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The other side of the world, or the other side of you?

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

This article is written by Jon Congdon, a UK trained physio who used the to guide him through the New Zealand registration process and is currently living and working as a physio in New Zealand – a great read – enjoy!


The scary thing about thoughts and feelings is that, for a percentage of time, the following through of one or two ‘little’ actions and they can manifest from dreams and aspirations to reality. Putting pen to paper is easy… moving your hand is rather more difficult. New jobs, new courses, hell… new countries, the reach of a physiotherapists arm in as clinical as it is figurative. Setting your sights on moving to New Zealand is the easy part, but making that leap and committing yourself to the seemingly arduous process of applying, obtaining a visa and securing work is considerably more daunting.

What do you want to remember about your life? I’m not talking about what others may think, that’s irrelevant. How do YOU want to look back on your time? Letting the chance of moving to another country pass you by, especially if you have the necessary tools at your disposal, is something you may not regret in the here and now, but I’d wager a bet you’ll be sorry later on down the line. You don’t have to be a renowned philosopher or even a ‘deep’ person to realise that this is it, one life, and you don’t want to reach the point of no return and wonder ‘what if?’.

Having the finances (and the whole process does cost a pretty penny), family and friend support and free time is a portion of the problem. The real war is fought in your mind. The main obstacle? Your desire to spend hours, days, weeks, and months of your ‘spare’ time (not really spare… this thing can take over your life!) is where the battle is won and lost. But all is not doomed. You do have an ally, a confidant who will always be there no matter what, even when you want to scream at having to ‘find’ evidence and contact your university for the reams of specific documents that the New Zealand registration board insist on having. But who is this knight in shining armour I hear you ask? Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to Lisa Rushton and her, quite frankly, inspiring eBook ‘Getting Registered as a Physio in New Zealand’. How can you not be eternally grateful for a smorgasbord of advice that helps you prepare your application? I once read that a large chunk of overseas applications are rejected on the first perusal due to insufficient evidence and document support. I can proudly say that, along with two other applicants who I was liaising with at the time, using this eBook and truly following its advice saved me a lot of heartache, and more importantly my sanity!

To coin Carrie Bradshaw from ‘Sex and the City’, ”I got to thinking” and I mapped out my application just as advised. At times you will feel like you’re slowly drowning in ‘Treaty of Waitangi’, ‘Cultural Competency’ or ‘Supporting Evidence’ paperwork. You will feel as if you’ve checked, double checked, triple checked, quadruple checked that all of what is asked for is as perfect as you think humanly possible, and you’ll still feel as though something isn’t right. Try and remember that those who have come before you, and those who will follow, had all of the same thoughts… ‘I bet no-one else is struggling like I am’, ‘I can’t possibly write one more reflection’, ‘I’m convinced my university hasn’t provided the stipulated documents in exactly the right format’… and the dreaded ‘I’m adamant this application isn’t going to be accepted without the need to send more evidence’. I’ll be honest, the last one is a bit of a killer, and was at the front of my thought process for approximately 5 months.

I would rate my flat, my car and probably all my overseas holidays as some of my best spent hard earned cash. At a mere fraction of the price I certainly got my money’s worth from the aforementioned eBook. Long story short, I followed it to the word, and my application was started, compiled, finished, checked, sent, received, reviewed and accepted within 6 months. I wasn’t asked to resubmit a single thing, or provide a jot more evidence. What was the hardest part? Definitely the mental anguish and the pressure I put on myself. The application, in terms of difficulty, is rather straightforward and really isn’t worth stressing over. What was the easiest part? Cracking open the champagne with my best friends the day I had my application accepted.

You may be wondering what awaits you on the other side of the world? The weather is generally better (I’m not lying!), the natives are more than welcoming, the wine is always good, the life is laid back, the scenery is beyond comparison and apparently just under 5 million people with the worlds sexiest accent live here (I can’t really agree with the last one, but the others are very much true). True, it is quiet, but the supermarkets are open beyond 4.00pm on a Sunday and that can only be a good thing, right? The healthcare system is remarkably similar to the UK, and a lot of the clinicians are from overseas, so you won’t be alone in wondering ‘how it all works’.

To go back to what you want to do with your life, it’s perfectly acceptable to say ‘nah, this isn’t for me’, ‘I can’t realistically see myself separating myself from friends and family’ or ‘I am too scared to make the jump’ (I live in New Zealand and the thought of a bungee jump terrifies me!). But if you have that 1% of curiosity, that feeling that you want to explore, a desire to experience change, then give yourself the opportunity and the chance to embrace it.

Oh, I almost forgot….


This article was written by Jon Congdon, a UK trained physio who used the to guide him through the New Zealand registration process and is currently living and working as a physio in New Zealand.

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