The Kiwi Land
Located to the southeast of Australia, the Kiwi land looks as if it is truly towards the end of the earth, but an end that looks like paradise! It is separated from the Australian continent by a 2,000-mile stretch of the Tasman Sea. The country geographically comprises of two main landmasses, that of the North and South Islands as well as numerous smaller islands. Originally inhabited by the Maoris, New Zealand is one of the last lands to be inhabited by humans owing to its remote location. Nevertheless, today this thriving nation attracts tourists, students, immigrants and business from all over the planet. It has a population of about 4.5 million consisting of people of European, Maori, Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. The country’s capital is Wellington while Auckland, being the commercial capital is the largest city with an estimated population of 1.3 million which is almost one third of the country. The country is famous for its beautiful harbor, excellent cafes and nightlife, and many professional opportunities.
Climate and Culture
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of democracy in the line of most commonwealth states. The queen of England is the monarch and head of the state for New Zealand even though the law making and executive power is based in the parliament.
New Zealand has one of the most pleasant climates to live in; it has a mild and temperate maritime climate. The level of rainfall however varies from region to region making the geographical landscape diverse. The country’s isolation for millions of years has enabled presence of many exotic species making the country very rich in flora and fauna. This attracts both travelers and biology researcher from across the globe.
New Zealand’s major cultural identity is shaped primarily by Maori and the European heritage. Even though the cities enjoy cosmopolitan culture and way of life, the tribal circles would show distinctive differences between the Maori and NZ European societies. However, with globalization, influence of immigrants of other origin such as Asia, North America and the Pacific is increasingly becoming visible making New Zealand multicultural. In general, New Zealand has a friendly, polite and outgoing population though may be somewhat reserved initially towards outsiders. The country is known for the ubiquitous environmental consciousness and sense of social equality. The country doesn’t have a formal class structure and people take pride in individual achievements and contributions rather than social status. With a low population density, all New Zealanders and visitors have great access to a wide range of sporting facilities, such as golf courses and other cultural and recreation centers. Adventurous spirit is contagious in Kiwi culture and people love outdoor activities including picnics and beach based leisure activities.
Education in NZ
New Zealand has an internationally reputed education system. The Education Index, published with the UN’s Human Development Index in 2008, ranks New Zealand amongst the highest in the world. Based on the British education system, academic and vocational programs offered by universities and colleges in New Zealand are highly valued and are transferable globally. Students studying in NZ enjoy an amicable learning environment in small class sizes getting personalized attention from world class faculty. NZ Education system comprises of different type of education providers which include government recognized Universities, Institute(s) of Technology, Private Colleges and Polytechnics. Programs offered include courses from Certificate / Foundation level to PhD qualification. Due to a relatively low unemployment ratio and student friendly policy towards work permit & permanent residence, the country is a preferred choice for international students.
New Zealand offers distinctive advantages to Indian students looking for studying abroad. A few salient features of studying in New Zealand for Indian students are:
- New Zealand’s education system is globally recognized.
- Universities offer a friendly environment with an English speaking campus life.
- All programs approved by NZQA.
- Multiple intakes for several programs are available.
- Part time work is allowed 20 hrs. Per week, full time of 40 hrs. per week is allowed during summer break.
- Recent funds acceptable for student visa under Funds Transfer Scheme.
- 1 year job search visa on course completion of 2 year UG programs or 1 yrs. or above on completion of PG programs.
- Low density of population and demand for skilled labors make NZ an attractive destination for settlement after completion of your education.
Popular study streams in New Zealand
The study streams popular amongst international students looking for higher studies in New Zealand are commercial and business studies, natural and applied sciences, engineering and medical studies.
Commercial and Business Studies
Commercial and Business studies looks into the dynamics of management of businesses and other commercial enterprises effectively and efficiently. The course provides students with a dynamic set of commercial skills required to thrive in the competitive business community. By the end of the course, the students are well equipped with the conceptual knowledge about the field and also other important aspects such as critical thinking and problem solving in order to enable them to sustain and succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Natural and applied sciences
Another popular area of study for international students in New Zealand is natural and applied sciences. The stream includes courses such as Conservation and Biodiversity Management, Bachelors of Applied Sciences with specializations in biodiversity management and science communication. The programs in this discipline primarily focus on gaining knowledge about the functioning of various ecosystems and the impact the human activities are making on the health and sustenance of these biodiversity’s. Within applied sciences, the emphasis is given on practical application of conceptual knowledge with field works and also internships and work experiences with various organizations working in this field.
Many universities in New Zealand are known for their renowned faculty in the area of engineering studies. The field has taken great strides and has emerged as one of the most favored area of study, both for local students as well as international student community. Within the broader discipline of Engineering, various sub disciplines reside such as chemical and process engineering, computer engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, forest engineering, mechanical engineering, natural resource engineering and software engineering. The job prospects after a course in the field of engineering are particularly bright since the country has many reputed engineering firms who are on a constant look out for fresh talent.
Agricultural and horticultural studies
Given the primacy of agriculture in New Zealand, it is no surprise that agricultural and horticultural studies are one of the most popular streams of study in New Zealand. The majors in the field are general agriculture, agricultural engineering technology, agriculture business management, animal sciences, crop and soil sciences, horticulture, forest recreation and forest resources. The students are groomed to be agricultural experts by combining the conceptual knowledge about the field and also on the farm training to analyze the practical implications of the concepts learnt in classrooms. Students are also provided with the opportunities to visit the private farming operations and research farms in the country.
The field of medical studies is again a broader one with alternate medicine, dental surgery, healthcare and hospital management, nursing and MBBS as its sub disciplines. The levels of study range from diploma to postgraduate degree courses. The two medical schools of New Zealand- University of Auckland and the University of Otago provide world class academic and professional training in medical studies.
Hospitality and Tourism
The course on Hospitality and Tourism provides students training in the workings of the hospitality business. Hospitality incorporates within itself the sub disciplines of resort and hotel management, catering services, tourism related studies and many other sub fields. The course focuses both on conceptual clarifications through classroom teachings and also on the field training. New Zealand being a popular tourist destination, the employment opportunities in the field are many and the country has many reputed universities offering courses in hospitality and tourism at various different levels, starting from diplomas to postgraduate degrees.