Being an au pair can change your life, literally! For former au pairs it opens many doors to careers in childcare, teaching, degrees, and the list goes on. But for one lucky au pair, Pauline Klingelhofer, being an au pair helped her to become a model in New York City. She shares her exclusive story with Au Pairs Chronicles…

APC: Tell us a little about yourself.

PK: I just turned 23, I’m from Germany and I’m a model , but I also used to be an au pair in New Jersey.

APC: How long were you an au pair for and how many host kids did you take care of?

PK: I was an au pair for over a year as I decided to extend with my same host family. I looked after four kids and my host mom was 7 months pregnant with their 5th child when I became their au pair. That was the main reason for them to reach out to get childcare help. I was their first au pair to help them out during that transition time. My schedule was pretty structured as I would drive my oldest two kids to school and stay home with the younger ones. I usually had a break in the afternoon, which is when I would attend classes at Ivy League College Princeton University!

APC: How was your relationship with your host parents?

PK: I would have dinner with the whole family because we had a great relationship. We got along really well and I would even join them for church on Sundays. I feel like as an au pair there is a fine line between working and not working when enjoying family time, but my host parents did their utmost best in trying to separate free time from working hours and that really encouraged me to explore the USA.

APC: How did you go from being an au pair in New Jersey to full-time modelling in New York City?

PK: With NYC being only a short train ride away from my town, my friends and I would explore the city every weekend. It was such a great break from my au pair responsibilities. Being 5′ 11″ often attracted many people’s attention and whenever I was in the city, several people approached me complimenting me and suggested I should consider modelling. I had been approached by scouts in Germany before, but I decided to try my luck and I compiled photos of myself to send to modelling agencies. Soon, I was invited by a few agencies for an in-person interview. That’s actually how I met my current mother agent Lisa Phillips. She was scouting for an agency that was interested in me and I signed my first modelling contract after I finished my year as an au pair. Due to US visa rules, I couldn’t get another job so I just built my portfolio in the meantime.

APC: How did it feel to launch a career in a competitive market like modelling?

PK: It was super exciting! This was a completely unique experience and the modelling industry is a whole different world to me. As I had just started to build my portfolio from free photoshoots, I learned so much and become much more experienced. My host parents were really supportive the whole way. They allowed me to travel to the city in the mornings during my free time while my oldest host kids were in school and then when I returned from castings, I would take care of the kids in the afternoon for the rest of the day.

APC: How did you juggle being both responsibilities?

PK: Even though it was a super busy period during my life, it all worked out surprisingly well and I was extremely lucky to experience two unique experiences in America. It was like I was living the best of both worlds just like Hannah Montana, haha! Being able to experience both worlds, made me appreciate the opportunities I was given. It was a huge motivational push and I think that’s why I enjoyed being an au pair even more. It was great to do free photoshoots in my spare time and then return to what truly felt like my second family. The support from my host family gave me the ultimate confidence and excitement to pursue a modelling career.

APC: What was your life like once you finished your au pair year?

PK: Once I completed my au pair year I started to model full-time and by doing so, I’ve traveled across the world. From Singapore, Istanbul, Barcelona, to LA, and NYC, I’ve continued to expand my modelling career. I’ve modeled for some of the most popular brands like Elle, Cosmopolitan, InTouch Style, etc.

APC: What are your goals in the future?

PK: It was always my goal to return to NYC where I first launched my modelling career. I can happily say that this year, I have reached that goal. After finally receiving a USA working visa, I’ll always be thankful for the opportunity of living the best of both worlds. If I hadn’t been an au pair, I wouldn’t be a model today and I encourage every au pair to chase their dream no matter how big they may be!

You can check out Pauline’s latest modelling shoots on her Instagram page.


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I am an ambitious and dedicated writer. I have completed my BA in English Literature and Education Studies. Upon completing my degree, I traveled to New Jersey where I was an Au Pair to two young boys. Currently, I reside in England and work for Cultural Care Au Pair as an Interview Team Leader whilst inspiring au pairs to experience a life-changing journey!
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