Life in New Plymouth, New Zealand

What were your reasons for emigrating?

We left Colombia en 1999 to go to do postgraduate education in the US, after studying and living there for over 7 years we decided it was time to look for “new adventures” overseas as we knew that the adored home-land was always going to be there for us and we had had enough of the States.

Name: Jaramillo
Age: 37
Occupation: Water Resources Engineer
Emigrated with: 3
Emigrated from: Medellin, Colombia
Moved to: New Plymouth Central
When did you arrive in NZ: May 2006
My Story Written: July 2008
Daily Commute Time: 35 mins
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

We thought of places where we could continue our careers, rise a young family, a place “different”, tranquil and safe; the options were quickly narrowed down to NZ !

What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?

Lots, we are a mix of “Latins” and “Caribbeans” and that makes the two cultures very different. Food, sports, parties and ambiance in general are also very different as well as the fact that we were born and raised in a 4.2 million people city, almost the same as the whole population of New Zealand !…

What do you like best about New Zealand?

For us, New Zealand is a nice children-friendly country and we wanted that at the time we wanted to move to a new place. We love the fact that NZ remind us of the times we had when growing up back home in many positive aspects. Its natural beauty remind us of our beloved Colombia. We regard NZ as a easy-living country.

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

Cold houses! and ironically its isolation…. but probably that’s what it takes to have a nice place to live like this !

What do you miss from your home country?

Food and long-time friends.

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

Relatively very easy, it has never taken me more than 3 weeks to find a job when I have started looking for one… great demand for engineers and hydrologeologists.

How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?

Better, shorter hours and more relaxed environments than in South America and the US. Salaries though comparatively lower than in other developed countries are OK once you learn to live the “kiwi” way and no the “American way”.

How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?

Difficult to compare as we were in different stages of our lives: young professionals in Colombia, students and singles in America and in here we are more mature and parents of two now!, yet, the standard of living we believe is better here in Aoteroa; NZ is truly a land of plenty of opportunities!

How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?

Better in many aspects, we live a very tranquil life here and though money’s always tight; one can rise a family here easier than in the places we’ve lived previously..

Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?

Be prepared to encounter a different country and give yourself a couple of years to adjust to the Kiwi way of doing things, once we understand more and more about NZ, you will love it with more grounds !

Would you like to share your own experiences of living in New Zealand? You can do this at My Story. Or you can read more more about people’s lives in NZ.

What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.