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Undergraduate students wishing to study abroad--look no further! The "Land of the Long White Cloud" provides plenty more than gorgeous blue skies (and I don't just mean sheep).
New Zealand may be the last country discovered and the youngest country on earth, but its culture certainly dates back hundreds of years. The first New Zealanders, the Maori, migrated there from Polynesian islands; about 800 years later, the first Europeans arrived and began extensive migration. Today, the population of New Zealand is an interesting combination of south-Pacific islanders, Europeans, and a growing population of Asians. New Zealand is situated on two neighboring islands, and is home to one of the most beautiful natural environments on the planet.
New Zealand may be a long way from home, but study abroaders all regale that the time spent on the airplane is well worth it!
New Zealand is an ideal location for students interested in a variety of fields of study--from ecology, to business, and everyone in between, you will have no problem finding a program that best suits your academic goals and interests. Outside of the classroom, there are literally hundreds of different activities to keep you busy! New Zealand has a few excellent universities that repeatedly appear on top world rankings. Find a program that balances your interest in learning about New Zealand and truly experiencing New Zealand.
English is the primary spoken language of the country, although some of the population does still speak the ancient Maori language (which would be very interesting to learn about; how many people can say they can speak a traditional, south-Pacific language?!). New Zealand is the perfect place for a students interested in a little bit of a wilder experience than English-speaking Europe or Australia, but still wanting to avoid many things getting "lost" in translation.
Different study abroad programs will provide students with different housing options. Depending on the type of overseas program you wish to have, you can find a program who's living arrangements contribute positively to your overall experience. For instance, if you need space to study, we would not recommend living in shared apartments. There are many options available to you, so be sure to research a program that provides exactly what you are looking for.
The best part of study abroad is that not all of your learning is in the classroom. Many programs will include different sightseeing and activities to help ensure you see all of the best places that a country has to offer.
The Education Abroad Network plans a variety of sight seeing trips and activities for their students, including short trips to neighboring Fiji and the nearby South Island (where Lord of the Rings was filmed!). IFSA-Butler's program in New Zealand has so many amazing built in trips, I had a hard time choosing a couple to highlight in this guide!
So you like cities? Great. Or rather, you're more of the outdoorsy, nature-loving type? Not a problem. No matter where you study in New Zealand, you are bound to find exactly what you're looking for.
Home to about a third of the country's population (around 1.4 million!), Auckland is New Zealand's biggest city, and an exciting location for any study abroad experience. Chock full of excellent cafes, entertainment, shopping centers, a beautiful harbor, and art galleries, despite NOT being the nation's capital, it is certainly its most international city. Auckland is infamous for the high quality of life enjoyed by its residents, and for the fact its built on a volcano!
Students will find that many career opportunities are available within this city, and would be hard pressed to find a location more ideal for a study abroad experience in not only New Zealand, but around the world!
On the flip side, Wellington serves as the cultural and political capital of the country. Also built on a harbor and atop a hilly terrain, Wellington was the first area where the Maori settled so many years ago. With that in mind, the city offers visitors a wealth of interesting historical landmarks to admire, in addition to this ample supply of excellent museums, restaurants, cafes, and the like. In addition, no visit to New Zealand is complete without a visit to Te Papa, the country's national museum. Wellington is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, making earthquakes a regular happening around the city. Despite its location on a faultline, most earthquakes barely make a rumble at surface level!
Studying abroad does not have to make your wallet whimper--counteract the costs by applying for (and hopefully receiving!) a range of scholarships to finance your study abroad experience. Research local organizations and groups interested in sponsoring overseas studies, find out if the program you would like provide scholarships, see if your university-sponsored aid can carry over--there are plenty of options, you just need to find them!
Do you think there is something missing in our guide to studying abroad in New Zealand? Contact us and let us know! We want to make sure our information is relevant and up to date.