Julie_Elliott_Comm-Nurse_Chch.jpgJulie - Community Nurse, Christchurch

My Name is Julie, I am a Community Registered Nurse and I came to NZ in September last year, from the UK. The process to come to NZ took me approximately 7 months.

What was the easiest part of the process?
Dealing with Accent Health Recruitment to get my job, it just went very smoothly, also getting New Zealand Nursing Registration was quite straightforward if you ensure you get all the information they request.

What was the most challenging part of the process?
Getting the work Visa was quite stressful with the medical/x-rays you need it all just takes time. I had to take an IELTS test that was hard too.

What were your first impressions of NZ?
I have been to New Zealand on numerous occasions over the years so knew that I would like the Country, it helped that my sister is here.

What are the best parts of NZ?
The weather is great, although it is summer at the moment, well going into autumn. I am with my extended family.

What do you miss the most?  My friends, but we can Skype.

Your advice for someone planning to come to NZ?
Plan ahead, give yourself enough time to get things done, think about the items you would like to bring with you and buy items that might be much more expensive over here, bring lots of adapter plus if you are bringing UK plugs with you.

Anything else you would like to say?
I have found that nursing is the same here in NZ as it is in the UK. As NZ has no NHS scheme, people have to pay to see their GP and pay for prescriptions (some are subsidised by the Government). Any basic surgery that you elect to have is not free as it would be in the UK (however, you can be put on the waiting list and use the public system for free instead), you could say this is a fairly system in one way, but I think the NHS is under appreciated by those that use it and it is not until you come to a country where the health service is not free that you appreciate things more. Some things are free under the New Zealand system though so it is not necessary to pay for everything.

The cost of living in New Zealand is much more than the UK, basic things like electricity which I would say is double the cost of the UK. Shopping is more expensive, but you have to come to terms with this and except this is the situation. If you like the outdoor life then you will love NZ. One other thing is that your state pension is frozen when you come to NZ so just bear this in mind.

Once you have decided to come to NZ you will not regret it, I would say it is better to have experienced a different culture. It takes time to adapt and settle in but it has been for me a great experience to date and I am glad I have come over to NZ to live.

All the best, Julie