What were your reasons for emigrating?
Our whole family moved to California from Greece because Mom is from San Diego and she wanted to move back home to be close with her sisters and other family. Then me and my girlfriend moved to New Zealand because of the crime and “false” look about everything in CA… very stereotypical!
Occupation: College Student
Number Emigrating: 2
Emigrated from: Plaka, Crete and San Diego, California
Moved to: Palmerston North
When did you arrive in NZ: March 2008
My Story Written: May 2009
Daily Commute Time: 4 minutes
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?
We had been here once before for vacation in 2003 and I really enjoyed it. We went to Queensland, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland and have always wanted to come back. An old friend of ours back in Greece had moved to New Zealand and we got in contact with him. He said Palmerston North was great and was really helpful.
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?
Compared to Greece, Palmerston North/ New Zealand has a lot more opportunity. One thing that really differs is that New Zealand is really PC!!! It is unbelievable…. The people in Greece are a lot more forward and friendly. Also the weather is nothing compared to Greece, but you can still get the occasional sunny day… Compared to San Diego, Palmerston North does not have much to do but the people are way more friendly than in CA. San Diego is way more busy which is great but sometimes lonely.
What do you like best about New Zealand?
The Government! The friendly people, the country-side and the rugby.
What don’t you like about New Zealand?
Probably the weather (mostly grey in Palmerston North), and the over the top PC on everything. Also the paperwork for permits and visas takes an unbelievable amount of time and money.
What do you miss from your home country?
Definitely friends and family.
How easily did you find work in New Zealand?
I found it very easy to get into College from CA, because I did a transfer. My girlfriend did the same.
How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?
College here is a lot smaller and people are more happy to help.
How much money did you bring with you:
How much do you earn in New Zealand:
Not earning yet (still at Massey University) but getting money from home if we go broke haha.
How much did you pay for your house:
$320,000. Really nice house with quite a bit of space, three bedrooms, study, and secluded. It was suprisingly cheap (compared to houses in San Diego).
How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?
It is a bit “cheap” here but we are happy and reasonably well-off. (Thanks Mom and Dad)
How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?
We are very happy and feel settled and comfortable. I am glad we moved here.
Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?
Make sure you have patience for immigration permits and don’t get too annoyed with everything and everyone being so PC but apart from that if you want pretty cheap living, beautiful scenary, friendly people and lots of opportunity, New Zealand is really great.