In 2016, Vancouver was ranked first as the city in North America with the highest quality of life.
And it wasn’t the first time.
For decades now, Vancouver has been accruing international renown for being one of the greatest cities in the world, not only for its high quality of life, but also its ‘liveability,’ not to mention its idyllic setting right on the Burrard Inlet framed by picturesque mountains.
One of the city’s drawbacks, however, is its high cost of living, which has increased steadily over the years as it has become more and more popular as both a tourist destination and a place to live and put down roots.
This is part of the reason why Vancouver is attracting more and more attention from prospective au pairs looking to do a gap year in Canada: working in Vancouver first can make for more affordable and sustainable travel afterwards.
An important part of the au pair experience is, understandably, the location where you will live and work. An au pair placement will not only afford you valuable childcare experience, but also the opportunity for cultural immersion and exchange, which is why the city or town in which you choose to do your placement can have a significant impact on your experience as a whole.
So why else might Vancouver be an ideal place to do your au pair placement?
1. Vancouver boasts impressive natural beauty.
Vancouver, like the rest of the province of British Columbia, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty.
Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver is one of the biggest and most impressive city parks in the world. Cypress, Seymour, and Grouse mountains, accessible from the municipality of North Vancouver, are an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering numerous hiking trails in the summer and snowshoeing and skiing in the winter.
Vancouver is also only a mere hour and a half from Whistler, BC, where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held and where thousands of Canadians and tourists alike flock during ski season.
So if you’re looking to be an au pair in Canada and you’re a fan of the outdoors, but also interested in the big city life, Vancouver might be the place for you.
2. Vancouver is culturally diverse.
Founded in 1886, Vancouver has a rich history and culture known in particular for its diversity. The Museum of Anthropology, located at the University of British Columbia campus, is a shining example of some of the cultural diversity Vancouver has to offer, in this case, of its original First Nations inhabitants whose legacy is just as vibrant today.
Vancouver also boasts North America’s second largest Chinatown (after San Francisco), and almost a third of Vancouver residents are Chinese, making them the largest non-English speaking ethnic group. These and other cultural sites are part of what makes Vancouver such a fascinating city, not to mention the mind-boggling extent of its international cuisine that attracts tens of thousands of tourists per year!
3. Vancouver has a wealth of things to do.
From walking or biking the Sea Wall which is the world’s largest uninterrupted waterfront path, to checking out a number night markets which are fun for the whole family to explore (such as the Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver and the Richmond Night Market in Vancouver’s neighboring city), to relaxing on swaths of beaches downtown and in the Lower Mainland, the list of activities and other things to do in Vancouver is seemingly endless.
4. Vancouver is already an au pair hotspot.
One of the most difficult things about being an au pair can be meeting new people or other forms of networking. Luckily, for those prospective au pair candidates looking to au pair in Vancouver, there are already a host of families here who have au pairs working for them or who are looking to hire a new au pair.
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that Vancouver is a big city; odds are, should you come here, you’d be able to get in contact with lots of other young people who are undergoing the same experience you are. Having a support system while you’re on your au pair placement can be the difference between a positive and a negative experience, but in cities like Vancouver, meeting people is the least of your worries.
Is there another reason why you want to be an au pair in Vancouver? Comment below, we’d love to hear your input!