Moving to study in a new country is full of small challenges, which is why IEC Abroad provides support for international students in New Zealand to help them settle as quickly as possible. Here are some of the main differences that international students studying in New Zealand will encounter.
New Zealand’s beautiful and varied landscape makes it a fantastic choice for those who prefer an outdoors lifestyle. Much of its culture revolves around nature and sport, and there are many organisations dedicated to preserving the island’s original Maori culture. When combined with the more western influences found in the nation’s music and theatre, it is clear New Zealand has something to offer everyone.
New Zealanders are similar to the British in their reserved and polite mannerisms. They are hospitable people who welcome newcomers, and often shun formal greetings for a warm friendly hello. New Zealanders hold mostly liberal social attitudes, with equality and freedom highly valued.
As New Zealand is an island nation their cuisine includes a lot of seafood. The country is also famed for its excellent beef and lamb produce, and many of its dishes draw upon British, Polynesian and Asian recipes. Its restaurants cater for a mix of western and Maori tastes, and a recent resurgence of café culture in New Zealand means tea and cakes are readily available after a hard day’s work.
Most New Zealand universities offer on-campus student accommodation in the form of dormitory-style dwellings. These multi-person apartments may have shared bathrooms and kitchens and be of a mixed-sex arrangement. You should specify your preferences regarding accommodation as early as possible to avoid problems.
Private rentals are also available throughout most cities in New Zealand, with single bedroom flats costing NZ$130-$350 a week depending on location. There are also many New Zealand families who are willing to take in foreign students, and not only does this cost less than a private rental, it is also a great way to involve yourself in a traditional New Zealand family setting.
Students must have access to NZ$1,250 for each month of their stay in New Zealand, or NZ$400 each month if their accommodation has been pre-paid. This equates to an average living cost of NZ$15,000 per academic year, and this figure does not include your course fees.
You will pay around NZ$180 per month for electricity, heating, water and refuse collection, and between NZ$100-$180 for transport passes. Leisure activities in New Zealand are relatively inexpensive, costing NZ$18 for a restaurant meal, NZ$8 for domestic beer and NZ$16 for a cinema ticket.
Typically most student visas allow you to work twenty hours per week during term time, provided your study period lasts more than two years and you are competent in the English language. Students may work full-time hours during official scheduled breaks in their course, but only if their course lasts longer than one year.
If you would like more specific details on what living in New Zealand is like for an international student, contact IEC Abroad today for expert, tailored advice.