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10 Reasons to Consider New Zealand for Your Study Abroad Destination

March 28, 2017

New Zealand is one of the most exotic and dynamic nations in the English-speaking world. Students seeking to broaden their cultural horizons, enjoy gorgeous scenery and live in a thriving, multi-ethnic metropolis should seriously consider studying abroad in New Zealand. Here are 10 facts and reasons why you should study abroad in the South Pacific.

1. The weather is amazing

With approximately 265 days of sunshine throughout the year, Auckland, located on the north island, boasts both phenomenal natural landscapes and a cosmopolitan identity.

Rows of golden vineyard leaves in New Zealand
Rows of golden vineyard leaves in New Zealand

The northern part of the south island is also known for its great weather almost all year long, particularly the Marlborough wine country region and Abel Tasman National Park area, north of Nelson. In the autumn months, March to May, temperatures drop a little from those in the summer, but the climate overall is excellent. It is possible to swim in some places until April, and hiking to see the foliage change is very popular in the fall. In the winter, although it might be colder, the weather is still nice. There are numerous places to go skiing and snowboarding throughout the north and south island.

2. New Zealand has a rich history of girl power

Maria Archibald, Massey University, New Zealand
Maria Archibald, Massey University, New Zealand

In addition to being the first nation to enact voting rights for women in 1893, it was also the first to have three women in the country’s most powerful positions simultaneously: Helen Clark, Prime Minister, 1999-2008, Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor-General, 2001-2006 and Chief Justice Sian Elias, 1999-Present.

3. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchise is a huge contributor to the New Zealand economy

Hobbiton, New Zealand
Hobbiton, New Zealand

All J.R.R. Tolkien fans know that the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films were made in New Zealand, but the lasting impact on the New Zealand economy is not as widely recognized. Although filming has long ceased, Lord of the Rings tours still generate millions of dollars annually, and a cabinet post was created just to regulate all of the revenue the production of the film generated. Lord of the Rings became such a huge part of the New Zealand identity that passport stamps actually welcome visitors to Middle Earth!

4. There is only one type of venomous creature in New Zealand

Helen Feest, Massey University, New Zealand
Helen Feest, Massey University, New Zealand

Unlike its neighbor Australia, which has dozens of poisonous snakes and spiders, the katipo spider is the sole venomous organism native to New Zealand. There is also a giant carnivorous snail in Kahurangi National Park that is about 3.5 inches across - that eats mainly slugs and earthworms. That makes camping and trekking great for so many reasons.

But the real gem of New Zealand is the sirocco, a rare parrot that is sexually attracted to humans and known to do, well, this.

5. There is a huge adventure culture

Charles Schuknecht, Massey University, New Zealand
Charles Schuknecht, Massey University, New Zealand

New Zealand is home to adrenaline seekers. This is partially due to the fact that a Kiwi, by the name of A.J. Hackett, was the first person to commercially organize the sport of bungy jumping. Since 1979, there has been a continuous adventure-sport boom throughout the region, which includes bungy jumping, skydiving, whitewater rafting and more. If you are an adventure sports enthusiast, then you will love Queenstown, because it is the adventure capital of the world!

6. There are sheep - Lots and lots of sheep

There are six sheep for every person in New Zealand, and no shortage of interesting sheep-based activities. The biennial World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships host hundreds of international sheep-shearing competitors from around the world.

In addition to being a gorgeous and fascinating country, there are numerous reasons why you should consider making New Zealand your study abroad destination.

7. It’s a fantastic region for plant and animal science studies

Fjordland National Park, South Island of New Zealand
Fjordland National Park, South Island of New Zealand

New Zealand is geographically isolated, and a huge percentage of the terrain is dedicated national park land. Students interested in studying the human impact on the environment will find a pristine region with a diverse ecosystem, and there are abundant opportunities for biological field research.

8. You can intern and explore the north and south island

Helen Feest, Massey University, New Zealand
Helen Feest, Massey University, New Zealand

If you have limited funds, or maybe are unsure of how long you can go abroad due to fear or your field of study, our summer programs are a great start. You can choose to do an internship in just a couple weeks over the summer and participate in a north and south island expedition. Massey University, our member, is one of the most prestigious universities in New Zealand, and offers ISEP students tons of programs for students studying engineering, creative writing, theater, visual arts, media, communications, biology, agriculture and more.

9. The people are welcoming, accommodating and friendly (trust us!)

The New Zealand population is a diverse mix of global cultures. Auckland, in particular, is a thriving multicultural center, with people from all over the world coming together to create a unique, harmonious and vibrant community. Students interested in learning more about the Maori culture can take advantage of some of the best academic programs available, and also the opportunity to visit authentic Maori villages and landmarks.

10. There are endless amounts of outdoor activities

New Zealand is an adventurer’s paradise. If you like snowboarding, hiking, rock climbing, snorkeling, kayaking, diving or just exploring the great outdoors, New Zealand offers a plethora of options for recreation.

Why ISEP?

We offer students access to a broad range of member networks all over the world. No matter where you want to study, you’ll find an excellent member academic institution where you can either enroll directly or participate in a student exchange program.

If you are interested in studying abroad, whether for an entire academic year, a semester or a summer, please visit your university’s overseas study office and speak to your ISEP program advisor. Don’t wait to experience the joys of learning new cultures and traditions! Start your search today, enter New Zealand in the “Where to?” filter to start your journey.

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