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Tania Davidson, New Zealand

Who are you?

My name is Tania Davidson.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I’m a licensed /registered Clinical Psychologist from Ventura California, and I moved to New Zealand March 29, 2021. New Zealand, like California, has everything I love: beautiful open spaces, sailing, backpacking, mountains, and a temperate climate, but less of the things I abhor: greed, selfishness, overpopulation, and runaway overdevelopment.

Healthcare is better, mental health is better funded, and the culture is kinder. These are things I came for. Things had become so ugly in the US and in my beloved California that it was time, and given my age, it was my last opportunity to do so, if I was ever going to go and work abroad. New Zealand has an age limit, and I was right on that line.

What challenges did you face during the move?


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I faced many challenges; the first was getting past the Registration Board to have them accept my California credentials. Interestingly, my credentials weren’t questioned. It was details like how my passport was notarised that I was asked to repeat in various ways that became maddening. Next was beating the time barrier. There is an age limit in New Zealand, and I was right next to it!

A recruiter, who had taken me on the previous year, had unceremoniously dumped me with a vague email (“after much consideration…”) – I am sure this was because of my age. I managed to get my immigration papers processing within five days of the birthday that would close the door forever to working/living in New Zealand (over 55). Not over yet!

Then, Covid-19 made getting a spot in managed isolation extremely difficult. Even as an essential healthcare worker, I needed to get the government agency who hired me to write an extra appeal letter to MIQ to get me a spot.

Just every day challenges were getting my dog here (still in process!) and my stuff shipped (ditto), banking, and cultural differences. I am a woman who is solo, and that presents its own challenges anywhere.

How did you find somewhere to live?

I had to hire a relocation coordination service (I was strongly advised to do so) to help with finding a place to live, and it’s good I did. Housing (renting) is at a premium, and when I showed up to look at places to rent, there was a small crowd. But I showed up with my coordinator, who talked me up. It helped a lot, because I had no history here to give landlords.

Are there many other expats in your area?

There are some other expats I work with, but from other countries. I know some US expats that are reasonably close, within driving distance, and professional colleagues.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

I think I have a great relationship so far with my community, Titahi Bay and Porirua. I just love it!!

What do you like about life where you are?

What I like is that I am right next to the ocean again, like I was. The people talk to each other, are a tight little community, and are, for the most part, accepting. It is beautiful. I can hike gorgeous trails by the beach or through forests.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Right now, I dislike isolation. I am very, very alone and lonely.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

The biggest cultural difference is the difficulty the kiwis have with frank talk. They are averse to anything that seems like conflict, even if it isn’t.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Be sure you can afford it. It’s very expensive, and you can’t get many of the medications you had in your home country here. You need to be able to do your own hunting for things.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to stay here, if I am allowed, and eventually do private practice, own my own home, get a sailboat again, sail, and hopefully meet a partner and have a life!


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In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

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