2020 was the year when New Zealand showed the world what it was capable of doing. Having received laudation for its effective handling of COVID-19, the world is talking about the country more than ever. It is not just about its handling of the pandemic which has drawn attention to this country; its magnetic political leadership, picturesque landscapes, healthy lifestyle, and friendly citizens have begun attracting the attention of the students from all over the world.
Universities in New Zealand are among the high-performing educational centers in Oceania. They maintain excellent academic structure, scholarship opportunities, and high research output, and this is reflected in their international rankings. So, if you are interested in pursuing excellent academic opportunities anywhere in the world, then New Zealand should be one of the options.
That being said, there are a handful of things you know about. Moving to a different country altogether is not a simple task, and you must be cent percent sure of your decision. The same applies to studying in New Zealand.
I have listed down 6 things you should know before coming here for education.
- Proficiency in English
Like most English-speaking countries, New Zealand requires non-native English speakers to submit proof of their English proficiency. These proofs come in the form of scores obtained in TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS. A good score in any of these tests can clear your way for education here. However, there may be exemption extended to students coming from certain countries such as Singapore or select universities where the mode of instruction is English. You must look up the English requirements at the university you have applied to.
- On-campus accommodation is generally available
This is one of the concerns of students that they might not be able to get on-campus accommodation. Well, in New Zealand, on-campus accommodation is generally provided. Of course, the said facility can only be extended to you subject to available vacancies. Alternatively, there are off-campus accommodation facilities spread out throughout the area, from apartment to dorms. Whatever is your preference, you should consider moving to New Zealand at least a month before the commencement of the academic session.
- Cities are student-friendly but expensive
New Zealand has only 8 universities many of which are located in cities such as Wellington and Auckland. While there may be off-city campuses, most students go for the city ones. You should opt for Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch as they are quite student-friendly, accessible, and full of excitement. That being said, they are also relatively expensive so you will have to sort out your expenses. Rates, from those of groceries to transportation, will be significantly higher here so do not go reckless with your finances.
- Respect the local Māori culture
Cultural appropriation is not taken kindly anywhere so New Zealand is no exception. If you are coming here, you must be very mindful of the Māori culture. For example, do not get tempted into getting a Māori tattoo because that will invite scornful reactions from locals. Just like you would expect foreigners to respect your native culture, you should respect the expectations of New Zealanders regarding their culture.
- Study whenever you want
In New Zealand, you generally have the liberty to apply for postgraduate and doctoral programs anytime you want to. There may be exceptions, of course, but generally, these two programs have a very flexible schedule. Applicants can apply for doctoral programs for most courses anytime in the year. In the application form, universities demarcate the sessions based on seasons or semesters, making it easier for you to decide when you are most comfortable. New Zealanders are not very rigid in their approach towards most things in their lives, and hence, they are happier than most of us; students, in particular.
- The Weather is moody
Moody weather is one thing about New Zealand which might be a cause of concern for those who come from places with stable weather conditions. You should bring along your best winter clothes because you can never predict when a summery day goes all chilly. Due to its mountainous topography, weather changes without any forewarning. So, bring along everything that can prepare you for winter, summer, and rain all in one day.
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