Why did you decide to teach in Australia?
I came initially for something new as I wanted to challenge myself in a new climate. All my life I had only really known the small town life of growing up and doing my education in Motueka. I was always entertained by the idea of moving away and trying something new, especially after completing my studies via distance. It is also worth mentioning the pay increase was a real point of difference between choosing between home, UK and Australia. I chose Melbourne in the end as it seemed most realistic and it felt like a great starting point to launch my career, especially with the help of the ANZUK team.
What made you choose anzuk?
They were the first agency that was introduced to me and I stuck with them. Right from the beginning they helped with any questions or qualms I had with moving abroad. They offered a lot of support and seemed to make the transition realistic and possible. This is what I would like to acknowledge about the team, they really support you with your move and they have supported educators like myself in pursuing their career elsewhere!
How did you find the support from anzuk?
I found the team to be very responsive and supportive. I had a few of the team go above and beyond and that really made a lasting impression on me. They were excellent in keeping me up to date with information related to upcoming positions and were supportive in applying for them.
What was the process like of finding a job?
It was fairly straightforward the application process. Initially I was going for part time CRT work as I was unsure of what I wanted to do. But when I thought I put my CV out there for full time work I was surprised by the demand and need for full time roles. ANZUK acted as the middle man in arranging interviews and supported me with the process by providing details of the school and contacts I needed with moving forward.
What are the biggest differences you have found between teaching in Australia/ NZ?
I thought I would struggle with the change in system but have found it to be very straight forward and similar to New Zealand. In my experience there are a few differences but I believe a lot of that comes back to the school you end up getting a position in. I’ve ended up at one of the biggest state schools in the state, with it being 3,500 students which is a little bit different to the 100-120 pupil schools I’ve worked in. So work does feel like life in the fast lane with all the business. I had to build and create new relationships which have really helped me establish myself, not just as a teacher but as a new person in a new place. To my knowledge I am the youngest full time teacher of around 230 full time staff, so with their support I’ve really up-skilled and have been learning new things everyday about the profession and myself, which I’m very grateful for. But on the whole, once you find your groove it is very rewarding and similar to life back in New Zealand. Obviously for me it’s the culture and city life that is the biggest difference to living in the sticks, but again there’s lots to enjoy about the lifestyle and climate in which you will work in.
What do you enjoy most about teaching and living overseas?
Definitely the change and self development with not only my career but myself. I do plan to move back to New Zealand as that is where my heart is. But for now, I want to embrace new challenges and experience new things, and there isn’t a better time to do so than now, especially fresh out of University. I am really stoked with how everything has gone, and have really enjoyed starting my career here as it has been a good foundation for my future plans.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of making the move overseas from NZ?
I would say that it is what you make it. Initially with just turning 22 I was unsure on whether I wanted to teach now or go off and travel. I am grateful for the experience I have now gained and know it will be of service to me later down the track. With moving overseas, I’d encourage you to organise the documents you will need well and truly beforehand and not do what I did with having things pending one week before the beginning of term. I would also encourage that before you start a position in a new place or overseas that you get to know the area that you’re going to move to beforehand, and give yourself a bit of time whether it is a week or two. For me I landed in the country on a Sunday and work started on Tuesday which did not afford me much time to settle and get to know the place. But if you are interested in the move, it is worth finding out more as it is a rewarding avenue to pursue.