NZAS #6: 12 Things To Keep In Mind Before And Upon Arrival To New Zealand

Kia Ora!

It’s been a week since I arrived in New Zealand. It still feels like a dream but this is it. The long wait, the long queue, and the long air travel were all worth it. I am now officially starting my new journey here. So where do we start from here?

1. Make sure you have booked your accommodation prior to your arrival. As a scholar, you will be provided with accommodation solutions as soon as you confirm the scholarship offer. You will have to consider the pros and cons and decide from the plenty of options provided for you. If you are not familiar about how to get around near your university, it is best to choose the University accommodations as they are generally accessible and convenient. The only downside is that it comes with a price (don’t worry, it is still within your allowance kaya lang tipid moments). Be mindful that there are some universities (i.e. University of Auckland) that will require you to submit an application for accommodation. If you wish to stay at a more affordable place, the Accommodation Solutions (you will receive an email) will give you options.

2. Once you secure your accommodation you need to book your airport pick up (if applicable). In the case of the University of Auckland, you will receive an email with a link so you can book one. You need the exact address of your accommodation and the number of luggage you will be bringing.

3. ALWAYS check the baggage allowance allotted for you. The scholarship will normally grant you the economy baggage allowance (e.g. 30kg) so if you are bringing in more items then you need to prepare for extra charges. As a personal tip, you just have to bring things within the allotted baggage allowance to avoid inconveniences. If you are coming in with your family, send your balikbayan box/es one month in advance if it is really necessary (for sure, mauuna ka pang makakarating kesa sa padala mo).

4. Print out your ticket, visa/e-visa, scholarship letter and letter of offer from the university in preparation for any interrogations it may occur during your travel. You will also need these documents when you process your university requirements later on.

5. Pack light but pack the essentials (i.e. foldable umbrella, ballpens, markers, sticky notes, notebook/notepad, calculator, cosmetics). The ones I mentioned are some of the expensive items I have found in NZ. For instance, a pen (parang Panda lang) costs around 5 NZD, umbrella costs 20-25 NZD (hindi pa yan automatic). Remember to pack your passport, cellphone, charger and power bank.

6. Check your email regularly for updates. You need to check some advisory and essential updates regarding your flight schedule, airport pick up, and other things related to your travel to New Zealand.

7. Buy a New Zealand sim card. If you need to contact someone (i.e. the driver  upon your arrival, you can buy your sim card at the airport. Remember to activate it and register online. It comes with mobile data if you avail the package. I got a Vodafone sim card at the airport. The sim card costs 5NZD and top up with 30 NZD for combo package. (mobile data, calls, and unlimited text messages). You can download the mobile application for ease of transactions and to monitor your remaining balance.

8. Drop by the International Student Office for courtesy call, a welcome pack, and some instructions (UoA).

9. Claim your student ID at the Student Center Office. If you can get a tertiary sticker, do so. The sticker is essential if you usually commute because you will have 40% discount on your AT Hop card.

10. Open your bank account. For you to receive your allowance, you need a bank account. You need your student ID and your passport. Make an appointment with ANZ bank or BNZ bank. Mine is ANZ Bank because it is very accessible to the University.

11. Get an AT Hop card. This is essential if you commute every day. AT Hop card costs around 10 NZD and you need to top up with some amount for you to use. Make sure to activate it and register online. You should also apply for concession to finally avail of the 40% discount. Your student ID number will be required. You also need to download AT Hop application on your mobile phone.

12. Check the nearest grocery and department store from your location. You just arrived and you need to eat. If you live in Auckland Central Business District, the grocery is just few minutes walk. You can check Warehouse, Countdown or the Asian Store. At this moment, Google Maps is very useful. You can survive ūüôā

So basically, these are just some of the essential tips I can share with you based on my personal experience as you begin your journey to New Zealand.¬†Remember, if you have the courage to begin, you’ll surely have enough courage to succeed. Shine on!

If you have the courage to begin, you surely have enough courage to succeed.

ūüĎ£The Official Traveler

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NZAS #5: From Benguet State University To The University of Auckland!

Kia Ora!
I have mixed emotions as my journey to NZ will truly begin soon. I feel sad to leave a handful of dear people in my country but at the same time I also feel excited to meet new people and study in the highest-ranked university in New Zealand. I still cannot believe that I made it here.¬† It’s truly a blessing that I have been chosen to be a recipient of a prestigious New Zealand Scholarship program. Without the scholarship, studying at the University of Auckland would be next to impossible. Hence, I am grateful for the opportunity.

I really wanted to pursue Commerce (Business Management) at Saint Louis University in 2004 but my parents could not afford it during those days. Knowing this fact, I was sad at first but my hopes remained up. Fortunately, I was offered an option to take bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness as a DILG scholar with the help of the Pathways program for high school students by SLU. However, this scholarship could only be valid if I choose to study at a state university. Without any second thought, I grabbed the opportunity and finished the degree at Benguet State University. Thankfully, I graduated in 2008 with a consistent good mark. It may not be as expensive as Saint Louis University, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University or UP Diliman yet I shall never feel inferior about it. In fact, part of my character and the foundation skills that I have were honed in this humble state university.

My aspiration to pursue my dream/s did not stop there. I applied at the University of Melbourne (Australia) and University of Auckland (New Zealand) without even knowing if I’d make it or not. Yes, I personally know my educational background, School QS rating, etc. but it was all by His grace, by faith and work that I was able to receive Letters of Offer from both universities. I did not have any scholarship yet when I received the two offer letters. There was no way I am going in any of those prestigious universities without any scholarship. I had to pick one and focus on one Scholarship application.

Choosing between the two was not easy knowing both are promising universities. So I asked for wisdom and kept my faith up. Ultimately, I picked University of Auckland and applied for a scholarship. The University of Auckland is the largest university in New Zealand. It is the highest-ranked university in the country, being ranked 81st worldwide in the 2016/17 QS World University Rankings. Surprisingly, the scholarship is for me! No doubt! I can surely tell in many circumstances that have occurred. Thanks to NZAid for the privilege and glory to God for making things beautiful in His time.

“Wherever I go or whatever I’ll pursue, I hope to be reminded to always fulfill the trust reposed in me by my parents, my nation, and my alma mater”

Now, I shall continue my journey as I take another degree overseas. Wherever I go or whatever I’ll pursue, I hope to always fulfill the trust reposed in me by my parents, my nation, and my alma mater. From a humble state university to a world-class university, this quest is seemingly a challenge full of excitement and uncertainties. Even so, I shall remain positive that I am going to love studying here as it provides plenty of opportunities to learn and to experience both the city and outdoor life in New Zealand.

To the one who’s inspired by this short testimony, don’t lose hope. Stay focused and work it out. If it’s for you.. it’s for you. If it’s a NO, don’t give up. Either you try again or try something else. ūüôā

Apart from You, I can do nothing.

ūüĎ£The Official Traveler

 

NZAS #4: How To Send Passport¬†& Handling Fee By Post?

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Some applicants are required to provide their passport even if they¬†applied for New Zealand visa online.¬† If you need to provide your passport, you would have been advised of this on the ‚ÄėThank you‚Äô page when you submitted your Immigration ONLINE visa application. If you are not sure if you need to provide your passport, login to your¬†RealMe account, open the application PDF and look at the advice on the last page.

The Immigration New Zealand will contact you if they need your passport or any other information. If you were instructed to provide your passport, ensure you read the following steps carefully:

Step 1 : Prepare the following:

  • your ORIGINAL passport
  • printout of the ONLINE confirmation page or your ONLINE application reference number if available
  • your contact information: phone, e-mail and return courier address (if applicable)
  • the Visa Application Centre (VAC) passport handling fee (plus any applicable courier fees) either in person, through a representative or by post.

My Experience:
I did not have enough time to travel to Manila to process my visa so I decided to maximize the use of NZ online services. No agent needed!

Step 2 : The VFS Global Service Fee are applicable per application.

If you are not applying in New Zealand, you also need to provide a fee for the processing of your passport by the Visa Application Centre. The New Zealand Visa Application Centre will accept all of the payment in PHP currency only. Please be aware that VFS is no longer accepting Manager’s Check (at least in my experience). I have verified this already. You may deposit the fees through cash to any Metrobank branch over the counter.

My Experience:
I paid for the Passport handling Fee via Metrobank (+courier fee for my passport to be sent back to my office). I do not have existing account so I went to a Metrobank branch and deposited the required amount to their account number.
I paid for the ff:
a. Passport Handling Fee: 570php
b. Courier Fee: 385php
I sent¬†my passport and info details¬†via LBC (paid separate amount of 175php) and received¬†it after 10 days through 2GO Express. I did not opt to pay for the SMS services. I monitored through LBC tracking system and that’s enough for me ūüôā

Step 3 : Scan Your Passport Bio page, Bank Transaction Slip, and contact information

Do not forget to scan these as you will have to email it  to VFS. The address will be provided to you.

Step 4 : Send via Courier

It’s time to send your passport together with the original deposit slip and contact information. Do not forget to write¬†the address and summary details for ease of reference.¬†Once you lodged your application, track your status of your shipment every now and then. If they do not receive your passport within 20 days, your application could be declined.

LBC

Step 5: Visa Application Status Update

Once your shipment has finally arrived, you shall automatically receive a confirmation email that your application is being processed at the New Zealand Embassy.

Step 6: Visa Application Has Been Processed

After several days of waiting, you shall receive an automated email saying your visa has been processed and your passport is in transit. You will also receive a confirmation in your RealMe account.

Step 7: Congratulations, you made it!

Now, you just have to wait for your passport to arrive the next day or two. Haven’t I told you can do it? ūüôā

Useful site: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/contact/offices/philippines

I got multiple visa!! ^_^ PTL! See you soon NZ!

 

NZAS #3: How I Applied for a New Zealand Student Visa Online

To be able to study in New Zealand for more than a year, I know I need to apply for a student visa. However, I live far from Cebu and Manila and I am also working on weekdays.  Through a little bit of research, I know it can be done by myself (DIY). Thanks to the immigration of New Zealand website  which I find friendly and pretty straightforward. With my scenario, I opted to use the Online Application instead of the paper-based application. Let me share how I did.

Step 1: Open the immigration of New Zealand site. Read and learn more about the details about your visa.

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Step 2: You will be prompted to create or log in to your RealMe account. DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSWORD.

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Step 3: Once you are logged in, just click on “Make an Application”. You will be required to:
a. Fill out an application form

  • You need to complete the answers to all questions in English.
  • You do not need to complete all of the application form at once.
  • You can save your application form at any time and come back.

b. Upload documents

 

  • You are required to upload documents to support your application.
  • You are required to upload an acceptable photo of yourself to support your application. Your photo must show a full-front view of the face, head and shoulders and you must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression, eyes open, mouth closed and head straight. Nothing should obscure the facial features.

Experience: NZ4

c. Submit and View application

  • You will be charged an¬†¬†application fee, you must pay before you can submit your application. This fee can only be paid using Visa‚ĄĘ, MasterCard‚ĄĘ or UnionPay‚ĄĘ.
  • If you are not applying in New Zealand, you also need to provide a fee for the processing of your passport by the Visa Application Centre.

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Experience: I paid for the visa fee (application cost)¬†using a MasterCard‚ĄĘ online

d. Supply additional documents

  • You may be asked to provide more documents to support your application. If they need more documents or information,¬†they will¬†get in touch with¬†you by email or other means.¬†So keep an eye on your mailbox,¬†email,¬†mobile phone, etc.

Once you clicked “Submit”, you can readily view your application.

Step 4: You shall receive an email acknowledging the receipt of your application and any other instruction.

Experience: I was asked to send Immigration New Zealand my passport along with the required handling fee so they can finalize my application.

So that’s how I did online.
Posting soon: How I Sent My Passport & Handling Fee By Post?

 

 

NZAS #1 | The New Zealand ASEAN Scholarship Award

Maybe you are looking for career growth and you want to upgrade you skills and broaden your knowledge. Why not study abroad? The New Zealand government is offering a prestigious scholarships for people from developing countries to study in top notch New Zealand universities. You’ll get a chance to study with students and other professionals from around the world, build life-long connections to New Zealand as well as a global network. If you are up to postgraduate level study, try the New Zealand ASEAN Scholarships (NZAS). It seeks to empower individuals with the knowledge, skills and qualifications to contribute to the development of your home country.

WHO ARE ELIGIBLE?

As of 2017, the eligible countries are Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The application can be done online. To learn more about this scholarship, go to https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/aid-and-development/scholarships/how-to-apply/

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Filipino citizen residing in the Philippines
  • Not more than 40 years old at the start of the scholarship
  • Not have citizenship or permanent residence status in New Zealand OR Australia
  • Not hold, nor have held in the preceding 2 years, a New Zealand OR Australian government scholarship
  • Apply to commence a NEW programme of study
  • Apply for a higher-level qualification
  • Have at least 2 years work experience relative to chosen career
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to the development of the Philippines
  • Can take up the scholarship in the calendar year the scholarship is offered
  • Agree to return to the Philippines for 2 years following completion of the scholarship

DOCUMENTS NEEDED

If you are successful in reaching the shortlist, you will be required to provide the following documentation so get ready with them:

  1. One of the following:
    • Verified copy of passport
    • Verified copy of birth certificate
    • Verified copy of other official government issued ID
  2. Verified copies of relevant academic transcripts
  3. Verified copies of relevant completion certificates
  4. Contact details of most recent employer and two most relevant other employers (this does not apply to School Leaver applicants)
  5. A non-verified copy of an IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) or an original copy of a TOEFL test result form, completed in the last 24 months. Native English language speakers will have the opportunity to provide alternative evidence of their proficiency.

The Application for 2018 is now open to Filipinos [February 16-March 31, 2017].

Break a leg!

The Hidden Discipline in ‘Waiting’

This post is inspired by Daily Prompt: Overwhelming.

Waiting is hard. We wait in grocery lines, in traffic, in the doctor’s office. We twiddle our thumbs, stifle our yawns, and fret inwardly in frustration. On another level, we WAIT FOR A LETTER that doesn’t come, for a prodigal child to return, or for a spouse to change. We wait for a child we can hold in our arms. We wait for a pay raise. We wait for our heart’s desire. Little by little I’ve realized there is more to this than the disappointment that we temporarily feel.

In Psalm 40, David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord” The original language here suggests that David waited and waited and waited” for God to answer his prayer. Yet as he looks back at this TIME OF DELAY, he praises GOD.

Through the discipline of waiting, we can develop the quieter virtues–submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, persistence in well-doing–virtues that take the longest to learn.

What do we do when God seems to withhold our heart’s desire? He is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to accept the delay with joy and to see it as an opportunity to develop these virtues–and to PRAISE HIM.

Today, I receive that letter I’ve been waiting for–I’m going to study overseas with full-time scholarship. What can I say? The more I trust God, much more He amazes me. It’s truly overwhelming¬†that I’ve come to¬†learn all these through the discipline of waiting ¬†#ThankfulHeart.

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A Self-reminder

 

 

Study Abroad: Jeanne Sauve Public Leadership Program

The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2017-19 Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Program. The Foundation invites bright young change-makers from a wide range of disciplines and sectors from Canada and around to world to take part in a remarkable leadership journey.

The Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Program represents the beginning of a lifelong personal and professional development journey, as well as an opportunity to join a global community of public leaders.

Candidates between 25 and 30 years of age with backgrounds in advocacy, the arts, communications, journalism, education, engineering, governance, law, politics, security, social innovation and other fields related to public leadership are invited to apply to this program.

The deadline of Application is on October 21, 2016.

Click here to download a more detailed Application Instructions

Wish you best! ^_^
ūüĎ£¬†The Official Traveler

2016 Search for Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines


LEARNING, LEADING AND SERVING FOR LIFE


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Good news! The search is ON for the 2016 Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines.
You may download the nomination kit here or here:

QUALIFICATIONS

  • A Filipino citizen, not more than 30 years old, of excellent moral character, and without any record of criminal or unfavorable disciplinary case in school.
  • A bona fide graduating student for the current academic year (AY 2015-2016), from first baccalaureate degree (Health-related professions, Agriculture, Science and Math, Information Technology, Architecture, Engineering and Maritime, Humanities, Communication and Social Sciences, Teacher Education, Criminology, Business, Economics, Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Accountancy) or Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Laws degrees; and
  • An outstanding student in academic and co-and extracurricular activities with no failing grades during his/her entire study in college, Medicine or Law School.

For more inquiries, you may contact TOSP National Secretariat at (02) 634-5604/631-8101 loc. 7804 or at tenoutstandingstudents@gmail.com. Submit your bid books at your respective CHED Regional Offices.

DEADLINE OF SUBMISSION
APRIL 22, 2016: Regions II, III, IV-A, V, VI, VII, X, SOCKSARGEN, NCR, CAR
JUNE 10, 2016: Regions I, IV-B, XIII, IX, CARAGA, ARMM


Being one is just a short-term REWARD..
It is a long-term COMMITMENT.. no matter where you are ‚óē‚ó°‚óē
-JYS, Batch ’08¬†ūüėä

 

Think Globally, Act Locally

When I was younger I would hear some people¬†jokingly say,¬†“Go home and plant Camote” especially when someone¬†does not want to study or when one¬†performs low in academics. It seems farming has been looked down on ever since.¬†As a result, young people¬†tend to be inferior¬†about themselves especially when their¬†parents’ primary source of living is farming or when the¬†college diploma is Agriculture-related.

Farming is considered as a tedious job and we¬†think it doesn’t pay off well so we¬†never¬†tried to venture on it. Instead, some of us¬†look for a different job or.. leave our¬†homeland ¬†to serve another.

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“Dati, nahihiya pa tayong sabihin na ang kabuhayan ng ating mga magulang¬†ay pagsasaka o kaya medyo hindi pa tayo proud sabihin na ang tinapos natin ay ‘Agriculture-related’ course. So kahit na madiskarte ka, medyo mababa ang tingin mo sa chance mong makakuha ng trabaho na may mataas na sahod. Sad noh?¬†Kaya.. nag-abroad ka na lang. Sana ngayon, dapat magkaroon tayo ng positibong pananaw¬†tungkol dito” –ūüĎ£

Now that I’ve grown¬†and¬†have my own share of life and professional experiences,¬†I¬†realize we should not underestimate the power/potentials of Agriculture. There is a need to boost the prestige of Agriculture to entice young people to be involved into farming. With smart technology emerging swiftly, it doesn’t always have to be an inferior 3-D job.

If we do not invest on human capital and educate (with proper mentality) now, the future¬†might seriously suffer. Let’s be involved ūüôā

ūüėä Agriculture is a NEED not just a WANT.
No Farmers, No Food, No Future ^_^
ūüĎ£¬†The Modern Farmers


What’s New?


Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change the food system by connecting growers with technology. Get to know Harper’s “food computers” and catch a glimpse of what the future of farming might look like.
Watch This Computer Will Grow Your Food in the Future and see how it works.

Blogger: What Makes Your Day?

Having a rubbish day? Well, turn that frown upside down…
Sometimes we dwell on the things that make us sad, frustrated, or stressed out rather than concentrating on what makes us happy. Like it or not, it takes a little brain training to change our thought process from negative to positive. A good way to do this is by making a list of things that make us happy and keep referring to it every time you feel sad.

Whether you want to write down your favorite quote from a movie, write a new blog, or you stick down a photograph of yourself on one of the happiest days of your life, it’s sure to lift your spirit when you’re feeling down..

WHAT MADE YOUR DAY TODAY?


Remember:

People may forget what you SAID,
People may forget what you DID,
but incredible people will never forget how you made them FEEL. ‚ô•‚ô°‚ô•
ūüĎ£The Official Traveler

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A student made her¬†Teacher’s¬†day ^_^


People may forget what you SAID,
People may forget what you DID,
but incredible people will never forget how you made them FEEL. ‚ô•‚ô°‚ô•
ūüĎ£The Official Traveler