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Katherine: Inquisitive Bird

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in New Zealand makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to New Zealand, etc.

I’m from Michigan and I moved to New Zealand in September of 2012.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I started blogging about my experiences of moving to New Zealand around October 2011. I wanted to keep friends and family up to day while I was gone. But now I’d like to help others see what it’s like to live in NZ.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

Tell us about the ways your new life in New Zealand differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Well, I’m almost there, but I’ve done a lot of reading on other expat blogs and I think I’ll have a hard time getting used to driving, as well as the differences in the metric system compared to what I’m used to. I’ve been trying to do conversions in my head for a while now though, and I think that will make it easier.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in New Zealand? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

I’m not sure yet! But I’ll soon know. If you need to make phone calls to and from NZ I strongly recommend using Skype. It’s so inexpensive and easy!

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Well, since I’m new at this I don’t have that many, but while I was working with a friend from New Zealand while filling out my paperwork we had a miscommunication because I was calling the document I received from my school after graduating a ‘diploma’, but in NZ a diploma is something you get from high school. I should have called it a ‘degree’ but in the states a degree is something you can’t tangibly hold onto… It was sort of funny when we finally figured out what each other meant. I’m sure there will be more experiences like this.

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in New Zealand?

Plan for a lot of time to process your paperwork. I started filling paperwork out in May and am just barely going to leave in September. It takes a really long time. I’ve read of others experiences and it can take more than 6 months sometimes to get everything finalized. Also, things are more expensive in NZ, so try to bring as much as you can from home. Be sure any electronics have a dual voltage capability or else leave them behind… unless you want to lug a converter/transformer around…

How is the expat community in New Zealand? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

I’ve read of many expat groups in NZ. Personally, I don’t think I’ll spend too much time with an expat group to start off, because I’d like to start off without being in a bubble of what I had back at home.

How would you summarize your expat life in New Zealand in a single, catchy sentence?

An inquisitive bird migrates to teach down under.

Serhat Ahmed

"With all of the information that InterNations provided on Wellington, it made my move from Turkey easier than I could have imagined."

Melanie Rasbery

"Since I knew about the active expat network in New Zealand, InterNations made moving to Wellington more exciting than it had seemed before."

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