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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone! :)

Before I start, here's a bit of background about me. I'm a New Zealander who has been an expat since the age of four. My family relocated to Switzerland for my father's job, and we never returned (except for holidays). All my life I've been a New Zealander to the core, and it's the only place I have ever called home. Every time we go back to visit friends and family, I feel like I never want to leave, and my heart breaks when I have to. The last two times I visited, I almost stayed behind - in fact, when I was back in NZ in 2012, I was *this* close to it. As I walked to the departure gate, my entire body SCREAMED not to go. I'm pretty sure that if I'd stopped walking, I wouldn't have started again, or I would've, but in the opposite direction ;)

Last year my father enrolled me in a university course in England, which I felt okay about. I looked forward more to moving to England than to studying, because at least that would be a change from Switzerland (I never liked it there). It turns out it the problem wasn't Switzerland; it's that I really, really, REALLY want to go home to New Zealand. I like my university course (I'm currently in my first year), but I feel it won't lead me anywhere, or at least nowhere I want to go.

So I've been considering moving back to New Zealand. I have the money, and I have the possibility and connections (all my extended family lives back there). I've worked before and know how to look after myself. I know I have the guts to do it. On the negative side, however, I'm only 18 years old and don't have a university degree. And I know I will shock the hell out of my family if I told them I planned to move to NZ! Lol.

Am I crazy? Sometimes I feel like I am :D But deep down I know this is what my heart longs for, more than anything. I know New Zealand isn't perfect (my family keeps telling me I have a romanticized view of it, since I only really lived there as a young child, but I'm well aware that it's no utopia), I know it has problems like every other country in the world, but I don't care. It's good enough for me.

So, I really need advice - pretty much of any kind. I think I've made it clear that I want to do this, but should I? And how can I make it work? Has anybody else ever dropped whatever they were doing and moved abroad?

Thanks so much!
 

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Hi

I moved as a child from Germany and always felt that connection when we went back to visit or live. Have you shared how you feel with your family ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi

I moved as a child from Germany and always felt that connection when we went back to visit or live. Have you shared how you feel with your family ?
Kind of. My family know that I never felt at home anywhere but New Zealand, and my father said that every time we go back, he expects me to refuse to leave. But they don't know that I've been seriously considering moving back.
 

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FannieClaire

If you went to your father and let him know how you feel, I'm sure he wouldn't be surprised. What are you studying for at University? Perhaps you could talk to your family about continuing your studies there in England but then transferring for your last year or two. Make a plan, present it to your family and see what happens.
 

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One thing I would mention is that it can be different visiting a place as opposed to living there. When you holiday here, your extended family probably rallies around, inviting you out to dinner etc etc. Once you start living here, you may find that that kind of contact dries up a little, as they go about their daily lives, and with you not being a 'visitor' any more. I guess a lot depends on how close you feel to the family already living here. And there might be some truth in what your parents have said about your romanticising of NZ.
However, a great way, I think, to overcome any initial loneliness, if you were intending to enrol at a NZ uni, would be to live in a university hostel. I would guarantee you would quickly make a lot of new friends. Failing that, try and get into some sort of communal flat with 5 or 6 other similarly aged people. If you're wanting to go to uni though, you'd probably need to get your skates on and get in your applications. :)
Funnily enough, I was speaking to a childhood friend yesterday in a similar position to you who feels at home every time they visit here.
Good luck. Sounds like a tough decision you have on your hands.
 

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I came to New Zealand for the first time when i was 16, with my parents, to visit my mum's family. And just like you, I felt immediately like I belonged.
It took me 30 years for the circumstances to be right for us to emigrate here - and I so wish we had done it earlier!
So I understand what you're feeling...

The others are right - talk to your dad, but maybe do some planning before you do so. He won't want you to give up Uni - and rightly so. But I'm sure he'll appreciate that you've thought and planned a way forward.

So investigate where you could carry on studying over here - there are a number of unis, depending on what you're studying. Look at Universities New Zealand - Te P

Good luck!
 
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