Students advertising for house-sitting and au pairing jobs have increased on Wits campus as students seek out convenient ways of earning extra money.
House-sitting and au pairing are popular with students, said Liam Patterson, a 2nd year architecture student. “They’re popular because it’s easy money and it doesn’t interfere with your personal time”. He said the money earned from house-sitting can be up to R200 a day.
Many of the advertisements around main campus are placed by Sheli Berger, who organises au pairing and house-sitting through her company. “It’s extremely popular with my clients,” she says. According to Berger, there is a demand for house-sitters and au pairs all year round, but particularly during the holiday period.
Students also advertise to be au pairs on websites such as Gumtree. Amy Bruss, a 3rd year student at Wits, said she advertised on Gumtree and found it reliable. She says au pairing among students is popular, “because most people end (class) in the afternoon, and it’s around the time that kids finish school, so the timetables work out nicely.”
The BA student says she took care of two children and earned about R2 000 a month. Tutoring is also a way in which students earn extra money. “I needed a bit of money and for an hourly pay, it’s quite a lot,” says Kirsten Watt, a psychology honours student. Watt says that tutoring is also popular with students.
Whether students advertise for themselves or go through agencies, they have to go for an interview and a screening process. A well-known au pair agency said that they interview students between the ages of 18- 25 and have a strict screening process. However, some families still preferred older au pairs, the agency said.