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.
- Where are you from?
St. Charles, Illinois. It’s a little suburb outside of Chicago.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- How long do you plan on spending in New Zealand?
As long as possible.
- 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.
- 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.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced thus far?
Becoming absolutely broke.
- 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.
- 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.