Continuing in our series of Migrants Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand, taken from places around the net.
This tale was recently published on Expatexposed.com.
It was written by a student from China and anyone thinking of studying in New Zealand may find it interesting. You may like to read it in conjunction with our blog “New Zealand universities slide down rankings, must try harder”
“I first chance upon this site sometime last year as I was researching on future career prospects and what others have to say about New Zealand. I think its really the thin end of the wedge for me.
I’m a Chinese and coming from a very capitalistic and workaholic country, I found New Zealand to be a very stark contrast though I did my best to accept it with an open mind when I first came down last year.
I currently study at the University of Otago and the standard in NZ was simply shocking, from their living standards to their education, public transport, telecommunication, pricing, lack of competition etc.
I hardly know where to begin on what is wrong with New Zealand. I think its shocking atrocious that NZ kids are so poorly brought up. So far in my time here in New Zealand, I’ve never seen a “kiwi” flat that is tidy. It is always littered with thrash, clothes, articles and all sorts of items.
It is fine if individual room were messy but all that eventually spilled over to the public area such as the living room and the kitchen. I guess I was unfortunate enough to have to flat with kiwis, last year and this year.
Somehow they have this mentality that someone else will always be there to fix their problems which is evident in:
1) Not cleaning up their own dishes, leaving it in the sink and piling up more and more dishes everyday.
2) Making a mess of the whole place and not cleaning up after a party… not even after several days.
3) Breaking things and not informing anyone about it.
4) My current landlord (also a student) who happened to stay in the same flat with me, couldn’t even bother to change the kitchen lights, even when all of it went out.
5) Leaving the kitchen in a horrible mess, leaving butter knifes, bread crumbs, jam and all sorts of stuff all over etc.
The worse part about leaving dishes around is that they won’t even rinse off the food first, leaving it to crust up and become extremely hard to scrub off (this includes pots and pans).
A common complain which a lot of asian students share with me as well, was “stealing food”. For some weird reason, they seem perfectly fine with taking other people’s food, which can be quite expensive. It’s probably alright if you pinch a tiny amount of sugar, salt, condiments and what-nots, especially when you’re cooking and you’ve realised you have runned out… but regularly finishing stuff which doesn’t belong to you like milk, pies, pasta sauces, pasta, hot beverages etc.
The only thing they haven’t pinched are my whiskey, wine and ingredients that are too “complex” for normal cooking.
That’s on the home front.
In university, the method of instruction is simply horrible. I could give a better lecture than most of the lecturers they have (though there are some exceptionally good lecturers) which consist largely of reading off the slides, rarely giving concrete working-world related material.
In my course of study, accounting tutorials were taught by “honours” students which have barely any idea of accounting theory. When asked on relevant accounting treatment on answers to questions, he simply mumbled some convoluted reply, told us to refer to the textbook and the “correct answer” as posted online.
Working with kiwi students was even worse. They mostly did not have any idea on what to do in group work (which often involves presentation), could not brainstorm or give ideas or meaningful contribution, does not seem to understand the topics at hand and were only interested in doing what they are interested in… which is very very little.
Every group work (about 3 so far) I had with kiwis, I had to form out the basis of the presentation, where to draw our content from (journals, real life experiences, business examples etc.) and I had to get them up to scratch. They couldn’t even be arsed to practice for a presentation… especially when their idea of a presentation was a powerpoint slide show cramped full of text and reading off a piece of paper… like that is going to ENGAGE your audience. They seemed tucked into their own world that if they read off their scripts and ignored everything else (I tried giving constructive criticisms to improve their points… didn’t listen to any at al) they would somehow get their points.
Even the most hard working kiwi student I have met so far (who was actually genuinely interested in doing well…. in his own definition), I would only equate him on par with some of the laziest friends I knew back from where I came. It seems to be a “I-want-to-knock-off-at-5pm” mentality. Don’t ask me to do anything MORE beyond that, not gonna pull an all nighter or anything to make it better.
Having worked previously, I joined some of the clubs and worked with some of the businesses here. It is a major disappointment.
You can’t trust their word because if they said within the day, it means a few days later… if they said 2 weeks (10 working days reference), it often meant MORE than 2 weeks. I had an incident where time-critical inventory was not delivered for an event until a few days after, bookings which I made were not kept because I was “vague” in my request.
The worse part is, you can’t simply switch suppliers or go to better businesses and call it a day. There is simply too little or NO competition at all! Instead of the customer being the focus of business, the convenience of the supplier is the focus.
There’s just so much more horrible things that could be written about… about the university, about the life style, about a lot of things.
I suppose the only few good things I learnt from NZ, was to become more liberal, open and friendly to strangers with a genuine interest rather than a “learnt behaviour”. I find a lot of NZer’s are not friendly, because they are genuinely friendly but because it was a “learned” behaviour.
Also for the oddest reasons, the NZers which I like the most, are the older chaps and chaps with accents. They were actually decent, respectful, NOT racist and you can actually have a good conversation with them.
New Zealand is a big disappointment for me. I am hoping, their working world will be more efficient but efficiency seems to be a lost concept here, with mandatory breaks for 4 hours of work, resulting in morning tea, lunch break, afternoon tea and pronto out-of-here at 5pm.
I use to say pretty bad things about the public sector from my country but as bad as they were, they are still better than the private sector in New Zealand. I don’t even want to talk about their “public sector”.