A Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets in town! The reasons? Well, there’s the impossibly beautiful scenery, anÂ abundance of jobsÂ at both ends of the job skill spectrum from dentists to farmers, a temperate climate, lack of language or cultural barriers, oh, and now the fact that you’ll get approx 18,000km away from Boris Johnson!
According the the New Zealand Government, in the 50 days since Brexit, they have received over 10,500 visa applications and enquiries – more than double figures from last year. In fact, on the 24th June, the day after the vote they reported a surge of 1000% in enquiries as young people up and down the UK try to explore alternative options following the axe of uncertainty being dropped on their heads.
Naturally, deciding to move to the other side of the planet is not a decision to be made on a whim but if a new start in a country with little or no traffic, an outdoor, active lifestyle, a super-affordable housing market, good education and healthcare systems and a multicultural open population where one-in-four residents were born overseas sounds appealing, then that’s where StudentTravel.com comes in…
Starting at just ÂŁ390 ex-flights to secure your Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand and insurance, we are the UK’s leading travel company at helping young people do what they do best, explore! Want some more practical tips for moving to NZ? We’ve got you covered.
All signs are pointing to a continued upward trajectory of the amount Britons emigrating to the Land of the Long Cloud, providing food for thought if nothing else.
In the hustle of life, the thought of volunteering and giving back is a small flash in the grand plan. But for those who do take their time to volunteer, itâ€™s a life-changing experience.
When you volunteer, you become part of a whole new community, see the world, and gain a whole new perspective on life. We caught up with Lee, who went on the Ghana volunteer programme, and he had some great stories and advice for anyone considering going on a philanthropic journey.
What made you decide to go on a volunteer programme?
While it wasnâ€™t my only deciding factor, a quote from an Arnold Schwarzenegger speech really stuck with me:
â€śWhatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something backâ€¦Reaching out and helping people will bring you more satisfaction than anything else you have ever done.â€ť
It just got me thinking about what I had done with my life so far. It wasnâ€™t anything significant or great. Thatâ€™s when I realised in order to change it I had to get out of my comfort zone. Going to Ghana with the medical team sounded like the perfect opportunity to me.
What was your most memorable experience?
In Ghana, I was there as part of the medicine, health care, and sanitation programme. Besides our rounds at the hospital, we went on home visits to those people deep out in the jungle who couldnâ€™t get to the clinic. This time, it was a group of doctors and me.
At the last house we went to, we treated an older blind man who had basic health issues. We sat out on the front porch of this small house with him, his daughter and four grandchildren. While the doctors treated him, I sat on the front porch next to two of the grandchildren; one boy around the age of 6 and a girl around the age of 9. I had brought granola bars and bouncy balls to play with for them. The children acted like they had never tasted chocolate or anything other than raw, natural foods (which now thinking back was probably true). The girl was very shy and I could tell that she wasnâ€™t quite sure about me. But the boy quickly became comfortable with me and I sat there chatting and playing with him while the doctors finished up.
Being in the jungle, there were, of course, mosquitos flying around. (The main reason we were there was to treat cases of malaria.) A couple of minutes go by and I feel this slap on my leg. It was the girlâ€™s hand. She had swatted a mosquito that had landed on me. It was a truly touching moment as I looked at her and she scooted closer to my side. She didnâ€™t trust me at first, but after she slapped my knee it seemed like a powerful, superhuman connection had happened between us.
After the doctors were done, we were backing out of the driveway when we got stuck. The mom and another lady quickly ran to help push the car out of the hole and get us on our way. While we were waiting for the car to be looked over, I pulled out a Frisbee and started playing with the kids, teaching them how to use it. I have never heard kids laugh like they did that day. Doing something as simple as throwing a Frisbee lit up their world. The simple things that we take for granted each day were the things that made their life.
The whole family visit was such a neat and incredible experience that it will stay with me forever. Every time I think about that moment it makes me happy and causes me to think twice about what I want to do with my life.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about going on a volunteer project?
Let the journey take you. Donâ€™t try to control everything. Become part of the environment and try to feel and experience things like the local people.
For example, during my time working at the clinic, I wouldnâ€™t eat but maybe a couple small bites of fruit because we were so busy. I threw myself into work with as much motivation as possible. Working in the clinic or on any project, you are constantly busy helping people so that thinking about your own needs is unimportant. You wonâ€™t have time to think about your first world problems at all.
The gift of giving truly makes you happy, deep down happy. If you have the mindset to give all you can give to a project, person or family, you will receive the most gratification from the experience.
Mindset is everything. Â If you have the mindset of â€śwhat if my efforts really donâ€™t help in the long runâ€ť then youâ€™re missing the point of giving and will never feel the real power of volunteering.
Want to experience all New Zealand has to offer? AÂ New ZealandÂ Working Holiday Visa allows young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to have an extended holiday while working for up to 12 months. StudentTravel.com can arrange all your flights and insurance, assist with your tax file number and bank account, and provide you access to thousands of job postings. While we can help you with most things, it’s always good to have a few hints up your sleeve!
The two biggest banks in New Zealand are Bank of New Zealand and ANZ.Â Both offer free savings accounts as long as you opt out of paper bills and in-bank transactions, which you probably wonâ€™t use anyways.
You’ll need to make an appointment to open the account, so pop into a bank first chance you get. Make sure you bring your visa form, your passport, and your proof of address.
The major three companies in New Zealand are Vodafone, 2 Degrees, and Spark. They all offer prepay deals, and ultimately there’s not much difference between them.
You’re really looking at spending anywhere between $19 and $39 a month depending on how much data you think you’ll want. When it comes to WIFI, overestimate a bit. WiFi is harder to come by in New Zealand and normally isnâ€™t free.
There are plenty of opportunities in the city centres! You could easily find work at a restaurant or call centre.
If you plan ahead (and have the proper training) you could get hired on as a tour guide or snowboard instructor.
Or, if the city isnâ€™t for you, you can live and work instead in smaller towns all around theÂ country. They’re slightly cheaper and can give you a different perspective on life in New Zealand
One other option to consider isÂ WWOOFing. It stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and it involves a few hours of work a day (no more than five) in exchange for free room and board. This work can involve building, cleaning, planting,Â working on a vineyard, and taking care of animals.
Where to Travel
So once you’ve got a phone and a bank account youâ€™re ready to hit the road! Thereâ€™s so much to do in this country that it can be overwhelming. Here’s a list of some things to consider exploring.
Bay of IslandsÂ â€“ Located on the very tip of the North Island, this place has great scenery and features massive sand dunes you can go sandboarding down!
Coromandel PeninsulaÂ – Around three hours from Auckland, the peninsula has large swaths of beaches, and volcanic activity in the area. Meaning you can actually dig your own saunas on the beach heated by stones under the sand.
WaitomoÂ â€“ Better known as the Glowworm Caves, this is a sight you wonâ€™t want to miss!
TongariroÂ â€“ Known best for its appearance in Lord of the Rings, standing in for Mount Doom, it’s some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and great for multi-day hikes.
Abel Tasman National ParkÂ – This national park is teaming with wildlifeÂ and has some of the best sea kayaking in the world.
Franz Josef GlacierÂ â€“ This is one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the world (at a whopping 8kms per day!!) and is currently in rapid retreat, so you may not be able to see this much longer!
Haast PassÂ – This way through the Southern Alps cuts straight through the rainforest best known for its glacier pools. Whoâ€™s ready for a soak?
Milford SoundÂ – The granddaddy of all natural formations in New Zealand. It needs to be seen to be believed.
Just about everything amazing to do in New Zealand involves getting out into nature. They’re so proud of it that a huge portion of the country, if not already allocated to National Parks, are still reserved for scientific study or wildlife conservation. Needless to say, you’ll want to get out of the city.