Following the 2023 amendments allowing direct equivalency for U.K.-trained physiotherapists, I reached out to Healthcare Abroad in September ’23 to start my transcontinental journey. While my initial interest was moving to Australia, I was encouraged by Rosie and Jon to consider New Zealand as well, given the job market at the time. My circumstances were slightly different from most U.K. applicants, given that I am a U.S. citizen, and have not practiced in the U.K. in the past 3 years, at the time of my application. This resulted in an initial failure during my registration with the New Zealand Board of Physiotherapy, but guidance from Rosie directly helped me overcome this issue, by providing proof of further education and appealing directly to the Board. HA has done more than simply point me in the direction of a new career pathway, they helped open doors and guided me (with egregious patience) every step of the way.

Within one short month, I was licensed as a physiotherapist in New Zealand, and my visa application was accepted. After that, Jon had a plethora of options available to me for where I could move to, and offered advice and insight after every interview. His contextual knowledge and experience within New Zealand led me to accept a position within Auckland, and my start date was set for early January, ’24. From beginning the process to landing the job took less than two months! The journey had more than one hiccup, but the communication maintained by Rosie and Jon helped me feel heard and supported.

Finding accommodation in Auckland was competitive, and adapting was more difficult than I anticipated, as it can be quite hard to make friends in a new (and big!) city! However, shortly after landing, HA set up a meet-and-greet between other physio’s and occupational therapists, and we instantly clicked. The shared experiences built our friendship, and it quickly turned my experience within Auckland to an intensely positive one. The summer festivals, the hikes, the beach (a 15-minute walk from my clinic), the only real limitation to what you could do in a day is measured by how long you can stay awake!

Working in New Zealand has been one of the most laid-back job experiences in my life. The Accident Compensation Corporation is an absolute powerhouse of a health insurance provider, and (at least compared to working in the U.S.) a genuine pleasure to work with. Accident? Injury? Covered. Working with patients to help them get back to 100%, fully recovered, sport-ready, is intensely rewarding. Additionally, the new Careway pathway (a subdivision of the ACC) allows me to flag and elevate patients who may need surgery, giving them priority for intervention, eliminating copays and other barriers to care, and helping ensure they engage in the recovery process for more complex injuries. Besides the logistical elements of working with the ACC and Careway, however, the patients here are something else! Auckland seems to be the melting pot of the entire world, and I find myself treating patients from almost every different continent!

My job in Auckland has allowed me to explore so much of the North Island, and provided an incredible opportunity for me to propose to my fiancée: watching the sunrise over a volcano while on a beautiful, clean, quiet beach. From Cape Reinga and seeing the Tasman Sea meet the Pacific Ocean to the meadows of Hobbiton to spelunking in the Waitomo glow worm cavers, exploration is a daily element in New Zealand, and one I would have missed entirely if not for the gentle suggestion from Rosie and Jon. HA has offered genuine friendship and interest in my situation out here, and have maintained communication to ensure I feel supported and to help me through any difficulties.

It can seem daunting to move to Australia or New Zealand, because what if it all goes wrong? What if you can’t make friends, or the job is stressful, or ten thousand other what-ifs? Rosie and Jon make sure you’re not alone out here. The process is bafflingly easy thanks to their support, and so much quicker than I could have imagined. Literally any issue you might have, they can address, or at least offer you guidance on it. I could sing their praises for the rest of my life, and I absolutely will. To anyone who is wanting to explore another country and needs a little support or encouragement? HA does not give you a little. They give you a lot. I was intimidated by the prospect of moving to another hemisphere, 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) from my home, but after taking the leap of faith? I don’t regret a thing.

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