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Tips from Latvia...yes not Russia ;)
Hi everyone! I would like to share my Working Holiday experience in Kiwi Land as well. My name is Agnese and Iām from Latvia (in case you donāt know where it is ā Europe, Baltic States, between Estonia and Lithuania, with beautiful capital city called Riga; No, we arenāt part of Russia anymore and Yes, we do have our own language - Latvian). The Working Holiday Scheme with New Zealand opened only in March, 2009, so ā for us itās a pretty new thing, but Iām happy to know that more and more Latvians are applying for it and going for this lifetime adventure.
I think getting a Working Holiday Visa (if your country has such thing with NZ) is more or less the same ā quite easy. You just go to Immigration Service web page ā www.immigration.govt.nz and follow instructions: fill the application form, try to persuade Immigration Service that you havenāt done bad things in past (in a meaning - testify you havenāt been in a jail or something), might need to go see a doctor and get a Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate, wait for while until Visa is approved (for me it took 2 weeks, as I have heard for others - only 3 days), save some money, get flight tickets and here you go ā welcome to New Zealand. Easy ā peasy, but itās just the beginningā¦
Then comes all the arrangements and sometimes confusing you-need-to-do-this-and-this regarding finding a work, place to live and actually starting to work. If your financial situation allows, then I would suggest that you do some traveling first and then find a place to settle down for a while rather than doing the other way around. Sometimes you can stuck in one place for a long time and afterwards feel sorry that your precious time here in this country starts to run out, but there is still so much to see and do.
But when you start to look for a work there are two things that you should do first ā get bank account and IRD number. There are many ways how can you get these 2 things (it depends if you have already a sort of āpermanentā place to live and 2 international IDās ā passport, international driverās license or international ID card). I had only my passport, so I went to BNZ, gave them address of my hostel where I was staying at that moment, deposit some money, opened bank account and asked them to hand out a statement of my current address. With this statement I went to nearest Inland Revenue Service, filled application form and after 2 weeks received my IRD number. If you need to know it faster, you can call them and ask for it on the phone.
Regarding finding a workā¦well there is no super-duper/overall advice, sometimes it takes time, patience and determination and sometimes just a little bit of luck. So far I have worked in two places and the ways how I found them are quite opposite. I was on South Island and went to Christchurch which is the biggest city there, so it should be easy to find a work there, right? But the thing is that there are thousands of other travelers that think the same way, lots of them are heading to Christchurch for this reason. And then there are students, who look for summer jobs as well, so competition is quite high. But it depends what kind of work you are looking for and what kind of experience you already have. The main vacancies are in tourism and hospitality sector and usually they ask for experienced staff. I didnāt have any relevant experience, so it was hard for me to find anything. At the end (after some 2 weeks) I found a work as a housekeeper, but it was only a part time job, so I didnāt save lots of money. But I still had a great time and donāt have any regrets. The second work was in orchard ā cherry picking. To get this work I didnāt do anything, wellā¦ except one phone call. I was heading to Alexandra to look for a fruit picking work, I called to book a bed at one of the hostels called Marjās place. The owner ā Marj started to ask me out what Iām going to do in Alexandra. I explained that I want to do a little bit of traveling first and then find a fruit picking work. And then she said that by the time I get to Alexandra she will find me work in some of orchards. And thatās how it really was ā after traveling around the bottom of South Island, I went to Alexandra and was able to start work the next day. Thanks Marj. So, as you can see there are many scenarios about finding a work in New Zealand.
And there are many ways how to look for a job ā job agencies, community information boards (usually in supermarkets), internet, local newspapers, just walk in and ask (must warn that sometimes it can get very depressing to hear āNo, thank you. We donāt need anyone at this momentā for the 57th time), but for the best results you have to try them all.
Thatās my experience so far. Now Iām in Picton looking for a job again. Nice town, but not so much work opportunities, especially when the season is starting to end. But itās going to be great, at the end it always is. Somehow it works out. Good luck!
Submitted by: Agnese Mukstina Date submitted: 16/03/2010 1:15:27 a.m.