9 Reasons to Study Abroad in New Zealand

New Zealand is an exciting and increasingly popular country for international students. Learn what makes studying abroad in New Zealand great.

portrait of Ellery Weil
by Ellery Weil

Updated April 14, 2022

Edited by Will Baker
Share this Article
9 Reasons to Study Abroad in New Zealand
Image Credit: Matthew Micah Wright / The Image Bank / Getty Images


Many college students are fascinated by the idea of studying abroad. One increasingly popular study abroad destination is New Zealand.

Located in the South Pacific near Australia, New Zealand is a relatively safe country with high-quality universities that offer students a unique educational experience. Here are just a few things that make studying abroad in New Zealand great.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

1. You Get to Experience New Zealander Culture

Studying in New Zealand will give you a chance to experience the beautiful country and its culture. New Zealand is a country with a diverse population and a culture influenced by Maori, European, and East Asian traditions.

The de facto official language of New Zealand is English, so if that's your primary language, you'll have no trouble navigating the country while you're there. The country's two official languages are New Zealand Sign Language and Te Reo Maori.

2. There Are Plenty of Programs to Choose From

New Zealand is an increasingly popular destination to study abroad, which means there are many great programs to choose from. In addition to exchange programs with American colleges, New Zealand offers a variety of specialty programs, many of which have ties to a particular university.

Several of these programs are all-inclusive and highly ranked, taking much of the uncertainty out of the study abroad process and leaving you free to enjoy your program.

3. You'll Receive a High-Quality Education

New Zealand's educational system is highly respected around the world, with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority ensuring all schools in New Zealand meet certain standards. By studying in New Zealand, you can be assured your program will be credible.

There are eight universities in New Zealand, and all offer top-notch programs in an array of academic disciplines.

4. There Are Lots of Job Opportunities

New Zealand is a land of opportunity for students looking for work, both during their studies and after graduation. Whatever you choose to study, there will be opportunities for casual work and permanent employment.

In fact, Student Job Search, a free nonprofit society, has decades of experience helping students in New Zealand find temporary and permanent work. You can take advantage of their services while you're in the country.

5. The People Are Warm and Friendly

As a student studying abroad, you may worry about meeting people in a new environment — but you won't have to worry in New Zealand. New Zealanders are known for being friendly and welcoming, so you should be able to make friends quickly.

Between the lack of a language barrier and the warm culture, you're likely to have an easy transition and make friends while you study abroad.

6. The Climate Is Broadly Appealing

Do you like summer or winter best? Skiing or surfing? In New Zealand, it doesn't matter which is your favorite — the country's climate offers something for everyone.

New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning the country's summer is during the United States' winter. Weather in New Zealand changes with the seasons, so you can experience different types of weather. However, the temperatures are rarely so extreme as to make getting around difficult.

7. You Can Explore a Beautiful Landscape

New Zealand is home to beautiful natural scenery, from tropical beaches with world-class surfing to snow-covered mountains perfect for winter sports. As a student in New Zealand, you can explore this beautiful country while you study.

New Zealand has also made headlines around the world for its influential film industry, which takes full advantage of the country's natural beauty. Are you a fan of "The Lord of the Rings"? Consider a visit to Hobbiton in the scenic New Zealand countryside.

8. You Can Visit Other Countries With Ease

Looking to travel during your studies? New Zealand's location in the South Pacific makes it a great location for students who want to visit other countries.

New Zealand's closest travel links are with neighboring Australia, which also shares close economic and cultural ties with New Zealand. However, affordable and accessible flights are available from New Zealand to destinations all over the South Pacific and East Asia.

9. You Can Travel in a Safe Environment

New Zealand regularly tops the Global Peace Index's list of the most peaceful countries in the world. The country has high scores for safety and stability, meaning that New Zealand is a relatively safe place for you to travel and explore while you study.

New Zealand cities boast low crime rates and accessible public resources. These metrics make the country a secure place for international learners.

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad in New Zealand

How much does it cost to study abroad in New Zealand?

Studying abroad in any country can be expensive. However, the U.S. has some of the highest educational costs in the world.

At the University of Auckland, exchange students pay fees to their home institutions. International students pay a single flat fee of about $9,400 per semester, which is comparable to or less than tuition at most public universities in the U.S.

The cost of living in New Zealand is very similar to much of the United States. Still, students should prepare for additional costs, like flights and housing.

Where should I study abroad in New Zealand?

There are eight universities in New Zealand, all of which offer opportunities for international students. When you're deciding where to study abroad in New Zealand, look at which subjects these universities specialize in before making your decision.

Alternatively, if you're a student at an U.S. college and want to do a semester abroad, check to see whether your college has a program that partners with a school in New Zealand.

What are the requirements to study abroad in New Zealand?

Depending on what kind of study abroad you want to do, you'll need to either be enrolled in a college with a study abroad program in New Zealand or get accepted to an independent study abroad program.

Alternatively, you can apply directly to a degree program at a New Zealand university. Finally, you'll need a student visa for travel and study.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.