Undergraduate and graduate students wishing to study abroad—look no further! The "Land of the Long White Cloud" provides 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. Then, 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 from Asia. 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 abroad'ers all regale that the time spent on the airplane is well worth it!
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 1.6 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! If you think this may be the right city for you, study at the University of Auckland with IES.
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! If Wellington is more to your liking, study abroad at Victoria Univeristy in New Zealand.
Located on the South Island of New Zealand, the city of Dunedin has been largely influenced by the Scottish, who immigrated and settled in the area in the 1800s. It's even unofficially known as the “Edinburgh of New Zealand.”
In addition to its unique appearance, Dunedin is a great city for nature and wildlife lovers. Nearby, students can find forests, glaciers, beaches, and fascinating animal species that call this area home, such as the albatross, sea lions, and the rare yellow-eyed penguins. Those studying wildlife, conservation, biology, veterinary science, and other subjects can find programs in Dunedin, New Zealand with BCA Study Abroad.
Planning Your Trip
Choosing a Study Abroad Program in New Zealand
New Zealand is an ideal location for students interested in a variety of fields of study—from ecology to business, and everything in between, you will have no problem finding a program that best suits your academic goals and interests. New Zealand has a few excellent universities that repeatedly appear on top world rankings like the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, Auckland University of Technology, and the University of Canterbury.
Outside of the classroom, there are literally hundreds of different activities to keep you busy on both islands! 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 speaks 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 wider experience than other English-speaking countries, 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.
Activities & Sight Seeing
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, it's hard to choose a couple to highlight in this guide!
Costs & Funding
Study Abroad Scholarships: New Zealand
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 in New Zealand. Research local organizations and groups interested in sponsoring overseas studies, find out if the program you would like to attend provides scholarships, see if your university-sponsored aid can carry over—there are plenty of options, you just need to find them!
- The New Zealand Scholarship is available to international undergraduate students and are merit-based.
- Break Out is a searchable database of over 2,200 awards, scholarships and grants for individuals in New Zealand. Break Out is New Zealand's most comprehensive source of scholarship information.
- A number of grants and scholarships are available to ISA program participants, including add on if you receive other prestigious scholarships such as the Benjamin A. Gilman international scholarship.
- As a non-profit, the various USAC study abroad scholarship opportunities aim for students to gain international experience -- without breaking the bank.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
How much does it cost to study abroad in New Zealand?
Tuition costs will vary by institution and by direct enrollment versus third-party provider. Directly enrolling in a university will be the cheaper option, running you $8,000-$13,000 for the semester. Going through a provider might cost $13,000-$18,000 for the semester. But keep in the mind the other costs associated with studying abroad: meals, rent, cell phone, transportation, etc. Expect to spend $3,000-$4,500 for a semester after airfare and program fees.
Is New Zealand a good place to study abroad?
New Zealand is a fantastic choice for a semester abroad. It's known for beautiful landscapes, friendly locals, and world-class universities. There are lots of opportunities to go on adventures either within New Zealand or in nearby Australia.
Do I need a visa to study abroad in New Zealand?
You'll only need a student visa for New Zealand if you'll be studying full time and if the course is longer than 3 months.