The last day of 2013.

Oh, what a year it have been. 
Today it is the last day of 2013. It has been a very different year.
In January we where busy trying to clean our house and get rid of all the furniture and stuff that we couldn’t bring with us.
In February we took a vacation in Thailand, Bali and Sydney.
In March we finally arrived in New Zealand. Attending interviews with companies to get a job offer and we travelled around North Island.
In April we tried to get our new life in Christchurch settled. Start working.
In May the kids started school. In June we bought a house in Christchurch.

And from that month we have received our residency, some of our older kids have start working, my wife got a job. We have met a lot of new friends, and had old friends visiting us. We have been in the newspaper (New Zealand Herald. The kids have had a great time in their new school and have got some new friends. 
It has been a very exciting and in the same time a tough year. 
We enjoy our new life and looking forward to an exciting 2014. 

Happy New Year!

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School’s out

We where at the school that our son is starting after the summer holiday.
It looks really good, and the teachers seems to be very competent and nice.
We where surprised to hear that Swedish school are looking at the education system in New Zealand.
Now we know why! Our kids enjoy going to school and they are really motivated to go there.
They are encouraged to take part of the education and engaged in their study.
There are some differences in the levels and how the academic year are divided.
Since Swedish school study English from 3rd grade, our children had an relative easy way in to the school.
And with the latest results from Pisa, we are very happy that we left Sweden.

More information on the school system in New Zealand can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_New_Zealand

Some statistics on student assessments:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment

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Residency granted.

We got our residency application granted. But what would that mean for us.
-It means that we can stay in New Zealand, work study or whatever we would like to do.
Having the same obligations and rights as a Kiwi. We can travel to other countries and come back without having to apply for a visa. But we are not citizens, you have to stay in NZ for more than five years to become one. After two years we can apply for permanent residency.

Confusing? Yes it is!

Immigration has a good website with more information on residency etc.

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/

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What is happening?

I have done what you shouldn’t do!
As a blogger you get advice that you should add posts to your blog at a regular interval. So why haven’t I done that?
Well, nothing special has happened. We are getting into routines with work, school etc. We have some time during weekends to explore New Zealand. But it is hard to find time to see the islands.  It takes time to travel around, but we try to explore the environment around Christchurch. There are some amazing places around Canterbury; you just have to now where to go. A tip is to talk to local people and ask if they can recommend any areas worth visiting.

How is it to work in New Zealand? Since I’m working in IT, the difference is not that big. Same methodologies and tools are used as anywhere in the rest of the world. And the workforce contains of people from around the world. A good mix of people makes a creative environment.

One very nice difference from back home is that when you are traveling with the local buses, everyone thanks the driver before they walk of the bus. That would never happen back home.

Cheers!

 

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How is it to live in Christchurch and in New Zealand?

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Christchurch is a vibrant city with a lot of different nationalities. Many people have moved here for a reason. The reasons differ, but everyone want’s to get a good life.

In the following blog posts I will try to explain how it is to live here and what differs from other places. If you are interested in a special topic please leave a message and I will try to explain my view.

Better work life balance. I have heard that from many people. Kiwis are in general not keen on working overtime. So for you that is used of working 60 hours/week. It is possible to have a change. But there are companies here that have the motto ”work hard play hard attitude”. So take care so that you don’t end up in the same situation again.

Weather: Since it is one of the most discussed topics in my home country (Sweden). I have to bring it up. We are in the middle of winter right now. The winter in Christchurch is most often cold nights (some nights we have frost), but in daytime we can have up to 17-18 degrees when there’s no cloud. Some days it is cold the hold day (between 0-10 degrees). Not to bad. We have had snow two times, but it didn’t last so long (a few hours). One thing I can mention is that the weather can change very fast. We have also had some rainfall with heavy wind. You don’t want to be outside then.
Even if the weather is quite mild I have never been freezing so much indoors as here. The houses are in general very bad isolated (even if our house is built year 2000).

Single glassing and very poor insulation are common.

The nature: The nature is fantastic, with very nice views and a lot of things to see. We have only seen a small part of NZ, but I like what I have seen. Fantastic. Plants that we are used to have indoor are growing outside here.
There is only one thing that disturbs us. Most of the country is farm and livestock land. There is not much left of the original fauna such as trees. The trees that exist are most often planted and don’t belong to the natural fauna.

To be continued….

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What to bring if you are moving to New Zealand.

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Before we moved we decided to not bring more than we can carry. We didn’t know where we would end up in NZ. And renting a container wasn’t cheap. Starting fresh with new furniture was tempting. So we sold and give away most of our furniture and stuff.

Tried to look at Internet what other think you should bring, but didn’t get so many answers. So here is my personal view what would be worth bringing to NZ.

Furniture: Furniture is expensive in NZ. And there is very limited stock of furniture. Older furniture in good shape is not available. Buying second hand furniture is possible. There are a few second hand shops but the furniture they sell is of varied quality. Some should have gone to the junkyard long time ago.

Beds: Beds are also expensive, but most retailers have offers at regular interval. Which make it a little less expensive. And beds comes in the following sizes: single, king single, queen, king and king double.

Whiteware/Appliances: Prices are much higher comparing to Europe and there is not so much to choose from. There are local brands ( or where they now are manufactured, Westinghouse, Fisher & Paykel, etc.) and some German brands (Miele, Bosch etc.) and other brands (Samsung, LG, Mitsubishi).

Electronics: There is plenty of electronics and computers in New Zealand. Prices vary a lot and I haven’t done so much research on the prices. Computer parts are quite cheap though.

Bed linen: Bed linen is quite expensive in NZ. And if you want to have cotton linen it will cost you more.

If you want to make a comparison by yourself go to http://www.pricespy.co.nz.

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How to get a job in New Zealand.

This is what I have discovered during my search for a job in New Zealand. And this is only my personal view, so don’t take it as a fact:-)

Check that there is a need for the skills you have. Search adverts on www.seek.co.nz  www.nzherald.co.nz  http://www.trademe.co.nz or http://www.job.co.nz.

  1. Check what kind of Visa you can get. This is very important since it is not easy to qualify for residency in NZ.
  2. Create a CV and a cover letter that suits New Zealand standards.
  3. Recruitment is a big business in NZ. And there are plenty of companies that search for people. After you are getting used of the style of adverts you can soon recognize if it is a real job, or if the job advert is because the recruitment company want to have your CV for the future. There are plenty of very good recruitment companies in New Zealand.
  4. Try to find job adverts from companies other than recruitment companies. Try to contact them. Best way is to make a phone call. You can send them CV and cover letter after you have talked to them. They will remember you.
  5. Go to New Zealand and plan for interviews with companies. This is a real door opener. To sit on the other side of the earth and think that you can get a job offer is a waste of time. You have to go there, otherwise companies wouldn’t be interested in your skills. Don’t think that they will hire you before they have met you. And don’t think that they will sponsor your trip to New Zealand. Book a ticket to New Zealand and work hard to get as much interviews as possible.Although some people manage to get a job offer from overseas, you shouldn’t count on that. If you have tremendous work skills you might get a job offer from overseas.
  6. Most companies in New Zealand want to have you employed in a short notice. So if you have for instance three months notice on your current employment you have to deal with that.

I can recommend the community on www.Move2NZ.com. They have a number of articles about looking for and finding work, how to approach employers etc.

And there are LinkedIn groups such as Moving to New Zealand. Where you can get information.

If you need help with Visa to NZ, I can recommend http://newzealandimmigration.org.nz/

Happy job hunting!

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