New Zealand is an island country (composed of islands) and has only 268,021 km². To get an idea of the size, it would be possible to place, hypothetically speaking, almost four“New Zealand” within the territory of Australia.In terms of population, the country has, according to data from the World Bank Group, just over 4.9 million inhabitants. New Zealand offers different realities and excellent quality of life, programs to encourage integration and respect for human dignity, security offers, leisure and cultural options and much more. Not to mention that it provides international studnets great opportunities after study, both for their personal and professional trajectory.
Among the main New Zealand cities, it is impossible not to mention Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, the most populous, with more job offers, more study options and the possibility of cultural exchanges with natives and foreigners. It is also worth mentioning that the three are the main points of departure and access to all tourism regions in the nation.
Also, remember the Best Student Cities 2018 ranking? While it shows that Australia comes out ahead with the most cities in the top 25, New Zealand is also present with Auckland as one of the best cities for students, ranking 23rd.
New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere and has the seasons in the same period that occur in Australia. However, the climate in the country is divided between its two islands: while on the North Island it is subtropical, on the South Island it is temperate. Precisely because of this, there are more accentuated differences than in its neighbor in both regions during the winter.
In the first, rainfall is constant, with rainfall reaching 120 mm. In the second, the opposite effect occurs and snow becomes more recurrent.
Despite this, there is no reason to worry! Temperatures are usually acceptable, even during the coldest periods of the year. For example, in summer, the average is 20º, and in winter, about 8º.
Now it’s time to approach the New Zealander – which, despite being much more relaxed, is far from monotonous! With a greater incentive for the conscious use of the environment, the citizens’ routine includes many programs and tours that explore the country’s forest reserves.
In fact, with its great environmental diversity, the country has become a great hub for adventure sports, such as trekking, snowboarding, rafting, mountain biking and bungy jumping. Other than that, outdoor areas, such as parks, squares and viewpoints, are often used for cultural, gastronomic, sporting and festive events, which bring together natives and foreigners in an atmosphere of harmony and relaxation. Some examples are:
- Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival;
- New Zealand Beer Festival;
- Kāwhia Kai Festival;
- Nelson Arts Festival.
New Zealand culture may not even be as plural and multicultural as that of Australia, which already has a long history of immigration – especially from other regions of the East (India, China, Philippines and Vietnam), as pointed out by the Australian government in the report -, but believe me: that doesn’t mean she’s wanting.
On the contrary, in parallel to the British influence, there is a strong preservation and appreciation of the language, customs and traditions of the Maori people – the natives who occupied the region before colonization and still exist as an active part of the population.
Cost of living
The cost of living in New Zealand usually surprises those who choose the country as a destination to study. This is due to weekly expenses, which are often lower than in the country of origin – and, certainly, become very attractive compared to Australia.
For example, college-educated students tend to have discounts on various entertainment options (from galleries and museums to festivals and concerts). In addition, the average spending varies a lot according to each city.
As per University of Auckland estimates, you will spend a minimum of NZ$200.00 on accommodation, NZ$100.00 on food and NZ$50 on entertainment each week in Auckland.
Precisely for this reason, the Immigration Department indicates that, apart from the tuition and tuition costs of the educational institution, you have a minimum amount of NZ$15,000.00 to live in the country for one year — that is, about NZ$1,250, 00 per month (equivalent to just 47.34% of a native’s base salary, which is NZ$2,640).
Despite being almost four times smaller than Australia, New Zealand is not far behind when it comes to investment in education. Proof of this is that there is a large concentration of educational institutions in New Zealand, as pointed out by the country’s Department of Immigration.
Altogether, there are 600 language schools (basically, all have English as their flagship), 8 universities – some with campuses in more than one city – 18 polytechnic institutes, in addition to dozens of colleges.
And while it doesn’t make the top 100 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018, just like the neighboring nation, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t appear on the list. On the contrary, as disclosed on the Times Higher Education (THE) portal, all 8 institutions in the country are, yes, present in the top 600 of the ranking. Are they:
- University of Auckland;
- University of Otago;
- University of Canterbury;
- University of Waikato;
- Auckland University of Technology;
- Massey University;
- Victoria University of Wellington;
- Lincoln University.
No wonder that the search for scholarships in New Zealand, especially for exchange in Wellington, has grown in recent years and has brought more and more exchange students to the country.
Although it takes you at least six months to be able to work legally in New Zealand, be aware that the country has increasingly invested in policies that facilitate the opening of the labor market for both international students and immigrants to the territory. And this becomes even more remarkable in areas that require a workforce with higher education, such as medicine, IT and engineering, as disclosed on the Ministry of Labor, Innovation and Employment portal.
There is no lack of interesting data about this country. We can start by quoting, for example, that it was also, from 1769 until the year 1947, a colony of the United Kingdom.
The country’s HDI is not far from that registered in Australia. The average is 0.913, according to UNDP data. Other than that, preserving the environment is one of New Zealand’s highlights. So much so that the various national parks, such as Tongariro, Nelson Lakes, Egmont and Whanganui, cover more than 30% of the entire territory. Quite a lot if we take into account the local dimensions, isn’t it?
It is precisely because of so many natural beauties that various regions of the country have already served as locations for large cinematographic productions, as is the case with films:
- 10,000 BC, recorded in Otago,
- A Warp in Time, engraved on Hāwea Lake;
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, engraved in Cathedral Cove;
- King Kong, recorded in Lyall Bay;
- The Lord of the Rings, engraved in Hobbiton;
- The Piano, recorded at Karekare Beach;
- Defying the Limits, recorded in Invercagill;
How to study in New Zealand?
For those who want to plan an exchange program to New Zealand, but are not sure which type of program to choose, the tip is to do a self-analysis and consider what your goals are for the future. From there, it will be easy to find the best option. In fact, it is worth mentioning that, in addition to the alternatives, you can choose to do:
- a vacation exchange in July, December and/or January;
- a general English course to improve the language;
- an English for Professionals course focused on business, engineering, healthcare or the hotel and tourism sector;
- a technical course in several areas, such as Administration, Computing, Advertising and Marketing or Marine Studies;
- TESOL, which will train you to teach English;
- a sandwich degree, which could be a semester or a year at a New Zealand university or even a graduate degree;
- the EAP, which is aimed at academic purposes and to improve your mastery of conversation, writing, reading and comprehension for the university environment.