New Zealand

Distance Learning Abroad: From au pair to emigrant

After high school graduation a gap year as au pair in New Zealand and then a degree programme in Germany – that was Julia’s plan. Then she fell in love and discovered the advantageous flexibility of IUBH Distance Learning.


New ZealandSpending a year abroad after high school is common these days. Like many others, after graduation in 2016 I wanted to seek an overseas adventure and flew to the other end of the world, to Auckland, New Zealand. For one year I lived there as an au pair in a fabulous South African family. I spent all my free time exploring the beaches, outback and mountains of New Zealand. The nature’s uniqueness fascinated me. Nevertheless, I could not imagine living here permanently. Until, at least, I met my partner. He is a native, a so-called Kiwi. So there I was, freshly in love and my visa was about to expire.

Study in New Zealand?

Studying was always part of my plan and I was determined to stick to that plan. I had already long since submitted applications to German universities. Studying in New Zealand was definitely not in my budget and student visas are now rarely issued. In July 2017 I had to go back to Germany. That broke my heart but I had not given up yet. I kept trying to figure out a way to study in New Zealand. During this process, I came across IUBH Distance Learning in social networks. Contact with other students instantly convinced me.

Thanks to online exams, I don’t have to travel thousands of kilometres

At the end of July 2017, I enrolled in the bachelor degree course in social work and then booked a flight back to my home of choice for October 2017. In the meantime, I have switched to business psychology, which I will complete with a Bachelor of Science in 2020 – when all goes well. It is not easy to juggle everything, but it is definitely feasible. I integrate time for studying into my daily routine: in the mornings and Saturdays, I study, and in the afternoons, I work as a nanny and pursue my hobbies. For me, the biggest advantage is online examinations. Once a month, this saves me a flight to the nearest Goethe Institute in Wellington, almost 1,000 kilometres away. Other online degree programmes simply could not offer me this flexibility.

Future? In New Zealand

After I finish my degree, we want to move to Europe for one or two years. In the long term however, we want to live in New Zealand. I am even planning on a subsequent master’s degree programme – and thanks to IUBH, it does not matter where I am then living in the world.


Julia is 20 years old. Since 2017 she has been studying business psychology at IUBH Distance Learning. In her free time she enjoys pole fitness, painting and kayaking.

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