Finding part-time work
Pressure built up in my part-time job hunting but it pushed me and I learnt to be patient. Long walks under the heat of the sun, consultations with my friends and never-ending job applications continued. The need for me to sustain myself and find a job was unfortunately not granted as quickly as I expected.
Finally, I found independence with my first part-time job as a healthcare assistant. Even though I knew that the job was miles away from the job I had before, I warmly accepted my new role, to care for the elderly. In my white uniform as a nurse, my pride emerged for my co-caregivers.
Respect for them builds within me, the value of being employed and earning a living in a righteous way is important. At the end of the day, even if your job is not that highly profitable it can be immensely rewarding.
I will cherish the memories of the old people that I care for. Accepting life and death is one of the precious things that I have learned and will always treasure.
One day, my friends and I decided to go and work strawberry picking. I knew it would be full of fun after the first glance of strawberries and especially the farm. At last, my childhood wish would be granted, I was like a kid bursting with happiness. My euphoria though was replaced by my extreme body pain.
Back pains killed me and the only thing that I could do to help was to lie flat on the floor. I nearly quit but a voice made me stay on the farm while still having my other job to return to.
Having the gift of company and friends during this time made me strong. The obligations of sending money back to my family and preparing for the upcoming school days while working was what I faced every day. All of it, I entrusted to God.
I encountered bright sunny days and cold winter nights during the days that I needed to study and finish my papers. The tutors are amazing with teaching strategies focused on the use of technology
Public parks, library, cafes and sometimes museums have become part of my daily school routines. This teaches us that learning takes place not just through books and inside classrooms.
This is the fun, exciting, unique part of studying although it is balanced with the difficulties of dividing my time to study and work every week.
Travel and adventure
Fortunately, there is also time for travel and adventure - long drives to Muriwai beach, the Coromandel, Mission Bay, Snells Beach fed my exhausted eyes and uplifted my very soul. Adventures in nature, hiking and swimming have all been first-time events for me and my friends.
A once in a lifetime experience was having my first ever snow experience with my close friends - I was mesmerized. Followed by, sitting around in a warm fire and strolling on a farm full of sheep and cows where we can actually take photos close-up is a triple check on my bucket list.
My international student experience journey has taken me in search of jobs along with the struggles of adapting to everything and everybody. All of this has made me more determined.
As I am writing this piece, I am actually thinking back to all the things that I have done which I hope will serve as motivation for future students planning to study, work and live in New Zealand.