Hele On To… Aotearoa?

After quickly regrouping and pulling our Hilo lives back together, we’re starting to look toward the future again. I’ve been corresponding with the faculty of the music department at the University of Otago in Aotearoa (New Zealand) again, and they have been very encouraging about my beginning Ph.d. studies there in February 2008. Some details remain to be worked out, but unless a major obstacle is encountered we will likely be in Dunedin by January.

What is exciting about this is that there are no issues in having my family accompany me there. Foreign students seeking a Ph.d. there are entitled to resident tuition rates (about $3,000US) while they are resident there, and for up to a year during out-of-country research. My daughter is entitled to attend school for free and treated as a resident of New Zealand as well. If my wife decides she wants to work she can easily obtain a work permit. The university has some family-ready accommodations in their inventory that are on or very near to the campus and Dunedin’s major shopping center.

Secondary school begins in early-February and ends the first week of July. University classes begin in late-February and finish in late-June, to the timing appears to be excellent as well.

I was speaking with a colleague who knows a lot about Aotearoa, and she related that the country is very encouraging of people to not only study in but actually move there. The country itself has about 2.5 million people, of which about 1.5 million live in Auckland. While we have no plans of making the move permanent, New Zealand seems far more welcoming of us than Ireland was. Perhaps I should withhold that comment until we actually make it through immigration there 😉

4 comments on “Hele On To… Aotearoa?

Dave M says:

Haere mai, haere mai!

I’ve been following your trials, Keola, with some sense of horror … but I’m glad now that you may be able to turn Eire’s loss into Aotearoa’s gain. Of course if you come through Wellington / Te Whanga Nui a Tara we’ll roll out the red carpet for you …

I don’t want to be too pedantic, but according to the last census we had just over 4m people here, and just over a 1m in the Auckland area… You’ll love Dunedin but you’ll need to buy some warmer clothing — but you would have had to do that in Ireland anyway … and you can always nip over the pass to Westport if you need to be in a place that looks a bit like Hilo.

keola says:

Aloha Dave. Mahalo for the correction, I should have verified that info before posting it. I’m sure we’ll have travel time and have a chance to see you sometime during our stay there.

We’ll probably be best to wait until arrival to buy warm clothes; don’t think we’ll find much here in Hawai’i nei 😉

A hui hou n?.

Conn says:

I can’t help thinking that maybe things are happening for the best? It doesn’t change how I feel about what happened in Ireland, but New Zealand is a wonderful country – with a much more reasonable cost of living! 🙂

keola says:

Mahalo Conn, it is quite possible that it will all be the for better. The faculty at Cork was very good, but the woman who was going to supervise my research took a position at another institution shortly before we left as well. The folks at Otago have always been incredibly enthusiastic about my going there. We’ll see how it works out in the long run, but I feel very excited about going there.

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