WHY IS NEW ZEALAND THE NEXT BEST STUDY ABROAD DESTINATION?
In the recent past, all eyes have turned to New Zealand with its remarkable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The island nation has now seen over two weeks without a new COVID-19 case and its economy is set to return to normalcy soon. With the economy opening up and for other reasons we discuss below, students should look to New Zealand as their next higher education destination:
1. Recovering Economy:
While countries across the world are still under strict economic lockdowns and are set to face economic recession, it is now, more than ever, integral to pick a destination with economic stability. New Zealand recently announced a NZ$50 billion economic stimulus package to overcome the impact caused by COVID-19 on the economy. While there are no guarantees, New Zealand’s earlier recovery may make it easier for students to find jobs there in the near future.
2. Excellent Education Institutions:
New Zealand is home to some of the best universities across the world. Universities such as the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, and the Auckland University of Technology consistently feature in the top universities of the world. Universities in New Zealand offer a wide variety of options - from dentistry to law, to agriculture studies. So there’s something for everyone.
3. Excellent Living Conditions:
New Zealand is well-known for its natural beauty, unique plant and wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. The country is also well-known for being one of the best destinations for adventure sports. Living here allows you to not only receive an excellent education but also enjoy the wonders of a beautiful country while doing so. New Zealand constantly finds itself in the list of countries with the best quality of life and is considered to be one of the safest places to live in the world. New Zealand has a low crime rate and excellent healthcare facilities, which are essential in a post-pandemic world. New Zealand’s cities also boast impressive infrastructure. For example, central Auckland has free wifi, excellent bus, train, and ferry facilities, and several parks, libraries, and museums to enjoy.
4. English-speaking and Diverse Population:
For Indian students, one of the major advantages of moving to New Zealand is that English is the primary mode of communication, so there’s no need to learn a new language to get around. New Zealand is also an extremely diverse country and the cities see people pouring in from across the world - multiculturalism is an integral element of society. Fun fact: Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in New Zealand! This indicates how large the Indian diaspora is there, in case you start to feel homesick.
5. Working while studying:
Studying abroad can be expensive, especially with the exchange rate. Fortunately for many students, you can support your education by working part-time! Full-time students in New Zealand can work up to 20 hours a week during the academic year and up to 40 hours a week during the summer break. If you’re a Research master's or Ph.D. student, you can work 40 hours a week all year round. Moreover, New Zealand has a minimum wage of NZ$18.90 (or approximately INR 920) per hour, which is one of the highest minimum wage rates in the world, making it an attractive destination for students.
While studying abroad is expensive almost anywhere, tuition rates in New Zealand are lower than in countries such as the United States. The estimated tuition cost for a Bachelor’s program in New Zealand is between NZ$22,000 to NZD$35,000, depending on the nature of the program undertaken. This translates into approximately INR 10 lakhs to INR 18 lakhs.
7. Post Study Work Visa Program:
If you choose to stay back in New Zealand after completing your studies, the country offers an excellent post-study visa program to help you work in the country. You can apply for a visa to work in New Zealand for up to 3 years after you finish your study, depending on the type of qualification you hold. To be eligible, you must have successfully completed, in New Zealand, a Bachelor's, Masters, or Ph.D. program. In 2018, the rules were changed, and now international graduates no longer need to be supported or sponsored by an employer or rely on an offer of fulltime work on this new visa. New Zealand’s Post-Study Work Visa allows students to utilize their New Zealand qualifications and to gain international experience which will be useful not only in New Zealand but anywhere you decide to work afterward!
In a nutshell, New Zealand offers a number of reasons for you to consider it when deciding where to study abroad. As the world crawls back to normalcy, it is clear that New Zealand is clearly leading the way and should not be underestimated for its size!