Background on New Zealand:
Just where is New Zealand anyway?
Located in Oceania, the South Pacific Ocean is located off the southwestern coast of Australia. It comprises two land mass islands, The North Island and The South Island, and over 700 smaller islands. However, it may come as a surprise that New Zealand has a unique culture that is quite different from its massive neighbor Australia, also a former colony of the British Empire.
Another point New Zealand is south of the Equator, in the Southern Hemisphere! You must keep in mind that the seasons are reversed. When we are sweating and soaking up the summer sunshine in the USA, sipping on citronade, New Zealanders are bundling up for their winter, where temperatures can reach 10 degrees celsius. And here in the US during our most frigid days, locals in New Zealand are packing up their surfboards and beach gear to Kaikōura. You may even just spot a whale or two in this wildlife destination, even a colony of New Zealand seals. While enjoying the sunbeams of a Kiwi summer, you can visit a special cottage, The Frye House, that was constructed on the foundation of whale bones. You will be sure to experience the region’s whaling history after this visit. Imagine the scene, you are enjoying summer while family and friends are back home wrapped up in blankets.
Some cool and interesting facts unique to New Zealand should peak your interest in the island nation.
For my “woke” people, you may not have known that New Zealand was the first nation in the world to recognize and implement universal suffrage! That means that citizens in New Zealand enjoy their full rights; ensuring the right to vote to all adult citizens, regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race, ethnicity, political stance, or any other restrictions! New Zealand is an inspiration to other nations, leading the way on citizenship rights.
What about that sweet, tart fruit, kiwi? In New Zealand, the kiwi is also a small bird that is a national symbol. Also, you may hear New Zealanders being referred to as “kiwis” this nickname was given to them by Australian soldiers in the First World War.
The New Zealand Dollar is King, but you may not have known that you can also pay in hobbit money. Any Lord of the Rings fans? Then you may be in good company. Although, we caution you before giving up these collectibles too quickly.
New Zealand is without any doubt a beautiful country with vast, lush green forests. And kiwis know what they have is precious and the fact that over 30% of the country is a national reserve should speak for itself. When you study at one of these gorgeous campuses, you are sure to have many choices for national parks and reserves. Just imagine, on the weekend you need to get out of town and get some fresh air. You can certainly make your way over to Paparoa National park which boasts pancake rock formations, vibrant native forests, and hiking trails to take the perfect story posts for your sure-to-be jamming Instagram page. Or consider the Blue Pools of Wanaka? Turquoise, shimmering waters, the perfect temperature for a fresh swim. Those are just a few examples of what your “downtime” can look like in New Zealand.
Another unique fact, there are more sheep than people! Imagine what the uncles will be saying. About 5 sheep for every person to be exact! This number is down from the 80s when the sheep to human ratio was 22:1!
A town with the longest name in the world according to the Guinness World Records. Looks as though New Zealand wants to make a name for itself any way it can!
Dunedin, an amazing town, has the steepest road in the world too! Baldwin Street is the steepest drivable street in the world with a gradient of 30m to 100m !!
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is the southern capital of the world! You will also find the Lord of the Ring studios here!
English is the official language, along with sign language, but Maori is also an official language. The Maori are the original inhabitants of New Zealand over 17% of the population still speaks the language! Like many indigenous populations across the world, there is a dark history that is acknowledged and consistently called to memory. However, the New Zealand parliament has done extensive work at reestablishing the place of language which is directly tied to the people, the land, and the undeniable culture! Bravo!
One final unique fact about New Zealand, it is said to be the last land that was inhabited by humans, which we know was the Maori, approximately 800 years ago!
Let us think a little bit more about the future. Many students, in the US and beyond, often do a lot of research about where they want to embark on the continuation of their studies. American students understand the importance of focus and dedication, which makes them excellent candidates for this enriching abroad experience. Whether you decide to study locally or to make the bold move overseas, we certainly can help you see why studying in New Zealand should be at the top of your list.
1. Universities Among the Top 3% in the World
The timeless advice to the young person questioning his or her future is “the world is your oyster.” The 15th-century playwright knew how to craft the finest words to inspire us for generations to come. Almost every student studying in a university today will learn something about the great William Shakespeare.
The world is indeed an oyster and your golden opportunity has arrived, you may just find a pearl in one of the top eight world-renowned universities in New Zealand. All eight of these institutions rank in the top 3% globally. With these amazing statistics to consider, one may be compelled to further research this island nation on the South Pacific Sea.
It must be obvious to potential applicants that New Zealand is a powerhouse for quality education. We may want to look closer at what is happening in New Zealand to attain such amazing results:
Small class sizes ensure more access to quality education. With a student-to-teacher ratio which is about 7 to 1, students will have the advantage compared to other study abroad destinations. It is a fact that smaller class sizes present a more intimate setting for students and teachers to cover topics to meet the needs of the course. Student-centered learning is growing globally as older, archaic methodologies have been proven less effective. Smaller classes also allow students to build more meaningful connections with their peers. Students are well aware that networking may be done through digital means these days, however, having actual colleagues and opportunities to collaborate are rare. This chance may just present that rare pearl we are all in search of these days!
2. Quality teaching and learning
Quality teaching is not limited to “small class sizes”. This is where we will go into much more detail about student-centered learning. As mentioned above, briefly, student-centered learning is a lot of what it sounds like. The exact opposite of merely memorizing and regurgitating information. Recycling is wonderful and necessary, but not when it comes to tangible, critical learning.
Student-centered learning may be a new concept for a lot of prospective applicants and their families. So let us discuss this further. This methodology begins with the teachers. Instructors assess what needs to be taught and essentially how it will be implemented in the classroom. Students can to some extent choose what they want to learn. We know that with the proper guidance of highly qualified instructors and professors, students will be guided towards achieving their dreams with the experts in their fields right behind them.
Students will also have access to leading global research centers, which translates to quality, hands-on learning. These masters of research are a guarantee in New Zealand. All universities, whether they are public or private are controlled by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. This government agency ensures that all higher education institutions comply with the highest standards which helps maintain their seat in the top 3% of global universities. Ethical standards are modeled after the British Education system, which most of the world follows in-suite, which essentially is preparing students for the world. It should be clear that any degree obtained at one of the top-tier universities will be compatible with other nations such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Graduates from Universities in New Zealand enjoy global reputations for technical innovation, and research and are in great demand around the world.
3. Diversity of Programs
There can be a lot of pressure to choose a path when you are finishing out your high school career. Young people in this period are dealing with a lot of issues and growing concerns and sometimes anxiety about the future. As we have said, this should be an exciting time in life, full of optimism. The more options a student has when it comes to their future the better. Of course, choosing a path to take and giving it your absolute best is essential. However, students need to be given a complete spectrum of choices. Their strengths and weaknesses can be pinpointed. And there is a lot to be said about how you must love what you do! So the more choices you have, the better.
New Zealand universities offer a wide variety of degree programs. You may be interested to learn more about engineering, medicine, nursing, environmental sciences, business studies, and many more. There are also post graduate study programs available in medicine, psychology, civil engineering, and accounting!
4. Future Focused Education System
New Zealand is ranked #1 in the world when it comes to “future-focused education”. All degree programs are taught in English across the country. Students will develop their critical thinking skills and communicate in the Lingua Franca which we are well aware is the English language. In today’s world, perhaps now more than ever before, speaking multiple languages is an exceptional, desirable skill! International students have mastered their respective native languages throughout their educational careers and now it is time to master their command of the English language. Students will be able to communicate, express complex thoughts, and ideally put forward-thinking ideas into practical, hands-on situations. We know today that the advancement of technology in this digital age waits for no one! Students fine-tuning their language skills through real-world practice will have this advantage second to none.
5. Welcoming Culture
Kia ora! This is the expression used in daily life in New Zealand to greet one another. It comes from the indigenous language Maori. It is said, even the Prime Minister is known to use this greeting!
In New Zealand, living in a vibrant, natural environment with all the amenities and aesthetics desired, students will naturally find a welcoming culture. New Zealanders follow the model of welcoming new students from other countries. They pride themselves on their high standards for openness, kindness, tolerance, and friendship! Another important point, New Zealanders are welcoming to all religions and the freedom of expression. Whatever you believe you will be supported by the right to uphold your beliefs and practices, regardless of your nationality. This is a very important value that is woven into the fabric of society in New Zealand. It goes without saying, if you feel accepted and supported, you will have the space to thrive in New Zealand.
6. Low Cost of Living and Educational Expenses
In comparison to other top international study locations like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, the cost of living and education is considerably lower. The costs of living, including housing, fresh food, and other accommodations are much less costly than those other countries mentioned. Having access to all the top amenities at a lower cost should be taken into serious consideration while choosing a school.
The cost of education is overall much lower than in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. One should also consider that students’ access to grants and scholarships after enrollment is a key advantage. Many scholarships and grants are provided by the government based on continuous excellence in academic performance. International students have the advantage of focusing on their studies where their hard work will pay off. Anytime a student is eligible for these types of funds, it aids in lowering the overall costs associated with their education.
7. Breathtaking Landscapes
We have merely only made mention of a few breathtaking sites in New Zealand. No words could quite describe the natural beauty of this land. It is a sure thing, that while studying and achieving many lifelong goals for a bright future, one must connect with nature regularly to stay focused and motivated. You should really watch a few videos on Youtube, if you haven’t already!
It is well known that connecting with nature can help alleviate a lot of pressure. While no one cannot dispute that working towards a challenging degree can be stress-inducing at times, it would be comforting to know there are plenty of options for weekend excursions around New Zealand.
With plenty of coastlines to travel, mountainous regions, natural forests, and wildlife at every corner, you are sure to find plenty of activities in your downtime.
8. Safety and Quality of Life
Safety and security are some of the top concerns surrounding loved ones. We must also consider how health issues are handled in a nation. Many of us became familiar with New Zealand during the early months of the COVID-19 epidemic. Many of us also became familiar with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who became a hero at home and around the world based on her handling of the crisis. What we have all learned after these past few years is that communities and governments must align themselves with policies that protect all of their citizens.
Overall safety, compared to the global average, New Zealand ranks high in security and maintains a peaceful environment. As a matter of fact, according to the Global Peace Index, New Zealand was ranked the second safest country in the world in 2021. The government officials work hard with its law enforcement agencies across the country to keep the standards high for safety and security for all people living within its borders. Your loved ones back home already have enough to worry about as you step into this new stage of your life, at least they will rest assured your safety is a priority.
9. Opportunity to Work While Studying
Unlike in other countries, students may have an opportunity to work while studying in New Zealand! It may not always be ideal to work while continuing your studies, but certainly having the option to work is a definite plus! In some other nations, students are only eligible to work on campus, but New Zealand welcomes students to explore employment opportunities while studying. International students are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during the regular semester and up to 40 hours per week during the holidays. This certainly can be a rewarding experience for a student. It can potentially be the source of further independence and learning the value of the dollar, in this particular case, the New Zealand dollar!
While working while studying is not always the preferred option for some students, it’s certainly wonderful to know that this golden opportunity is waiting at your fingertips! Working while studying is a humbling experience as well. Research some of the positive and negative aspects about working while studying. It is definitely worth the read!
Still rather wait until you graduate? Post-graduate work opportunities also remain an option for international students. New Zealand offers up to three years of a “stay back” period to allow students to look for a job in the country! Many other countries are constantly changing their policies on similar programs, but New Zealand has remained consistent in this offer. Depending on your degree program and field of study, you could just possibly find your dream job right in New Zealand post-graduation!
According to Universities New Zealand, which represents the eight top universities, after graduation, 97% of the students get employed and 90% of them get right into the job market related to their studies. The latest data (2019) from SEEK Employment Trends shows opportunities were up by 9.4% and the majority of industries recorded an increase. Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch have also recorded high levels of job ads relative to the past five years (2014-2019). While growth in both the economy and jobs is forecast to slow a little after 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government still expects the workforce to grow at 1.8% annually – meaning New Zealand will continue to need about 47,000 more workers a year into the near future. The majority of these jobs will be in highly skilled occupations such as those in Engineering and Construction, Finance/ Business, Health and Social Services, ICT and Electronics, Hospitality and Tourism, and Science and it is expected that most of these opportunities are designed to be filled by students like yourself.
10. Boost Your CV
It is well known that students who study abroad return to their home countries with an advantage! You not only had the opportunity to develop your skills outside with access to experiences you could never have had at home. You also can boast throughout your resume or CV about those learning experiences. Imagine all the student groups and organizations you could list on your CV. The courses, professors, and research you made connections with during your academic career.
Connections. This is a category in itself. But it is certainly important to consider the number of connections you will make while studying abroad. Since New Zealand attracts many international students, such as yourselves, imagine the relationships that you will develop during these years. Today, more than ever before, we are globally connected. Business is all about harvesting solid relationships, and that includes partnerships extending across the globe. The more opportunities you have to interact with experts from around the globe, the better chance you have to continue your path to success during your lifetime.
So, as you can clearly see, New Zealand should be at the top of your list while considering your “study abroad” opportunities! New Zealand may seem like it is a world away, but that is exactly what makes it exciting! The wild landscapes, nature, and panoramic views will be a part of your story! You will be secure living in a safe environment with opportunities to earn your own money! You will have access to some of the world’s most highly ranked international programs. Once you have completed your degree, you may have the opportunity to stay back and work right in New Zealand. Imagine the endless possibilities and security.
From bungee jumping to skiing down Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand is a paradise for adventure seekers! If you’re looking for an action-packed study abroad experience, then you’ll definitely want to consider studying in New Zealand