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Hello everyone,

I'm new here, but was hoping to get some actionable advice as I'm struggling a fair bit. I just moved from the U.S. to New Zealand after about 8 1/2 months of planning and preparations to be with my long distance partner who I have since moved in and began our journey together with.

I finished my Bachelor's in English before moving but won't be able to work here for another month or two (I came initially on a visitor's visa to give us a trial run together), and have consequently had to spend a lot of time at home while my partner finishes up their last year of Uni (finishing up their Bachelor's at the moment).

I've been here about 2/3's of a month and am really starting to feel like a fish out of water. Luckily people speak the same language as me, but the cultural divide between the locals and even me and my partner is really starting to weight heavily on me. I haven't been able to exercise my creative mind because I just feel so overwhelmed. I've tried going for walks, both alone and with my partner, but I'm just beginning to feel more and more alone.

One thing potentially worth mentioning is that both me and my partner are introverts, him more so than I, and outside of him and his family I don't know anyone here. I think my mood is starting to put strain on our relationship, but I don't want to communicate these thoughts to my partner with only a little over a week until his exams. I will talk to him, but I can't add to what he's juggling right now because I'm a firm believer that school should come first.

Sincerely,
Drader321
 

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The down after months of preparation and excitement, boredom and a bit of homesickness thrown in. I am glad to hear that you do not want yo add to his burden of finals. Hang in there.
Make plans for a surprise celebration for finished finals, cook or bake something very special, pamper yourself a bit, look into volunteer opportunities, check out free classes at local CCs, look for newcomer groups, ...
 

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Hello everyone,

I'm new here, but was hoping to get some actionable advice as I'm struggling a fair bit. I just moved from the U.S. to New Zealand after about 8 1/2 months of planning and preparations to be with my long distance partner who I have since moved in and began our journey together with.

I finished my Bachelor's in English before moving but won't be able to work here for another month or two (I came initially on a visitor's visa to give us a trial run together), and have consequently had to spend a lot of time at home while my partner finishes up their last year of Uni (finishing up their Bachelor's at the moment).

I've been here about 2/3's of a month and am really starting to feel like a fish out of water. Luckily people speak the same language as me, but the cultural divide between the locals and even me and my partner is really starting to weight heavily on me. I haven't been able to exercise my creative mind because I just feel so overwhelmed. I've tried going for walks, both alone and with my partner, but I'm just beginning to feel more and more alone.

One thing potentially worth mentioning is that both me and my partner are introverts, him more so than I, and outside of him and his family I don't know anyone here. I think my mood is starting to put strain on our relationship, but I don't want to communicate these thoughts to my partner with only a little over a week until his exams. I will talk to him, but I can't add to what he's juggling right now because I'm a firm believer that school should come first.

Sincerely,
Drader321
It is often a big culture shock for people from the US to find that the rest of the world is different often, but not always, better. I found similar situations when moving from the UK to Colombia, and then from UK to Spain and in my case it was also a different language. What you have to do is stop moping, your bad vibes will have an adverse effect on his exams and ultimately on your relationship. Pick yourself up and get out there start looking for the positive things about your new home. One good starter is Kiwis are usually quite friendly and helpful. Take a look about you, are there any tourist offices, visitor centres, museums, libraries, exhibitions, etc. where you might find out more about the place and its history which will help you to look for positive steps to take towards settling in.
 

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Moving in with someone doesn't mean you can't have a life of your own. It's fine to say that you're an introvert - but you need to start interacting with your new home in order to start getting yourself installed where you now live.

It's going to take a few months to settle in - more if you keep to yourself all the time. Even once you get your initial work permission, it will take you a while to find a job. Work environments are different in different countries and your US education won't be instantly understood or translatable to the local job environment.

What you can do now is research - on the job market, the educational system, employment law, the tax and social insurances system, etc. etc. All that stuff is vastly different from the job environment in the US, and you'll have a much better shot at jobs if you can demonstrate that you've taken the initiative to research the system ahead of time. Whether you take up space in a local library or just search online for all the information you can find about job hunting (look for stuff for those on unemployment, or new graduates in NZ), this is all useful information and will make you feel a bit more confident in your new home.

Just to fully disclose: I went through very much the same sorts of fears, doubts and insecurities as I think you're experiencing. Only I put off for a LONG time trying to dig in and do my research to try to empower myself. Try and find a club or association you can throw yourself into for a bit (a choir, a theater group, a book group) or like twostep said, take a class, or find a lecture or concert schedule nearby. But you need to get active and start learning about this new, exotic place where you live.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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