Expat Confession: A Kiwi Living Abroad in the United States

Courtney M is a local Kiwi from Christchurch, New Zealand. She landed a gig as an Au Pair for a family in Seattle, USA and lived in the area for two years. As an expat abroad, I was able to sit her down and hear about her experiences in a foreign country. It’s really interesting to hear about people’s experiences abroad, and her story was truly unique because she experienced the United States as a foreigner. If you’re considering a move over seas, consider this story.

Courtney during her visit to the Grand Canyon

Courtney’s expat confession of her time living in the US

Please introduce yourself, what’s your name, age, where you’re from, what languages you speak? How did you grow up?
Hi, I am Courtney I am 25 years old and am from Christchurch, New Zealand. I speak English, I grew up In a small town just north of Christchurch with my parents and two sisters.

Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
My Favorite place I have traveled to would have to be either Seattle, WA USA or New Orleans, LA USA

What’s number one on your bucket list to travel to in the future?
Somewhere I can swim with turtles!

What was the final factor that made you take the leap to move abroad? What was it that turned it from a dream to reality?
I didn’t have much going for me after college and so decided why not, NZ will still be waiting for me when I get back. I honestly didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it.

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Where are/were you living abroad? What do/did you do to support yourself financially?
I was living in Seattle, WA USA working as an Au Pair.

What information do you wish you knew before you moved? Do you have any regrets?
I regret that I didn’t make the time to see more while I was over there. I wish that I had done more research on the US and worked out a list of everything I wanted to see and do while there and then actually do it.

Are/were you able to travel while living abroad?
Yes, I was able to travel anywhere in my first year however was unable to leave the US in my second year. I was able to see 13 States and visit Canada 3 times.

What is your favorite part about living abroad? What is your least favorite?
It was somewhere new to explore where no one knew me or my family so was able to be myself more. I didn’t know anyone to begin with so felt quite homesick, once I started making friends I really fell in love with the city and the idea of travelling.

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How has the cultural differences affected your life abroad? Are there any language barriers? Culture shock stories?
Because English is my native language, there were no language barriers in the States. However, some phrases were taken the wrong way or the way I pronounced certain words because my accent was

What is your favorite memory you had while living abroad?
Just all the travel and the overwhelming excitement of the first day in each new city.

How has living abroad changed your life?
I no longer take the beauty of my own country for granted and I think I have now caught the travel bug.

Anything else you’d like to share? What are your final thoughts on living abroad you’d like to share with someone else considering it?
It was honestly the best 2 years of my life and if I could do it all again I would! But do as much research as you can and make a plan of everything you want to do and then do it!

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Now that you’ve heard her story, us know in the comments below if you have any questions for Courtney! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your move abroad, and check out our other expat confession about an American living in Denmark.

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