Interview: Playing Rugby and Figuring Out Life in New Zealand

Chris is a fellow American living and working in New Zealand. He came here between high school and college to try and figure out life. I worked for the hostel where Chris lived before moving to his flat. He always has a smile on his face and is very friendly. I’m glad he has found a happy life in New Zealand, and I wish him the best.

  1. Where are you from?
    St. Charles, Illinois. It’s a little suburb outside of Chicago.
  2. Do you plan on going to college? If so, what do you want to study?
    Yes, I plan on going to college. I want to study business management or any type of management.
  3. Why did you choose to live and work abroad in New Zealand?
    Fifty percent is just getting away from everything at home. Everyone I have met traveling has been through some shit and wants to show their independence. The other fifty percent was to play rugby for Marist St Pats – the team pays by game, if you play.
  4. How did you find Marist St Pats?
    Had one of my coaches help search for a few teams that would offer to help me out. It was the rugby coach at Arkansas State…who is a Kiwi.
  5. Can you briefly explain the process of applying for a holiday work visa?
    It was expensive and not very easy. They kept sending it back to me. It happened about three times. I had to have a company do it for me. But I would not recommend going through a company, because it is expensive and they convince you to buy things you don’t need, like a sim card.
  6. How long do you plan on spending in New Zealand?
    As long as possible.
  7. What type of work are you searching for?
    Something where I can still enjoy New Zealand. Something hands-on, like being a manager. I hurt my knee so I haven’t been able to play in the rugby games.
  8. What is your approach to looking for work?
    At first I didn’t need to work. Then it hit me hard – a reality check that I am broke. I think talking to people and making connections is the best way to find a job.
  9. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced thus far?
    Becoming absolutely broke.
  10. What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to live and work in New Zealand?
    Don’t second guess it. It’s awesome here.
  11. Why is traveling and living abroad important to you?
    It was my first time… I basically graduated high school and then moved to New Zealand. I wanted to experience a different culture and move across the world. I have a very closed, hippy family and I just needed to get out and see the world.