Are you birds of a feather that flock together?

Something that you say which means people who have similar characters or similar interests will often choose to spend time together 

This proverb has been in use since at least the mid 16th century. In 1545, William Turner used a version of it in his papist satire The Rescuing of Romish Fox:

"Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together."

Yes, you do like to spend time with people of similar character or interests.

I feel there is nothing wrong with it till the time you are in your home country where you are surrounded by your people, your culture, your religion, rituals & your language. Finding people with similar character or interest is easy, advisable and is OK.

No harm in flocking together. Moreover, as humans this is our natural make-up. We are social animals. Aren’t we?

But now my friends, the situation is different, you are no more in your home country. You have ventured out to a new place, to a new city in pursuit of your higher studies and many of you are looking to settle down in this beautiful country and make it your home.

Quite expectedly, soon after your arrival in the foreign land your social instincts kick in and you run to develop your support system by finding people of similar interests or character.

You are keen on flocking together!!

Again nothing wrong with that but the problem arises when you fail to look beyond your nationality. You tend to hang on to your nationality people in a foreign land so tight that you fail to see the importance of understanding & mingling with the local environment. Also you fail to enjoy the multiculturalism Auckland has to offer

Times have changed; today the societies are multicultural. If you walk down on Queen Street, it is likely you will come across many people from different cultural backgrounds. Auckland is the most ethnically diverse region in New Zealand. There are more than 180 different ethnicities, and almost 40% of Aucklanders are not born in New Zealand.

International students’ community in New Zealand is missing on the basics of succeeding in an environment that they now call ‘home’ or are keen on making it their ‘home’. Most of them have come for their one year study and lack of effort to understand the local environment and other cultures make them unprepared / not-ready to get that very important job offer after finishing their studies.

Indians are hanging with Indians, Chinese are with Chinese, Koreans with Koreans, Filipinos with Filipinos and so on and so forth. Students are so engrossed in their own culture & nationality that they miss to understand what New Zealand wants from them or has to offer them. One year, which in any case is very less time, flies by!!! And by the time reality strikes for finding a full-time job, many of you fall short to what the employers expect from you.

No I am not asking the Indian student to dump all his Indian friends and go make Chinese or Kiwi friends or something similar from Students from other nationalities.

All I am asking you is

  • To be aware of your surroundings; keep a keen eye of what is required of you to be successful in this foreign land
  • Identify and fill the training & communication gaps if any,
  • Identify and utilise the resources available, ask for help, look for a mentor,
  • Be active on Social Media; network with people from your industry & beyond your nationality,
  • Learn more about New Zealand; after all it is going to be your new home!! Right?

Because we are human we will flock together. All I am suggesting here is open yourself, come out of your shell, reach out for new contacts, make new friends, ‘Be Smart’ and be successful.

Raj Singh
Employment Consultant


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