I am this raised. Always have been. I studied in five countries – in Hong Kong for Kindergarten to Grade 13, in Chicago for my undergraduate degree, in London for my MBA, in Madrid for my cooking degree, and now I’m in Auckland for my postgraduate diploma in communication. Here are some of my opinions on what international students need to know when embarking on a study in New Zealand.
1. Enjoy top-notch cafe cuisine and world-famous wine
Kiwis are excellent for serving brunch style dishes. You can easily find excellent flat whites and well-made Eggs Benny’s (Eggs Benedict), French toast, meat pies and fruit smoothies, especially in big cities like Auckland and Wellington. However, be aware that cafes here close quite early, often closing around 3pm.
Outside of these hours, you can visit one of the country’s popular restaurants to enjoy a meal made with fresh produce and a drink, perhaps the country’s famous Sauvignon Blanc.
2. Groceries (and other products) are not cheap
While you might want to cook at home to save money, note that groceries aren’t cheap in New Zealand, especially during the winter. I remember spending US $ 2 on an average supermarket pepper the first winter I arrived. This surprised me, as I had assumed that fruits and vegetables in an agricultural exporter would be cheap.
New Zealand also imports a whole range of products, including fuels, vehicles, machinery and construction materials, raising the cost of living.
3. Work while studying
To help cover the high cost of living, most university students have part-time jobs. Full-time student visa holders can work 20 hours during school term and 40 hours during vacation.
Build your resume by looking for a job related to your major. If your faculty has a close relationship with industry, this can be a good source of information and introductions. Take advantage of them to find work – especially since “local experience” and “local references” are very important to Kiwi employers.
4. Sport is social
Kiwis love sport in all its manifestations – rugby, football, netball, kayaking, sailing, triathlons and extreme sports. They watch and compete in equal measures.
Boost your health and social life by participating. Gyms are dotted around most cities and campuses, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Or gather your friends for strolls on nearby beaches or on nature trails and hikes, which abound across the country. If you’re feeling daring, head to Queenstown, the hub of activities such as skydiving and bungee jumping.
5. Get out
Being an island nation, New Zealand is renowned for its clear blue skies, verdant hills and mountains, rugged landscapes, and lush lakes and beaches. For example, in Auckland it is easy to access charming Waiheke Island with its many vineyards and beaches, or Devonport with its harbor views and picturesque main street.
There are also loads of cheap flights all over the country, so take advantage of long weekends to visit beautiful Queenstown, Wellington culture or Christchurch (the “Garden City”), among others.
If you’re up for a drive, road trips are a popular way to spend some free time. Around Auckland, you can discover Coromandel, Lake Taupo, Hobbiton or Hamilton. What has impressed me the most so far is the Waitomo Caves, where I have seen a myriad of glowworms lighting up the ceiling of an underground cave.
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6. Everything is relaxed
Kiwis are laid back and down to earth. You will never call your college instructors “Dr Dave” or “Professor Paula” – they always insist on just “Dave” or “Paula”. Typical classes emphasize critical thinking and self-directed learning, and you will need to do a lot of reading in your spare time. Group work and peer collaboration are common – this is how Kiwi educators think we learn best.
The relaxed attitude can also be seen in business, and you will be encouraged to speak up and contribute in office meetings.
7. Accommodation alternatives
To form friendships with Kiwis and other students, opt for college accommodation for a while. In addition, these facilities are usually located near the city center.
Once you’ve built a solid social circle, you can choose to venture into the suburbs, which generally offer better air and more space. Apartment (renting an apartment with others) is common in New Zealand, and the most popular place to search for a cool apartment or find roommates is through the Trade Me e-commerce platform.
8. Trade me in is the key
Not only is it the number one destination for browsing real estate-related options, but Trade Me is also the perfect place to buy a used car, trade in electronics, and even find a job. Familiarize yourself with this quintessential Kiwi website from the moment you arrive in New Zealand.
“Retail therapy” is not a major leisure activity for Kiwis, and I find shopping more exciting in other cities where I have lived. However, people here dress casually and you will often see people wearing ‘jandals’ (kiwi slang for flip flops) or even walking barefoot in supermarkets!
9. Plan your health care
Be prepared to take charge of any health emergency. International students are required to purchase health insurance before entering the country, but maintenance aspects such as medical examinations and maintenance of physical and dental health are generally not covered. Explore your options for keeping these aspects outside of standard insurance coverage. Find out in advance about the location of your university clinic and the nearest emergency room.
10. Explore Maori culture
New Zealand places a high value on indigenous culture and there are many opportunities to experience its unique Maori heritage. For example, some universities hold Maori events for international students, where you can meet indigenous people at a Marae (a Maori hangout), participate in Maori cultural performances, learn their arts and crafts, and participate in a hangi. , a Maori Festival.
Read more: Best Universities in New Zealand