In 2012, Maggie (Set 36) joined Norland as an international student. Originally from Germany, her career has come full circle having found her dream job back in her home country after working in many other countries in Europe as well as the US.

In her My Norland Story, Maggie opens up about being an international student at Norland and in Bath, her highlights from her studies and how being an international Norland Nanny has played in her favour when finding jobs.

“I’m Maggie and I studied at Norland from 2012 until 2016. So far in my career, I’ve had four long-term positions and nine temporary jobs. I’ve cared for children of all ages from newborn to nine years old. At the moment, I’m in a permanent role in Germany looking after two girls aged one and five.

I’ve always had a passion for working with children. Having grown up as one of six siblings, I’ve always loved being around children and always knew I wanted to make caring for children my profession one day. I did several placements in kindergartens and schools, and I did a gap year in a primary school in Africa. All of these confirmed that I definitely wanted to pursue a career in the early years.

Having a nanny is not common in Germany; in fact, none of my friends or family had ever heard of nannies! I always thought I’d become a teacher or work at a nursery. However, one day my mum read an article about Norland in a newspaper which she cut out for me to read. I couldn’t believe there was a nanny school and that being a nanny was a real profession – it simply sounded like the dream job I’d always been searching for! My mum and I went to the next open day and we knew at first sight that Norland would be perfect for me. I immediately applied (I flew to Bath for my interview two days before my gap year in Tanzania!) and my dream came true when I was told that I could start studying at Norland as soon as I was back from my gap year.

I can highly recommend studying at Norland to any international students. I never had any trouble being ‘foreign’ – quite the opposite! Everybody was curious to hear from me about how children were brought up in my home country and being able to compare our cultural differences. Whenever I needed support with any academic work or if I ever had any trouble with the English language, I was always supported and respected by all the staff and students. I didn’t get homesick as I made some amazing friends at Norland who supported me through all the good and challenging times.

a female at her graduation

“Now that I’ve been a qualified nanny for a few years, I can say that employers love having an international nanny! So far, being international has always been a bonus when applying for new jobs.”

I had a great time at Norland and in Bath as an international student. I think I simply lived life, just like my British friends there. The only difference being that I didn’t travel home to my parents quite as often. In the set above mine, there were two German students who supported me from day one (and who are now two of my very best friends), and also being placed in a flat with other Norland students in my first year definitely help me settle in very quickly. Joining the Norland Choir was very helpful for me, as becoming part of a group helped me to feel like I belonged and enabled me to find like-minded people with the same interest in music.

I loved that almost half of my time at Norland was spent in placements where I was able to put into practice what we had learned in lectures. I gained so many precious experiences and memories at all the nurseries and schools. I remember my first placement with a private family was a huge learning curve for me that provided a valuable insight into my future life as a nanny.

When I graduated, I stayed in with my probationary family (now referred to as a Newly Qualified Nanny, or NQN, family) for another year, before I decided to take on a range of temporary roles so that I could work with different age groups and get a chance to work for families in different countries all over Europe. I then decided to study for a master’s degree in early childhood studies at Roehampton University in London, which was a one-year full-time course. After that I worked for a family in the US for a year. My plan was to then return to London but, unfortunately, that had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Instead, I started looking for a job in Germany; something I didn’t ever think I’d do as I love London so much and having the Norland Nanny network there, which I knew I wouldn’t have in Germany. I thought this would only be a temporary move but now I’m in my second position in Germany and have found my dream family. I hope that I’ll be here for a long time now!

Having been a qualified nanny for a few years, I can say that employers love having an international nanny! Nearly every employer I’ve had so far was interested in me teaching their children another language or teaching them about my culture. So far, being international has always been a bonus when applying for new jobs.

For me, a career highlight so far has been all of the travelling I get to do as a nanny. I love seeing the world and being able to work with families in different countries and cultures. I love making children and families happy. I love watching  children grow up, and knowing that I helped them become the kind, respectful, fun and loving people that they are and will be.”

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