New Zealand universities welcomed over 100,000 international students in 2015, and each year sees a typical increase of around 10-12% on the previous year’s figures. The country’s beautiful landscape has long been cited as one of its major attractions, but as those studying in New Zealand have discovered, there is far more to the country than a picturesque view. Here are the top five reasons why we think you should consider a period of study in New Zealand.
1. A warm welcome from day one
New Zealanders encounter a lot of people from other nations as they are particularly well-travelled people. New Zealand itself is a small, diverse nation of friendly and tolerant people who enjoy a peaceful, modern lifestyle with low crime rates and a positive, liberal outlook on life. This attitude is also reflected in its rather relaxed student visa application process, which does not require a formal interview process. You will never be rejected without explanation by the New Zealand Immigration Department, and you will always be given the opportunity to state your case should your application fail.
2. A world-class education
Every one of New Zealand’s universities is ranked within the prestigious QS World Rankings, with Auckland even making the top 100 for its range of outstanding undergraduate and graduate courses. The New Zealand educational system is based on the same format used by the British, and the qualifications achieved are subsequently recognised and admired by employers, governments and other universities as being of an extremely high standard. New Zealand has invested heavily in its educational system lately and maintains a stringent policy of quality control regarding every single course and qualification. The country also has some of the best support services for international students that we have ever seen.
3. Great value for money
A New Zealand education offers all the quality and perks of a British or Australian education without the crippling financial costs associated with studying in those countries. You can expect to pay approximately NZ$20,000 (£9,680) a year for social science or art courses, and NZ$25,000 (£12,000) for a science and engineering degree. The living costs you will require in New Zealand are also relatively cheap compared to some major nations, with the average student requiring NZ$15,000 (£7,260) per year for accommodation, food, utilities and transport expenses.
4. The healthy outdoor student lifestyle
With such a diverse climate of sunshine and snow, mountains and coasts, the New Zealand culture revolve around making use of their stunning landscapes for recreational activities. There are plenty of opportunities for international students to make the short journey to the coasts and hills for surfing, hiking, mountain biking and swimming. Traditional sports also feature heavily in everyday New Zealand student life, with cricket, football and rugby competitions available to watch and participate in across the country.
5. Fantastic post-graduate opportunities
International students are allowed to engage in paid work during their stay in New Zealand and may remain in the country for up to a year after graduation whilst continuing to work. If the job you have undertaken is relevant to your course qualification you can then stay for two further years, and subsequently, even apply to stay in the country permanently. Once you are made a permanent resident of New Zealand you then become eligible for student loans if you wish to progress to another course of study. Residency decisions are often made within six months of the initial application, making it one of the most welcoming countries in the world for student immigration.