New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country's geography comprises two main landmasses ‒ that of the North and South Islands ‒ and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand has a modern, prosperous and developed market economy. It was ranked 13th in the 2016 Human Development Index, and according to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index, New Zealand is considered a strong performer in environmental protection.
New Zealand is a diverse country with a unique cultural background and plenty to offer to the international student. Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, this island country is near to Australia, as well as Fiji and Tonga. It is remote as a whole, though there are large and growing cities throughout the country. In fact, New Zealand was one of the last remote areas settled by people. The largest city of Auckland is home to numerous higher education options for international students, but other options are available as well.
Students enroll in school at the age of six. They are required, under federal law, to remain in school through the age of 16. Citizens of the country do not pay for education throughout this time. Most students remain in school through age 19, all of which is paid for by the government. The country has a literacy rate of 99 percent.
During most of the year, the climate here is mild. The annual temperature range is about 50 degrees F up to 61 degrees F. Temperatures can range, though, based on which location of the island you are living in. The western coast is very wet. The Central Otago region is a semi-arid climate. There are areas of rainforest here as well as mountain tops with very cold temperatures.
New Zealanders love their outdoors. You will find that this is the place to visit if you are after mountain climbing or skiing. However, the area also has a strong cultural component that includes the early traditions of the Maori culture. Much of the country remains remote and many people live in these areas. In modern cities, though, you will find every comfort you may be accustomed to enjoying.
Cost of Living
Living in New Zealand is much like living in Australia. The country's cost of living in Auckland is similar to what you will find in London, Sydney, or New York. Imported items do cost significantly more.
Higher Education in New Zealand
Once a student completes his or her basic education, the individual can enter into one of the government-owned tertiary institutions. This includes universities, colleges of education, specialist colleges, and polytechnics. There are also private training institutions available to students. About 14 percent of the country's adult population has a bachelor's degree, while at least 30 percent of New Zealand's population holds a secondary qualification of some kind. When compared to other countries in the world, New Zealand's educational system, including its universities and colleges of special education, are excellent. As rated by the Program for International Student Assessment, the country ranks number seven as best in the world. The country is known for its high schools in areas of mathematics, science, and reading. New Zealand has eight total universities, all of which rank highly in QS World University Rankings.
There are plenty of reasons to study in New Zealand, including its diverse culture, modern, vibrant cities, and the ecological features found here. There is always something to do here, whether it is exploring the outdoors or exploring the culturally important entertainment.
Students attend school from March to November each year. However, it may be possible to enter into other programs mid-way through the year. Most schools operate on semester schedules, though some use trimesters or quarters as well. To enroll as an international student, individuals must first have a recognized level of education now. That is an English proficiency and qualifying secondary education from their home country. Students must also apply directly to each of the universities he or she wishes to be considered for. The deadlines, fees, and requirements range widely for each of the schools.
In terms of costs, only New Zealand citizens are given free education and most higher education requires payment by citizens as well. The cost of attending school in New Zealand depends on the university selected. Tuition information is provided to the student from the school, but it may include accommodations for the student as well.
Obtaining a Student Visa in New Zealand
In order to live in New Zealand for full-time education, the student must obtain a visa. If you plan to be in the country for less than three months, this is not necessary. A traditional visitor visa is enough at that level. Beyond this, though, students must meet specific requirements to qualify for a student visa. This includes having approval from one of the country's recognized schools, having funds to cover living expenses, including a flight to your home country, medical certificates if you plan to be in the area for over 12 months, and, for those over the age of 18, a letter showing that accommodations have been arranged.
Students who plan to enroll in one of the universities must have supplied health insurance for him or herself. Students will need to purchase health insurance through an approved New Zealand-based provider. It is not provided by the school. However, to obtain a student visa to study in the country, students will need to show proof of health insurance. It is not free in this country.
Why Study in New Zealand?
The educational system in New Zealand is exceptional. Foreign travelers are welcomed. The vibrant life here, as well as the outstanding, modern amenities make it an ideal place to learn and grow. Though the area has plenty of educational opportunities to offer, there is a lot to learn just from the sheer love of life that many locals have here.