5 Things you should know before moving to New Zealand

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You’ve decided to give yourself and your family a better life in New Zealand. You can’t wait to pack your bags!

Hold on just a minute before grabbing your suitcases. There are some things that are important to know long before moving to New Zealand.

1. You’ll need patience (and lots of it)

Immigrating is not for the fainthearted.

You’re going to have to become familiar with complex immigration terms, compile mounds of paperwork, and deal with bureaucracy. You might also wait longer than you wish to on the outcome of your visa application.

And that’s all before you set foot in New Zealand!

When things test your patience, take a couple of deep breaths, go for a walk, listen to your favourite music or have a laugh with a friend. You’ll get back to organising your immigration with a clearer mind and more energy.

2. Culture shock is real – even if you’re moving from another English-speaking country

Every country in the world has different customs and traditions, and work in unique ways, making culture shock part and parcel of moving to another country.

You’ll find it in the big things, like how to buy a house, and the little things, like how to greet people.

The best way to adjust to life in New Zealand is to go easy on yourself. Give yourself time to get used to the new way of doing things. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

3. New Zealand might not meet all your expectations

It’s normal to daydream about your new life in New Zealand, and to imagine all the ways in which your life will be better.

And it’s highly likely that your life will improve. After all, New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world, and it offers an exceptionally high quality of life.

But that doesn’t mean New Zealand will meet all your expectations. You might still be disappointed about some aspects of daily life in New Zealand.

That is okay, and it’s normal. No country is perfect.

4. You might find it tough to make new friends – but it is possible

Unless you already have friends and family in New Zealand, you’ll have to build a brand-new social circle once you’ve settled.

You might find this exercise hard. It’s not always easy to meet new people in a new country!

Here’s what you can do to make friends:

  • Say ‘yes’ if colleagues invite you to lunch or drinks after work.
  • Join expat groups like Internations to meet other people who are in the same boat as you are.
  • Take a class in something you’re passionate about, like pottery, dance or cooking.
  • Join a local hiking club or any other sports club.

Until you have a group of new friends, make an extra effort to stay in touch with loved ones back home. It’ll do wonders for your mental health.

5. It’s all going to be worth it!

You’re going to hit times of uncertainty when you wonder if you’ve made the right decision. Especially when things are testing your patience or taking longer than expected.

Here’s the good news – it’s going to be worth it.

You’ll get exposed to new experiences, make new memories, grow professionally, and get to see your children flourish. You’ll grow beyond your comfort zone, and you’ll be a fully-fledge New Zealander before you know it.

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