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Sofia - Registered Nurse, Timaru

My name is Sofia, I am a registered nurse and moved to New Zealand in December 2017 from the UK. I had moved from Portugal to the UK about six year ago and decided to embark in a new adventure.

Moving to New Zealand was a long and sometimes frustrating process. Living abroad and taking care of paper work that needs to come from your home country takes time and perseverance. Officially I started my process to move to NZ in July 2016, so it roughly took 1 year and 5 months to get everything organized and land in NZ in December 2017. The easiest part of the process was our visa application. It was probably the quickest thing to be processed. The most challenging process was organising all the paperwork from Portugal and the UK and send it over to NZ, some of it even got lost in the mail and had to be sent again!

My first impressions of New Zealand were great! Starting with how welcoming Kiwi’s are in general and how they are always ready to help a stranger. I was a bit of a cultural shock really, but in a good way! After the lovely welcoming New Zealander’s we must not forget how amazing the scenery here is. I am speaking about the South Island so far but “oh man” is it stunning, me describing it will not even come close to what you see here. So far I must say Tekapo and Milford Sound have been the highlights of my stay. I learned a new word: Tramping. If you are into the outdoors it’s a must do!

What I miss the most is the availability of things I had in London. But I when considering the kind of quality of life I am having right now I would not change it for the world.

My advice if you are planning is be patient, perseverance is key and even if it takes you 1 year and 5 months like it did me, it is worth it!


If you like the outdoors NZ is the place to be, where I am based right now I can easily go to the beach in 5min or 1h away from a mountain top to ski. You can find amazing places to walk and enjoy the scenery and the wildlife almost anywhere here!

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