Monthly Archives: June 2016

Work Culture: Australia vs New Zealand

“How’s it going mate” or “Kia Ora”…

If you are tossing up between work and travel in Australia or New Zealand and are wondering what it would be like to work in these countries, here’s some fun info to help you on making the decision.

The Aussies and the Kiwi’s have many similarities and one of them being they all enjoy a balanced work, life, family lifestyle. While both nations are known for being hard working, they both like to ensure they get in their social time and get outdoors.

New Zealander’s are well known for their ability to simply get on with the job. Finding solutions and coming up with new ideas are just some of the many traits you will find in most Kiwi’s.

A huge number of New Zealand businesses average 14 employees so it’s likely you will know most people in your office and the occasional staff lunch with the director is not uncommon.

While Australian’s are very relaxed and laid back they certainly know when to knuckle done and get the job done. Known for their hard work ethic Australia regularly pops up in the list of countries with the world’s longest working weeks. You might be familiar with the word to describe this and it’s “hard yakka”.

Whether you are working in a corporate office or with a smaller business it’s rare to find a hierarchy system. The school leaver is respected, the manage is respected and all are seen as one of the team.

Getting to work in the big cities can certainly be busy, whether you drive or catch public transport be sure to have enough time to get to your destination. However, if you enjoy  a bit of morning and evening excersice you can join the growing number of Aussies and Kiwi’s who are walking and Cycling to work and creating a much greener environment!

you might find that the Kiwi’s and Aussies can show a competitive streak but be sure not to take this to heart. Some friendly competition and banter in the work place will only add fun and laughter to your day. You will be sure to make some good friends and likely enjoy a regular Friday afternoon knock off drink with them.

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Learning English: Tips & Tricks!

Are you starting your New Zealand adventure soon but you are worried about your English skills? It’s just so hard to practice at home because speaking in English with your parents or friends just feels silly right?

I know exactly how you feel and want to help you prepare for your departure! Being from Germany I also had to learn English as my second language. To be honest, I wasn’t very good in English at all and almost failed a year in high school! Like many of you, I wanted to go overseas to improve my English. Now I am fluent and hopefully my tips for studying English will help you prepare for your time in NZ J

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  1. Watch movies in English

Seriously, this is just the easiest way of learning a language. It doesn’t even feel like learning! Choose your favorite movie or just one you have seen before and put on the subtitles that way you won’t get frustrated!

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  1. Read books in English

Start with an easy one like a novel that will not use words that are too complicated. Start off with one that isn’t too thick because you will probably take longer to read in English and get frustrated if it takes you ages to read one book. Also, don’t worry about not understanding every word! Just skip a word or even sentence you don’t understand you will probably figure out what it could be later on.

  1. Read/watch NZ news

If a whole book is a bit too daunting, maybe spend a little bit of time watching or reading our New Zealand news pages. This is a great way to find out what’s going on in NZ at the moment that way you also have some conversation starters with your family! Here are some news pages: http://www.newshub.co.nz/   and   http://www.stuff.co.nz/

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  1. Check out the lyrics when you listen to English music!

 I bet there are plenty of English songs you sing along like “ghbiblfkngbdijbg” guessing the lyrics! I do that too, even native speakers sing along without knowing what the song is actually about! Take your favorite song and google the lyrics. You will not only find yourself getting much better at karaoke but most importantly you will learn new words. For example, I learned the word “tongue” from Jason Mraz’s “I’m yours” and every time someone says tongue I’m thinking of this song!

  1. Use post-its

After many years of studying English in school you might have forgotten the basics by the time you graduate. In my last year in school we read Shakespeare but I didn’t even know words like knife and fork anymore. Crazy right? Leave Shakespeare at home, what you need in NZ is good foundations. Use post-its with English words and put them in the corresponding places in your house: for example, the words “sink” or “tub”. Question yourself: do I know what this is in English? If not, it gets a post-it! This way you will simply learn words throughout your day by doing nothing but looking at them again and again!

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  1. Speak!

I know speaking with your parents or friends in English is silly. Instead try and find someone who can actually not speak your language so you don’t have another other option! Try the internet to find a language partner or put up a note at the local university. There will always be some overseas students who would love to meet locals!

Just try to get exposed to as much English as possible in your daily life! Become really confident in speaking and listening/understanding because that is what will help you the most in New Zealand!

Most of all: be confident about your English! Don’t be shy! You know so much more and speak so much better than you think! Your host will appreciate how well you can speak a foreign language and you should be proud of yourself! With a bit of preparation, you will have an easy start here in NZ and once you are here you English will improve so much more just by talking it every day!

Winter in New Zealand

Winter is definitely settling in here in NZ! Looking to plan a winter adventure, kiwi style? We’ve put together a list of reasons why NZ in winter is awesome:

  1. Less queues and no peak pricing: One of the great things about travelling New Zealand in winter is that it’s considered the ‘low season’, meaning you can check out some of the biggest tourist hotspots and avoid those crazy summer queues! Note: Avoid the school holidays if you can, as these tend to be busier times. https://www.govt.nz/browse/education/school-and-college/2016-school-holidays/
  1. Whale watching in Kaikoura: While sperm whales hang out in the Kaikoura coast all year round, come winter the humpback, pilot, blue and southern right whales stop by on their way from the Antarctic to the tropics! June to August is the best times to see them, plus with the added bonus of the beautiful snow capped mountain scenery.
  1. Hanmer Springs: Hanmer springs is located between Christchurch and Kaikoura, and is considered one of New Zealand’s best hot springs resorts. With picturesque scenery surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the famous thermal pools and spa (co.nz) are a beautiful place to relax.
  1. Queenstown: Know as the adventure capital of NZ, Queenstown is the perfect place for a winter adventure! With world class ski fields, beautiful scenery, bars, ski-touring and more, you’ll be sure to see some of the best winter scenery there is to offer.
  1. Baby Seals in Kaikoura!: The perfect spot for the animal lovers among us. There is a waterfall located 15 minutes north of Kaikoura (Ohau Waterfall Walk) which is filled with baby seals during the winter months 🙂
  1. For the snow sport lovers: NZ is home to 18 commercially operated ski fields. The three main regions that are popular among tourists are Mount Ruapehu (in the central North Island), the Southern Lakes (Queenstown and Wanaka in the South Island), and Mount Hutt (near Christchurch in the South Island).
  1. Ohakune Mardi Gras: Known to be the premier winter street party of the season, this is an awesome way to welcome the cooler months with local and international artists, street performance, fireworks, and an atmosphere like no other. For ticket information and more see: http://ohakunemardigras.co.nz/#_

NOTE: Stay safe on our roads. Be sure to take extra care on road trips, especially in winter where the roads are often icy. Make sure to check the conditions before beginning your journey, ensure your car is road safe with all defrosters, heaters, indicators, lights, tires, etc. are all in good working order.

We’d love to hear about your winter adventures. Let us know what you’ve got planned for the upcoming winter months in the comment box below.

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