Working as an actor while studying | Study With New Zealand
When Dutch student Mickey Wijchers started looking for a part-time job, he didn't expect to end up as an extra in a docudrama.
“I had two days acting in a war docudrama about native Americans called Frontiersmen, which was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio,” says Mickey.
“I played a US soldier and a malicious man. There were maybe 30 actors on the set and up to 100 crew members, so it was a lot of fun.”
Mickey’s regular part-time job is as a waiter/barista in an Asian fusion restaurant, which he says has been a great way of meeting people and trying new foods.
He also earns extra money by buying and repairing secondhand bikes. Mickey goes on bike rides to explore the Wellington region, then sells the bikes for a profit.
Mickey, who is from Emmen in the Netherlands, near the border with Germany, arrived in New Zealand in June 2016. He is studying for a Bachelor of Actuarial Science at Victoria University of Wellington.
He chose Victoria for the quality of its education, and also enjoys the university’s friendly, supportive atmosphere.
The difference between studying in New Zealand and the Netherlands is that here there is less distinction between staff and students. They are 'Professor' or 'Doctor' in the Netherlands but here you call them by their first name.
"It was hard to get used to at first but now I prefer it. They are more approachable and you know they are here to help you."
When he's not studying, Mickey swims at a saltwater pool in a gym near his central-city hall of residence and enjoys Wellington's famed cafe culture.
"It's a very relaxed environment. There are lots of nice places to go for a coffee and spend your free time," he says.
"The nature here is beautiful, and I really like living by the sea."
Once Mickey has more time, he hopes to buy a cheap campervan and go on a road trip to explore the rest of New Zealand.
About the contributors
Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student.