Some people thought, "Wow!, you are so lucky to be able to live in a foreign country". But the harsh reality is, if we just solely depend on the scholarship allowances to survive, we are barely surviving. My hubby receives scholarship allowances from KPT (The Tertiary Education Ministry) and also from UPM (Universiti Putra Malaysia). I can't really do so much to help him for this 3 years as we have agreed that my primary job is taking care of our daughters. Though sometimes I did some odd jobs like translating, making raya cookies and babysitting one of our friend's kid.
Most of the other Malaysian Students who live here, they do have other sources of income. If the wife is studying, her husband works part time either at a cleaning company, shopping centre or a post company. And some of our female friends also have a part time job even though they are busy doing their phd.
I'm not complaining here but if you think it's so wonderful to be able to live in a foreign country, please think again. It's different if you have a steady job and you can apply for the citizenship which will allow you to receive certain benefits. But for us who depend on the scholarship allowances, we always need to be careful with our budget. Most of the time, my hubby needs to transfer some money from his bank account in Malaysia in order to meet the ends.
Right now, we have about 28 days to go before we go back to Malaysia and we are actually living on the last allowances payment. Two weeks before we go back, we have (again) transfer some more money from Malaysia.
So why is it so hard to live when we only depend on scholarship allowances? I reckon you can guess some of the reasons as they might be the same reasons why you just barely survive too with your salary. The reasons are:
- the cost of living is getting higher each year. (though Hamilton is considered cheaper than Auckland)
- 50% of the allowances is been used to pay the house rental as we pay $270 per week!
cubalah darab sendiri kalau sebulan berapa. huhu
- even if I do a part time job, I won't receive 100% from the salary as the income tax is so high here which is 20%-40%.
- when we want to go and see other places in New Zealand, we have to really calculate the budget and that's why we haven't really go to many places around NZ.
- a high currency exchange rate that had cost us so much when we transfer our money from Malaysia.