’s Day parade; Loolapalooza; Ribfest; Pride Parade; Chicago Good Food Festival; movie night at Millennium Park; Eyes to the Skies Festival; Color Run; Chicago Air and Water Show; farmer’s markets
Perfect way to spend a day in IL:
Visit the Navy Pier, the Hancock Tower, the Field Museum and the House of Blues.
—Kristina Loike, au pair from Austria
Ride my bike to the Lincoln Park Zoo and after that, get a coffee at Starbucks and go to the beach. Have lunch at Pizzeria Uno (order deep-dish pizza). In the afternoon, go shopping on State Street and eat some famous Garrette popcorn in Millennium Park.
—Nicole Hermann from Switzerland
Kayak on Lake Michigan if the weather allows me, go to the beach, participate in all kinds of festivals, eat an ice cream at my favorite place ever: Pinkberry, get a wonderful dinner and walk, walk, walk through the infinite city of Chicago.
—Daniella Agudelo, au pair from Colombia
According to these au pairs, Illinois has everything an au pair could hope for in a home for a year. What do you love about IL? Or the state you are currently living in? Click here to share your state love with us.