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Thread: Bunac in my 30's; yay or nay?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Bunac in my 30's; yay or nay?

    Hi Everyone,

    I am thinking about doing Bunac at age 35 in NZ this coming year - I feel I'm finally in a place to do some extensive travel!

    I'm just wondering if, via Bunac, I'll feel out of place with all the younger people in Bunac (or if maybe I wouldn't be around them all that much once I get settled in NZ)?

    I live in CA and I'm wondering if living in NZ would not be different enough for me to feel like a real life changing, unique experience? Maybe my time would be better spent spending time in countries that are much more different than mine? Or maybe it is much more different there, I've never been...

    SInce I'm 35, this is also the last chance I have with getting a working visa to live in another country, so seems a great chance to take advantage of it.

    Anyone willing to give their opinion on this and share their experiences with Bunac in NZ or anything else relevant to my question? Thanks so much!!
    Last edited by explora; 31st December 2009 at 03:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Aged 35, is not old, so would there be any problems with anyone younger.?
    As to whether it should be N.Z. or another country with far bigger differences to your own, I guess it depends on how much different you want the country to be.
    If you went to Africa say, their way of life would indeed be a challenge.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    Hello and welcome.

    When I was in my forties, I did a Master's where all but one of the other students were in their mid-twenties. I had a great time and made some good friends. There were times when my longer experience of the world made me think differently from one or other of these people, but I kept that to myself. Honestly, I think age is one of the least relevant things when judging compatibility, unless it's a big thing for you.

    I don't think you HAVE to mix with other people on the BUNAC programme if you don't want to - I mean, how could they force you, for a start? From what others have said on this forum, I think the system is there as a support if you want it, but you can choose to be independent if that's what you prefer. (You could always ask BUNAC themselves to check that that is the case.)

  4. #4
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    kiwi culture is different from US culture, and I did go through culture shock. But- if you're looking for a huge change I would recommend going somewhere in Asia.

  5. #5
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    Martinborough, Wairarapa
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    If I had the faintest idea what 'Bunac" was, I might have a view...!!

    Never assume your readers know acronyms...

  6. #6
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    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi Mac View Post
    If I had the faintest idea what 'Bunac" was, I might have a view...!!

    Never assume your readers know acronyms...
    A UK market leader in work abroad programmes, BUNAC (British Universities North America Club) offers eligible applicants aged 18 and over, a unique opportunity to spend extended time living, working and travelling overseas
    Ian

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by explora View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I am thinking about doing Bunac at age 35 in NZ this coming year - I feel I'm finally in a place to do some extensive travel!

    I'm just wondering if, via Bunac, I'll feel out of place with all the younger people in Bunac (or if maybe I wouldn't be around them all that much once I get settled in NZ)?

    I live in CA and I'm wondering if living in NZ would not be different enough for me to feel like a real life changing, unique experience? Maybe my time would be better spent spending time in countries that are much more different than mine? Or maybe it is much more different there, I've never been...

    SInce I'm 35, this is also the last chance I have with getting a working visa to live in another country, so seems a great chance to take advantage of it.

    Anyone willing to give their opinion on this and share their experiences with Bunac in NZ or anything else relevant to my question? Thanks so much!!
    I have no experience of BUNAC - however, I did live in California for a while a long time ago, and my brother still does.

    He visited recently and made a number of observations which may or may not be of interest

    1) He found it very lackadaisical here - he expected prompt, courteous service etc and was annoyed not to get it.

    2) He thought it was very expensive here for pretty much everything and he bemoaned whet he saw as an astonishing lack of choice!

    3) He liked the emptiness but not the lack of things such as widely available broadband etc

    Whether it would suit you would really depend heavily on what you personally want to gain from living and working overseas. If you want to help people worse off than you (for example with clean water projects and so on) are then there are perhaps many other choices.

    OTOH, NZ is more different than it appears on the surface! So you would certainly learn much - and you may find that you wanted to live here permanently - we have at least half a dozen Americans within 20 minutes of here that i know personally, so it must have attractions!

  8. #8
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    Dec 2009
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    thanks everyone for your input!!! And thanks Ian for explaining what Bunac is.

    Yah I would probably travel through Asia fora while, then stay in NZ for perhaps a few months and bartend or something via Bunac... I have a career that is totally different, so this gig in NZ would completely be just for something fun and different, to take a break. Guess I'm hoping for something fun and different, and not just "more of the same, except for the people have accents"

  9. #9
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    Before I ever visited NZ, I'd heard quite a few people repeating a description which seems to be circulating in the UK - that NZ is 'just like England was fifty years ago'. Well, it emphatically isn't true, any more than "more of the same, except for the people have accents" would be. It's a country with its own individual culture. Obviously some parts of what it now is grew out of what former UK emigrants took with them, but things have developed and mixed with many other influences over time. Despite the fact that one main language is broadly the same as mine, I always had the feeling I was a foreigner, with things to get to know. Incidentally, for New Zealanders, we incomers are the ones who have accents.

  10. #10

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    People do mention cultural / economic / consumer related differences between NZ and other countries like the UK and the US, and it's true that some of these can take some getting used to if you're settling permamently. However, if you're just doing a short term visit like BUNAC, you certainly won't find the differences at all challenging or particularly interesting. NZ is after all a prosperous, predominantly white, english speaking western country. You'll probably really enjoy your time here - it's a great country, but it won't be an "experience" as such in the way that going to places in Asia or Africa might be.

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