New Zealand is an island country situated about 2,000 km (1250 miles) southeast of Australia, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It has two main islands (North Island and South Island) and a number of smaller islands. The South Island is the largest land mass and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps. The North Island is less mountainous but marked by volcanism.
New Zealand has four distinct seasons but a mild climate characterises most of the country, along with fairly high regional rainfall but also lots of sunshine. New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where tropical rainforests, sunny coastline, alpine mountains and a variety of flora and fauna are found within a relatively close distance of each other.
New Zealand is a harmonious and friendly society, unique in its identity. It is a multicultural fusion of Maori, Polynesian, Asian, and European cultures, and is recognised for a progressive humanitarian and pacifist stance, liberal politics, and world-leading social welfare. Cultural highlights include food and wine (and festivals celebrating these), outdoor activities and scenery, live music, a huge rugby tradition, and traditional Maori arts and crafts.
New Zealand has a stable, healthy economy characterised by low inflation and steady growth, and a high standard of living. Over 50% of exports are agricultural products. The country is heavily dependent on free trade, and maintains a strong export industry with partners such as the United States, the U.K., Japan, and Australia. The dominant sector is agriculture and services, but manufacturing, construction and raw materials are also important. Tourism is also a major contributor to the economy; New Zealand is recognised around the world as being uniquely beautiful. The currency is the New Zealand Dollar.
Living conditions in New Zealand are very good due to its thriving economy, low crime rate, and relative lack of congestion and poverty. International indexes consistently place New Zealand high on their lists of good quality of life; for example, the 2009 Legatum Institute Prosperity Index ranked New Zealand #1 in the world for social capital and #10 for overall prosperity.
Housing in New Zealand is often more reasonable than that found in many parts of Asia, Europe, and North America. The government is active in supporting immigration, which includes helping people find good homes and suitable living conditions for their budgets.
The tertiary students should budget for up to NZ$20,000 a year in living expenses, and provides the following indicative costs:
Consumer goods in New Zealand have lower levels of tax attached to them than is the case in many other OECD countries.
New Zealand follows the three-tier model of primary, secondary, and tertiary or post-secondary. This generally includes universities, private institutions, colleges, and polytechnics. New Zealand’s educational institutions offer quality secondary school education, a well-established network of English-language schools, and internationally respected and recognised tertiary education providers. Post-secondary education is regulated by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
Education institutions must meet stringent criteria in accordance with the Immigration Act 1987. All students must have a confirmation of enrolment before applying for a visa. New Zealand’s immigration laws prevent an international student from studying at a private provider that has not been registered with the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) or a course that is not NZQA approved.
If the student wishes to undertake a course which is less than three months, they can apply for a visitor’s visa. All courses of three months or longer require a student visa. The conditions of student visas vary but may allow a student to undertake some form of work as stated in their visa conditions.
• Auckland University of Technology • Licoln University • Aspire 2 (Ntec) • NMIT • Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) • IPU • New Zealand Tertiary College • Avanmore Tertiary Institute of New Zealand