If we summed up this entire article in one sentence, it would read: “New Zealand is a hauntingly beautiful country, filled with friendly and welcoming people, and world-class universities. It’s all in a nutshell really, but New Zealand deserves a lot more depth and detail than that.
At the time of this writing, New Zealand’s borders are open to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only. This is also with good reason, as the country has had just over 2,000 positive covid-19 cases – essentially, it is a covid-free country. However, as we move forward into 2021 and 2022, it is expected that the borders will reopen safely and that prospective students will be able to apply for a student visa.
1. A world-class education
Every university in New Zealand is included in the QS World Ranking. each. single. One of them.
As a country, New Zealand has spent the recent past pouring resources into their education system, using a system similar but also accredited to the UK one, and it has already started paying:
The University of Auckland is ranked in the world top 100 in QS, Victoria University of Wellington is in the top 1% in 19 different fields, while the University of Waikato in Hamilton is ranked 72nd in the world, and number 1 in New Zealand for its research impact and quality.
In addition to high-quality education, New Zealand universities are also internationally diverse, with over 30,000 international students learning across the country in 2018. Indeed, 20% of the University’s students Victoria of Wellington come from outside the country.
Then there is the international student support network. Considering the financial value that international students have to New Zealand universities, they have ensured that the student experience is as seamless and resource-free as possible by building a strong and caring student welfare system.
2. Lower tuition fees and lots of scholarships
Although New Zealand’s education system is heavily based on the British system, it is less expensive. Tuition for a year tends to cost around NZ $ 20,000, or just under £ 10,000. This should leave you with some extra cash to have fun with!
In addition to the lower tuition fees, there are also many options available for scholarships to help finance your education. It takes a bit of digging and investigating to find one to which you could apply, but we recommend that you start by checking out the websites of any university that you are keen to apply to. Or better yet, just send them an email and ask.
3. Natural beauty
Now we are down to the really fun stuff. New Zealand is quite simply one of the most famous countries in the world for natural beauty. It was famously used as a filming location for The Lord of the Rings film series, so dramatic are its open spaces and rugged countryside. There is snow as well as sunshine, a beautiful coastline, epic mountain ranges and rolling vineyards. Indeed, a stay in New Zealand is not considered complete until you have taken a road trip through these incredible landscapes in a motorhome!
Essentially, it’s a great place to live a healthy, active lifestyle outside, while the big cities are cool, trendy and contemporary.
4. A fantastic culture
New Zealand has a rich cultural heritage, a meeting point of British-influenced Western ways and the traditional culture of the indigenous Maori people, who have their own language and mythology. In New Zealand today, you will often see Maori culture exhibited in arts, crafts, as well as cuisine.
On another cultural note, sport is serious business in New Zealand. Cricket is extremely popular, but rugby is where they really shine. And another place you are sure to see Maori ways is in the famous Haka- the ceremonial dance performed by the national rugby team to intimidate the opposition. The national team, known as “The All Blacks” is the pride of New Zealand because, despite having a population of less than 5 million, they are considered the largest rugby nation on earth.
5. A warm welcome and a safe experience
But don’t let the Haka intimidate you (unless you’re planning on tackling someone). New Zealanders, or Kiwis, are known as one of the coolest, most laid-back, and friendly people on the planet. In fact, a 2015 survey by the New Zealand Immigration Department found that a whopping 90% of foreigners in the country viewed the population as very friendly, and pointed out that this was a major reason for s ‘easy to install.
Not only are the people friendly, there is also an extremely low crime rate in New Zealand. The 2018 Global Index ranked it the second safest country in the world. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Iceland came first.
6. Work while you study (and after)
This is a huge advantage! While many countries do not allow you to take part-time work while on a student visa, New Zealand does. Of course, you may not want (or have to) work while you study, but for those of you who don’t want to earn a little extra spending money, you are free to do so.
In addition to being allowed to work at the university, you can also stay and work for a full year after you graduate. Additionally, if the work you are doing is relevant to your degree, you will be allowed to stay for two years after graduation, after which you can apply for permanent residence. Who knows, maybe your university stay in New Zealand could turn into a career relay!