Many folks that are immigrating are still pretty new to the Internet and find the most important part of the move – using the Internet to research their new country very intimidating which often leads to them either just giving up on the whole process or arriving in New Zealand hopelessly unprepared. This article will help those new to the Internet to quickly learn the tricks of the trade required to do their immigration research online so they arrive in New Zealand well prepared and confident that they can make a success of the move.
If you are an old hand at using the Internet, then read this article anyway, you have nothing to lose, but may just pick up a tip or two which will make your research easier.
Firstly it is important to realise that everybody at some stage is new to the Internet and had to learn the ropes. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is not taking the time and effort to ensure that you are giving your family the best chance of settling in successfully in New Zealand by not doing your research.
Before the Internet arrived, folks had to just rely on hear-say and whatever they could read in outdated books about New Zealand and decide from that if the move was for them. Thankfully those days are long gone. By using the Internet correctly you can be as prepared as never before. Now there is no excuse for making the wrong decision. You have all the best and latest, even live and up to the minute information right in front of you to help you learn about your new country without even setting a foot in it.
Throughout the article links have been added to the relevant sections on the site in order for you to do the actual steps yourself so keep an eye out for this icon : . By clicking on it you will be taken to the relevant page on the Internet.
Google is your best friend
The Internet can be thought of as a great big book with all the information you’ll ever need in it. Now such a big book needs an index so that you don’t have to flip through every page to find what you are looking for. Each website is a chapter in that book. And the pages of these websites, are the pages of the book. You can think of this website as a summary of the Immigration to New Zealand chapter in the book called the Internet.
You probably found the site using one of the many index pages of the book. The fun thing about the Internet is that it is more dynamic and intelligent than a book, it can ‘talk back’ to you. For example, instead of paging through the millions of index pages to find the right chapter, you can just ask index what you are looking for and the index will show you a list of the chapters you are interested in. These index pages are called search engines. There are many of them, but the most popular ones are :
Google is currently the world’s best search engine which you can use to search for absolutely anything you can think of. You will soon learn that Google is indispensable when doing any kind of research on the Internet.
Why Google and not one of the other search engines? Because Google has more than one version. Google.com is the American / International version which will give you answers from all around the world with preference to American websites. Then there is Google.co.za which lets you choose between international results or results from South African websites only. Surprise, surprise, there is also a New Zealand Google – Google.co.nz which you can use to search for anything and everything about New Zealand.
Whenever you are doing a search about anything for your immigration to New Zealand go to http://www.google.co.nz . Once the site has opened you will see that there are a few options you can click on and a box where you can type what you are looking for into. The important ones at this stage are the box and the circles underneath it. You would type whatever you are looking for into the box like it was a person you were asking, eg. | what is the capital city of new zealand |
then you must click in the circle, underneath the search box which says “pages from New Zealand”. This tells Google that you only want pages from New Zealand. You can then click the “Google Search” button.
What then happens is that Google searches all the websites for you and gives you page upon page of results that it has found. The most relevant results are listed first and the least relevant are listed last. Most often the first result is what you are looking for, however the first result is not always the only result or even the best for you. The reason for this is that there are most probably more than one website offering the same or similar information.
It is thus important to not just click on the first result, but rather go through the first few pages of results and scan the description shown under each result to see which are actually relevant to what you are looking for.
Now there is a little trick you can use to read the websites you are interested in without losing the results of your Google search : Instead of clicking on the result, rather “right click” on the result. A little menu appears next to your mouse arrow. Select the “Open in new Window” option for that list. What will happen then is that a new window will open with the website you are interested in, inside it. The advantage of doing this is that when you have finish reading that website, you can simply close the window and you will be back at your Google search results. Cool, eh.
Using Favourites to speed things up
Often you will find a website that is great and you will want to visit it again. No problem, add it to your favourites.
Your favourites is like a bookmark, you can however have as many favourites as you want. Now given the size of the Internet and the huge amount of research you will be doing, it is obvious that if you just add all the sites you like to favourites, you will eventually have such a long list that you will probably not find the site you want to revisit in the list anyway. We need to be a bit more organised than that.
We can group our favourites together, almost like using different coloured bookmarks in a book. With the Internet we use folders, which are like folders in a filing cabinet. We can name each folder, eg “Houses”, “Car Prices”, etc. and then pop the sites we like into the relevant folder. Next time you are looking for car prices, you simply go to the “Car Prices” folder and there the required sites are waiting for you.
Great, now how the heck do I do all this?
The first site you add to favourites takes a little work, so let’s first do that :
1) Click on the “Favourites” text menu near the top of the page, then click “Add to Favourites” (if you are using Internet Explorer 7 you will also have a button with a star and a plus sign in it that does the same thing).
2) A small window opens up with a few options. The first option is a box with the site title in it already, change this to something that makes more sense to you if you want.
3)The second option is the folder you want to save the site in. Click on the “New Folder” button and type in “New Zealand”, click Create / OK. What we have done now is create a New Zealand drawer in our filing cabinet. Now we can start to add folders into the drawer.
4) Click on the “New Folder” button again and type in the category of the website you are wanting to file, eg., if it is a site with car prices, then, same as you did for the “New Zealand” folder create a “Car Prices” folder. Then, before clicking OK, ensure that the Create In drop down box says “New Zealand”. If it doesn’t, click on the down arrow and select “New Zealand”. Then click Create / OK.
5) Now you click the Add button and your site is saved for you.
You can now add more car prices sites to your favourites by doing steps 1, 2 and 5 above and ensuring at step 2 that you have your “Car Prices” folder selected.
You can also add other folders for say house prices by doing step 1, 2, 4 and 5.
Once you have done it once or twice it becomes easy.
To call up a site saved under your favourites, you click on the Favourites text menu or Favourites button (Big yellow star), then go to the New Zealand folder, then to the required folder, eg., “Car Prices”, then select the site you want to call up.
Start by adding this site to your favourites under the New Zealand -> Immigration Sites folder.
Now you are starting to get yourself organised.
Using a forum
Firstly, what is a forum?
A forum is a web page where you, as the visitor, can comunicate with others using the forum. This can be anything from asking a question to giving an answer to just plain old chatting.
As a potential immigrant this is one of your most valuable tools for the following reasons :
- You can meet other people from around the world that are in the same boat as you.
- You can exchange information with them dramatically speeding up your own research
- You can make friends that will become your family in New Zealand
- You can ask the other members questions about problems you may have
- You can help others by answering their questions
There are however a few things you need to know about forums to ensure that you get maximum benefit from them :
1) Most forums require that you register first before you can read / post on them. This is to stop people with nothing else to do but make trouble by posting a lot of rubbish on the various forums. It helps ensure that the forum only has people on it who are serious about the topic of the forum. It enables you to add as much or little information about yourself as you feel comfortable sharing with other members while knowing that not that only other registered users can see that info.
2) Forums are give and take. In the beginning you will obviously be taking more than you are giving as you are still new, but as your knowledge grows, you will soon find that you are able to help others too.
3) Forums are all about people just like you. Even if you have never joined a forum before, don’t be shy, post a quick hello in the Introductions section and before you know it you will be an old hand at it and have a heap of new friends.
4) Always read through the forum when you join. With an old forum it may take some time, but you will almost always find that your questions have already been answered.
5) Remember that when you are typing something, that it can be read in more than one way. This somethimes leads to people misunderstanding you. To avoid this use smileys to convey your mood. Smileys are the little faces you see when posting and reading posts.
6) As in the real world, there may be people on the forums that you don’t like or don’t agree with. Because you are not face to face with that person, it is tempting and easy to attack that person personally, especially when the discussion is about something you feel passionate about and this person has a different view point to yours. Resist this temptation. Never say something you would not say if you were standing in front of that person, and even then never attack a person on a personal level. All you acheive is a mud fight where the forum as a whole looses. This is the single biggest reason for forums failing, so don’t be the reason your favourite forum closes down. If you feel yourself becoming hot under the collar, take a timeout, come back tomorrow when you have calmed down, and you will probably see that you were over-reacting or read the person’s post in the wrong context.
7) Not everybody can type or spell equally well, so read past the spelling mistakes and look rather at the message. Most forums have a spell check option which you can use to ensure that you spelling is correct before adding your post to the forum.
8) People also use various abbreviations to save themselves typing time, it is good to know the most common ones. Some of them are shown below :
|ASAP||As soon as possible|
|B4N||Bye for Now|
|BAK||Back At Keyboard|
|BBIAB||Be Back In A Bit|
|BBL||Be Back Later|
|BBS||Be Back Soon|
|BFN||Bye For Now|
|BRB||Be Right Back|
|BTW||By The Way|
|CNP||Continued in Next Post|
|CRB||Come Right Back|
|CUL8ER||See You Later|
|DQMOT||Don’t Quote Me On This|
|F2F||Face To Face|
|FAQ||Frequently Asked Questions|
Father in Law
|FOMCL||Falling Off My Chair Laughing|
|FWIW||For What It’s Worth|
|FYI||For Your Information|
|HAND||Have A Nice Day|
Happy Ex-South Africans
|HTH||Hope This Helps|
|IIRC||If I Recall Correctly|
|IM||Immediate / Instant Message|
|IMHO||In My Humble Opinion|
|IMNSHO||In My Not So Humble Opinion|
|IMO||In My Opinion|
|IOW||In Other Words|
|JMO||Just My Opinion|
|KISS||Keep It Simple Stupid|
|KIT||Keep In Touch|
|LHO||Laughing my Head Off|
|LMAO||Laughing My Ass Off|
|LMSO||Laughing My Socks Off|
|LOL||Laughing Out Loud|
|Mother in Law|
|MorF||Male or Female|
Other Half (Your partner)
|OIC||Oh I See|
|OMG||Oh My Goodness|
|ROTFL||Rolling On The Floor Laughing|
|RTFM||Read The Friggin’ Manual|
|S^||S’up – What’s Up|
|SETE||Smiling Ear To Ear|
|SHID||Slaps Head In Disgust|
|SYS||See You Soon|
|TCOY||Take Care Of Yourself|
|TGIF||Thank Goodness It’s Friday|
|TIA||Thanks In Advance|
|UVW||You’re Very Welcome|
|WTG||Way To Go|
|YVW||You’re Very Welcome|
|YW||You’re Very Welcome|
The list is by no means complete, these are only the most common abbreviations (and the clean ones).
Now that you have the basics of researching your move to New Zealand, I’m sure you agree that it isn’t so difficult, it is however time consuming, so you better get cracking…………