The 8 Best Cities to Study Abroad in New Zealand

With welcoming English-speaking locals, unique animal inhabitants, eclectic cuisine, an exploding culture, and several renowned universities, it’s no wonder that so many students choose to study abroad in New Zealand.

But because the country has two distinct islands and many well-known cities, it is understandable for you to feel some uncertainty when trying to determine the exact city in New Zealand for your study abroad experience.

To make things a little easier during your selection process, we’ve included the list below of some of New Zealand’s best cities to study abroad. As you’ll see, there is one city on the list for just about every personality type and special interest!


Over a million people reside in Auckland, making it New Zealand’s most populous city. In addition, it is home to the largest population of Polynesian individuals in the world, and its Maori inhabitants are a big part of its culture and history – making Auckland a great city to learn about the indigenous Maori culture of New Zealand.

So why have so many more students flocked to Auckland in recent years? Well, for starters, it’s one of the few cities in the whole world that has ports on two separate bodies of water. Even those of you who study environmental management, marine biology, and underwater weaving have a lot to love about Auckland.

In addition, Auckland features several world-famous modern attractions to enjoy between classes, such as the iconic Sky Tower. The top of the 60-story Sky Tower offers a unique panoramic view of the city and far beyond, which will make awesome photos to send to loved ones back home. And, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even bungee jump off its top (a defined bucket worthy of thrills)!


Located in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island, Hamilton is known for its stunning plants and thriving nightlife. Hamilton Gardens, which border the famous Waikato River, present mesmerizing walking routes for when you need a quiet study break. And, you certainly don’t have to be a professional botanist to appreciate their beauty.

The city’s Victoria Street has an eclectic array of bars and restaurants that make the perfect outings to experience with your new study friends abroad. The Little Neighborhood Restaurant & Bar, which was crafted from upcycled shipping containers and other materials, is always a recipe for a night of fun. (You resource management students will get inspired here, too – you might even call it “homework!”)

Hamilton is also a great place to catch national and international sporting events for some of New Zealand’s most beloved sports, including rugby, cricket, and others. Major in sports science or those missing from your home sports teams will enjoy catching one of these events with classmates.


Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island, and its unique layout includes the River Avon, which runs directly through the city. Geographically, Christchurch is relatively flat, which means you can cycle around quite easily – whether you are going to be sightseeing or to and from classes.

Christchurch is an inspiring city which has gained worldwide recognition after rebuilding after a massive earthquake in 2011. In addition, you will really feel a sense of community here which makes a difference in the world when you study at foreign.

Christchurch is also a great place to study abroad for art lovers, as street art is very common, especially during the Canterbury Museum’s Rise / Oi You! Street art exhibition. The Canterbury Museum is also home to the world’s largest collection of works of art created by infamous street artist Banksy.