Study to develop a career
Studying and working in New Zealand: Divya's migration story
Kia ora. Hi everyone. I am Divya, and I am currently living and working in Dunedin New Zealand, and I’m originally from Kerala, India.
The idea of moving and settling in a foreign country was in my head somewhere around when I was at school I think … One thing that attracted me to New Zealand is the fact that it IS a modern country, but it has got that traditional blend in it, which is what I was looking for.
I’m Stuart, Programme Manager for Electrical programmes at the Otago Polytechnic. There is a shortage of engineering staff in New Zealand - we get students from Saudi, India, China … Malaysia. It gives them the ability to pick up a New Zealand qualification in the time that they are here, and apply that to New Zealand’s need.
I choose to come here as a student, I am an electrical and electronics engineering graduate – I could have come here as a skilled migrant, or for a holiday initially and then you know applied for another visa, but … a student visa gives you the opportunity to … you know .. sort of blend into the social fabric of the country… so that is why I choose a student visa, and I choose a six month course, that is not a long period… and that course – the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching gave me, like a bonus package of one year graduate job search visa, which is a work visa.
18 months ago it was decided there was need to develop a course from the certificate to the diploma and into the degree … and as a result of that we needed more staff.
When I first came here … there was an immigration workshop, organised by Careers NZ and Settlement Support … there they had guidance to, you know, make your CV right, according to New Zealand standards, and there were employers from the industry to guide us what they are looking for. Through these agencies, I corrected my CV, I made it much much better, and that has helped me, it made my job search here much more easier.
When we advertised for the role we had 29 applicants, and there were only two New Zealand residents - Divya was one, as a, as a visa holder … she was way above the rest in terms of experience ... she was probably the preferred candidate right from the beginning, and has been employed as a lecturer in the electrical section of the Architecture, Building and Engineering Department
Um… settling in Dunedin was – for me it was quite easy because it is a small city but when I came here, Kiwis … speak fast. Really fast, and the pronunciation of letters are a bit different from what I’m used to.
But because I was in a home stay, and I was living with a Kiwi family, I slowly learned their way of speaking.
The hardest thing for me .. being away from your loved ones. I call my Mum like four times a day, and whenever I am sick I call – I miss my Dad – because he’s the one who would take care of me … but when you make a choice you have to go through all those you know, hardships I think – you have to stand up for the choice you made in your life, and that’s what I did – and the people here made it much more easier for me.
So I think .. you know .. it’s a good - it’s a win-win, New Zealand and me, and .. when I look back I’m proud of the achievements I have made as a person and I’m really happy that I made .. you know, a choice which is so good – New Zealand.