New Zealand is made up of two large islands (simply named North and South), plus some smaller islands also. New Zealand is located to the south-east of Australia, and is often overshadowed by its much larger neighbor.
However, New Zealand is pretty awesome in its own right way, and not just because it’s responsible for producing the genius comedy duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, aka Flight of the Conchords. Ok, quite a lot because of that, but I do really love them. If you’re not such a big fan/ don’t think an HBO TV series is sufficient basis for choosing a study destination, then here are five other reasons to add New Zealand to your list:
- World Class Universities: With a relatively small population, New Zealand has only eight universities, but after all, it’s the quality that really matters. Six make the top 500 of the World University Ranking for 2011/12: Starting with University of Auckland (82), University of Otago (130), University of Canterbury (212), Victoria University of Wellington (237), Massey University and University of Waikato.
- Natural Beauty: New Zealand’s natural beauty has become especially very famous since the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed here. Also, while the country is fairly small (a little larger than the UK in total area), it’s also gloriously less crowded (population of about 4 million, compared to the UK’s 62 million). So no shortage of space to enjoy and explore.
- Modern Cities: New Zealand has some of the fantastic cities of the world, and also the universities are situated in the cities only. The largest by far is Auckland. Also notable are Dunedin (home to the University of Otago), Christchurch (home to the University of Canterbury), Hamilton (University of Waikato) and Wellington, which markets itself not only as the governmental capital but one of the most lively cities of New Zealand.
- Multicultural: One thing most of these cities have in common is their impressive cultural diversity – so if you fancy studying in one of those so-called ‘cultural melting pots’, then New Zealand should be pretty high up on your list. Auckland especially is known for this regard. According to recent government statistics, more than a third of those living in the Auckland area were born outside of New Zealand, and more than 180 ethnic groups are represented. So, as an ‘international’ student, you certainly won’t be alone!
- Home of Adventure Sports: In what has to be one of the world’s most diverse countries in terms of the range of terrains and types of activity possible, there’s no excuse for ever having a dull moment. Take a break from studies by going glacier trekking, mountain biking or exploring the rainforest.
Still bored? How about skydiving, kayaking, bungee jumping, rafting, scuba diving or snowboarding? Still? I give up.