Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Studying in New Zealand-Part 2

You'll need to watch you expenses more if you have a car. Petrol costs are skyrocketing ($1.69 per litre now) and it will go higher next year when the new carbon tax comes info force. I believe they'll implement compulsory insurance soon and you'll have to pay for a warrant of fitness to be done twice a year, maintanence and other stuff. The only thing cheap about driving in NZ is the cost of cars.

NZ (and Australia) uses the WA-16 plug system. It is similar, but not the same as the Chinese plugs! The Chinese plug pins are a bit longer. They work fine with NZ through. All of us use 240v, 50Hz.You can pick up one of these cheap adaptors at Lowyat these days. I just bought a few for RM7 each.The great thing about the NZ system is if you don't have a earth pin you don't have to poke the earth "hole" to plug it in, like here in Malaysia.
I suggest bringing a Malaysian power bank with say 3-4 plugs, and changing the head when you get there, so you still can use your Malaysian appliances (notebook charger, handphone charger etc) without having to change all the heads.
The problem with that method is if and when you buy some NZ appliances (stuff like desk lamps, electric kettles) since you won't be able to plug them into the Msian multi-plug. You'll either have to get an NZ to Msia adaptor or get an NZ multi-plug and plug the M'sian multi-plug AND the NZ appliances into it.

About the baggage's limit,it really depends on whether you're talking about domestic or international flights. From my experience, the folks at KLIA really don't care and give quite generous allowance for both check-in and hand luggage. Especially hand luggage. Never been asked to weigh it and they don't regulate the size, no. of pieces etc either unless it's really extreme.

Domestically within NZ though (and international departing from NZ), is another thing. The limit for check-in baggage is 20kg (with an allowance of approx +5). Anything more and you pay. Hand luggage is 7kg (they will weigh it if it looks heavy) and there's a specific size. Technically, you're only allowed ONE piece and laptops count as that one piece. But stuff like jackets and handbags don't count. So I used to carry my laptop as my one piece and a SMALL backpack as my "handbag". Never had any problems. But I saw someone stopped once for trying to bring a huge rucksack on board.

Prices of computer parts in NZ are a bit higher than Malaysia, and range can be painfully limited (compared to KL's Low Yat) unless you order online.

traveller's cheques is a very expensive (and obsolete nowadays) way of transferring money across borders......you will easily loose 2-3% in exchange loss and transaction fees........

tt (telegraphic transfer) is a quick way of transferring money, usually in 1-2 days, but also incur a very high charge, from both the sending, and receiving ends..........only use this in an emergency.....

the most cost-effective non-urgent way to transfer big sums is by bank drafts (or demand drafts)...... incurs minimal charges buying, and zero charge receiving, when deposited into an account.....that's how we transfer our funds...........

for small amounts, especially during travels/visits, use your msian bankcard with either plus or cirrus facility to withdraw money at foreign atm.......instant cash, small charge only.......but of course limited by the limits of atm withdrawals allowed..........

I like ASB's interest rates but from the point of view of a student (with few savings), it gets a little inconvenient. I don't know about in Canterbury, but there's no ASB ATM/branch near the Auckland Uni campus. If you need $$$ or to do banking, you'll have to walk a distance. It's not THAT far, but it sure isn't convenient. It was the same in Otago - had to take a ten min walk to town to get anything done. And then there's the difficulty of finding ATMs when you're travelling, especially in smaller towns. There's always EFTPOS but sometimes you will need cash.

Let's not even get started on HSBC... National and BNZ are by far the most convenient. Plus National Bank offers 7.75% for their Online Account. rclxms.gif

Btw, if you really want to take advantage of high interest rates, open a foreign currency account in Malaysia. Our banks are offering interest rates as high as 8+% for fixed deposits in NZD. The advantage is interest isn't taxed in Malaysia. If only I had enough cash to make that worthwhile...

there is a cash out facility when you pay by eftpos payment, so you can always top up your cash reserve during a purchase.

note that when you convert rm to nz$, you incur exchange losses........and subject to exchange fluctuations........if you are sending over to spend, that is okay, but if you keep in msia, for the high interest, and eventually intend to covert back to rm.......beware.......you may actually loose money if the nz$ drops.

But say you need to pay cash for something (eg student group organised trip). It can be annoying to go to a shop to buy something you don't need, just to get cash out. Besides, not all small shops give cash out and you won't want to walk all the way to a supermarket for that purpose. Or maybe it's just me. smile.gif

Bout the exchange rate - you're right. But it's still something to consider for those who have the means. Fixed deposits don't have to be THAT long and from the looks of things, it's unlikely the NZD will fluctuate much within the next 6 months or so. I wish it would though...
Anyway, there's a risk factor in every investment. It's up to the individual to do the calculations and weigh the gains against the risk.

Yep, every dollar earned in NZ is taxed from wages to interest. Students are not exempt. And if you don't have an IRD number, you get taxed more.To do this,inform the bank and give them your number. Then inform IRD - you might be able to claim back some of the extra interest paid.

can we bring the seasoning from malaysia???like perencah nasik goreng adabi???Yes you can. BUT they must be properly commercially packed with the list of ingredients clearly printed on them. And no meats, fresh fruits/vege, or anything with seeds. And no dairy products (the exception being Milo MADE IN MALAYSIA). Just stick to things not on the banned list AND ALWAYS DECLARE THEM. What I do is to pack all food into a separate bag and show it to customs. So much simpler than digging into 2-3 bags for bits and pieces. The easier you make their life, the nicer they'll be.

It doesn't strictly have to be in one bag, but it sure makes life a heck of a lot easier than anyone. As long as you declare EVERYTHING food-related, you'll be safe. The worse they'll do is chuck it (which they won't if it's on the approved list). But if you don't declare, even if it's an allowed product, they might fine you $200 on the spot. For serious offences it's $10,000.

if your a student go student job search (SJS),seek and the others are more towards people who are looking for long term and graduated. Pay is higher on sjs,and much more practical rather then the std rate. one thin with jib on sjs is that they don't need experience one,although exceptional for one or two that needs la..but othet then that no need experience,cause we are all students! Jobs at sjs normally dnt need interview,but they just wanna see u la.. jobs are easy to get but depending on with city ur in! Auckland pays more but not sure if Dunedin does.

And oh another thing,after u graduate if u want to find a job here, no matter if u get a masters or bachelors degree if you have got more experience.. u'll get the job!! I met a m'sian who has got a double degree and is working at ASB bank, just as a personal banker while her supervisor who has got nothing but experience and working longer at the bank has a higher position!

moisturizer, sun block and lip balm are recommended for a dry skin soon you'll facing with.Change your facial wash. Use something that does not dry the skin.Something I find very effective and cheap for lips is Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Maybe a little messy.For skin, use soap that has 50% moisturizer. Name of that particular brand escapes me at the moment, but its everywhere in supermarkets.

While bringing perencah (spices) over might be a good idea, remember that NZ has strict quarantine laws, so dont be surprised if you cant bring in some stuff. And yes, if weight limit permitting, bring along the small stuff like pens, pencils, pencil lead, files etc frm M'sia, as they are a bit dearer in NZ thanks to the currency exchange. Don't bring over bulky stuff like paper through: its affordable here!

Not so much halal food outside. Mainly some turkish/middle eastern stuff. Most Malaysian food is not halal cos the places are owned/run by Chinese and Indians. There are a few halal ones but there's limited choice. I'm speaking for Auckland here, not sure how things are like in Palmy.

Perencah - if you intend to do cooking, bring some along. While NZ customs laws are strict, most of perencah will get through. I've said it before, as a rule of thumb, if you avoid bringing in meat, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, you'll be fine.

Clothes - there's very limited choice in NZ and it's definitely not cheap. I recommend that you bring clothes from Malaysia. The only things you should buy here are warm clothing. Since you're coming in April, just bring a couple of sweaters and a jacket and you should be fine. Btw those sports windbreakers etc don't count as jackets but they are useful if waterproof.

why NZ's tax is so high?that is called a socialised welfare state........you tax money is not wasted but goes into public services which you enjoy for free or minimal charge, eg healthcare, education, libraries, subsidised public transport, old age pension, unemployment benefits etc........ you will understand all this next time when your children grows up into uni, and when you grow old and need medical care.......... but it is a concept probably foreign to some segments of msian society who are used to enjoy these perks without the need to pay high taxes........ or you prefer to be tax moderately highly, have you tax money wasted by politicians on useless projects or bailing out failing business ventures or just plain old 'leakages', need to spend a fortune on private education for your children, and go bankrupt when you fall sick, like in some countries.
Don't forget besides income taxes, there's the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is 12.5% and land rates to city councils.
Public transport was expensive in Auckland and still is. But starting this year, tertiary students get 50% of the normal cost (but it's still inefficient and inconvenient). Not sure how it works in other cities.
Healthcare is still pricey here unless you fall into certain categories. It's too complicated to explain over here. But they have introduced further subsidies since I've been here. There's also the problem of long waiting lists but that can't be avoided.

Be warned that some Kiwis have different ideas about halal from you guys. The hall of residence I stayed in claimed its food was halal and genuinely thought it was halal - all meat came from halal suppliers. The catch is, they also served pork. So if you have a problem about utensils etc...

Other than issues with shared utensils, NZ unis/colleges really pretty good about catering to most dietary needs. Vegetarians get veggie food, people with allergies to gluten get gluten free food, there are signs in place warning about nuts, seafood etc for people who are allergic, options for Hindus who don't eat beef and pork, and halal meat for Muslims.




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