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Rebecca - Physiotherapist

Humoana Sunrise
My Name is Rebecca. I am a Physiotherapist. I came to NZ in December 2022 from the USA. I started working with ACCENT in June 2022, accepted a job offer in August 2022 and arrived in NZ in December 2022. The process to become registered with the physio board took me a long time but I decided to complete that before looking for a job.

The easiest part of the process was working with Hayley who made the job search and visa process much easier than it could have been. Making the decision to do it was pretty easy too.

The most challenging part for me was registering with the physio board. Since the NZ health system is so different from the USA system it took me a while to gather sufficient evidence for my application. I know there have been several changes since I applied but I started working on that in August 2018 and finally sent my application in January 2020. Due to COVID everything was delayed but I was finally approved in December 2020 and decided to delay the move until the border restrictions were eased.

Hayley worked with me to find a job that fit exactly what I was looking for. It was really helpful to have guidance to find the right job offer as well as with the visa process. I am still working for the same company over a year later.

My first impressions of New Zealand were that everything is so laid back here. The people are really sweet, friendly and so helpful.

What I specifically like about New Zealand is that it's beautiful and I appreciate the easy going lifestyle. Coming from the USA I feel so much more relaxed here. I also feel like there is a lot of freedom to work how I want to, and family is such a priority for everyone.

I live in Hawkes Bay. Hawkes Bay is beautiful, and I really appreciate the availability of fresh and local food. I did not realize it was "the fruit bowl" of New Zealand! I am happy to be in a city where everything is around a 5-minute drive (supermarket and other shopping) but if you drive a little further you are surrounded by hills and farmland or ocean. It also still feels like there is so much space, even when other people say it is crowded.
Wairakei Spa
I miss my friends and family but I speak with them regularly, thank goodness for internet based calling! My parents came to visit a couple of months after we arrived, and I am looking forward to convincing other friends and family to visit. I also miss the familiarity of American culture, I still have to ask questions when I am in new situations (for example, my company is having a training tomorrow and I'm not sure if people will wear the typical company polo or if they will wear normal clothes haha, and my manager is from South Africa and does not know any more than I do so we figure it out together). I also think it is really important to find groups to be a part of to meet people outside of work. It really helps to have social interaction without thinking about work and it can be helpful to have people to ask cultural questions.

I can't wait to travel to the South Island, it is high on the priority list as everyone keeps saying it is so beautiful. I really just want to go everywhere.

My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is to do your research before you move. It's a great place to be but it is expensive to live here. Housing can be limited, particularly in the area where I live there is a shortage which leads to higher rent.

My partner and I are citizens of different countries so NZ is the only place where we can both live and work and share a normal life. It has been really wonderful to have the opportunity to build a home together and have the time to enjoy going for a walk in the evening and sharing dinner (I know that sounds simple, but I think that is what makes it so beautiful). We now have residency visas through the green list straight to residence pathway and we look forward to continuing to build our life together here in NZ.

My current role in NZ and my previous role in the USA is very different. It took me a long time to adjust, and I am still learning. There are fully funded programs that are categorized here based on the client's needs. Back home it is all just based on your insurance provider; outpatient physio in the clinic is the same no matter if you had surgery, a sports injury, chronic pain, a degenerative condition, a major accident - it's all the same. There is a lot more paperwork here, I have never had to write a report like I do here but at least it is billable. I also do some onsite occupational work which I have never done before. It is nice to have variety, but it can be a bit overwhelming as I am still learning what is expected.

Are there any similarities that have helped you orientate/transition easily? Not really haha, I also took a year off from work prior to moving so that might have something to do with it?

Is there anything specifically done differently in NZ that has interested you and the way you practice your profession? There is so much more interdisciplinary team work here and I wish it was this easy back home to access services like psychology or ordering equipment to support people in their recovery. That aspect has been really refreshing. It is also much easier to talk to case managers here as they are generally receptive and will work with you to help the clients.



How do I get registered in New Zealand? How much will I get paid in New Zealand? Where is the best place to work in New Zealand? Do my children need visas for New Zealand? For answers to these questions and more, check out our FAQs page.


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