Waitakere College Year 13 students Besmillah Mirzaee and Alessandro Marin were at yesterday's careers expo at the ASB Showgrounds to choose a university - although both are already looking towards the Australian job market.
The friends, both 17, said the reason was simple - more jobs and better pay.
Besmillah, who will study business next year, said he had family in Melbourne who would like him to move over once he graduated from university.
"I'll look [for jobs] in New Zealand as well. But right now I'm thinking, Australia."
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Alessandro said he wanted to study science in New Zealand but, particularly in that field, it made sense to look for employment in Australia as well.
"The Australian Government has put more emphasis on science as something important, so I'm thinking there will be more job opportunities there."It will be hard [to leave]. I don't have any family there."
Also at the expo was James, 27, who is considering giving up his work as an electrician to study engineering.
"I'm a tradie, I could go over there and be on better money. And I've got quite a few of my friends who have done that."
Asked how his friends had fared, he said: "They haven't come back".