Kapa haka, rugby moves and learning tricks from the circus were the highlights of Wellington’s rousing International Student Welcome last week.
More than 300 students from over 20 countries attended the official welcome to New Zealand’s coolest little capital last week.
The event was held at the Michael Fowler Centre and organised by WREDA (Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency).
Wellington City Mayor Justin Lester was on hand to give the students a warm welcome alongside current international student Khang (Kyle) Phan from Massey University.
The students learned about Kiwi culture through a series of interactive and fun activities. Students were introduced to Māori culture with a Kapa Haka performance from local Wellington group, Te Kapa Haka o Pukehuia. They also had a chance to cuddle puppies and bunnies with SPCA staff, learn juggling and tricks from the Circus Hub, try on police vests and hats and have a go at rugby alongside a few Hurricanes players.
As well as celebrating Kiwi culture, the event was a chance to celebrate students’ own cultural backgrounds. Many prizes were given out on the day including a free helicopter tour to the student who was judged best dressed in the traditional clothes of their home country.
Chloe Kincaid, WREDA Project Coordinator for the event said that international students are an important part of the Wellington community.
“Each year, thousands of international students find a second home in Wellington, bringing a rich cultural diversity to our schools and community,” said Chloe.
“This event is another way for Wellington to welcome and celebrate all of our wonderful international students.”
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Indian scholarship student Neeraj didn’t have all the information available in one place to help him prepare when he was planning to study to study abroad. So, he’s put together a series of four blog posts based on his experiences which he hopes will become a one-stop shop for potential students thinking about coming to New Zealand.
First up are some of the key reasons why I chose to study here.
For scenery and serene beauty
If you’re feeling tired and deflated and not in the mood to study, New Zealand has endless beauty spots. Pick up your laptop and head down to the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland where you can grab a reclining chair and enjoy the serene beauty of the harbour. And if you choose to you can even fit in a little study!
Inviting reclining chair on Auckland Harbour
Or otherwise, head over to Mount Eden and sit in the comfort of grass where you can absorb the beauty of nature.
Rest assured you will feel like studying after this so that you can get a job and be here forever! There are many more beautiful spots throughout New Zealand but these are just the teasers so that you can actually come and experience them yourself!
For the stats and figures:
Mercer Quality of Living Survey has ranked Auckland, New Zealand as one of the best city to live in for last four consecutive years.
From a recent article published by QS World University Rankings 2016-2017, there are eight universities in New Zealand, all of which feature in the top rankings for 2016-2017 – particularly impressive when you consider the country’s population is only around 4.5 million.
Here’s a brief outline of the top five universities in New Zealand:
University of Auckland
The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and highest-ranked university. Currently it ranks 81st in the world as per the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017.
University of Otago
This is New Zealand’s second entry in the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017, ranked 169th in the world.
University of Canterbury
Located in the South Island, in the island’s largest city of Christchurch, the University of Canterbury is New Zealand’s third-highest ranked university at joint 214th in the world.
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand’s fourth entrant in the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017, Victoria University of Wellington is placed joint 228th.
University of Waikato
The University of Waikato overtook Massey University as the fifth highest-ranked university in New Zealand in 2016-2017, placed 324th.
The other three universities in New Zealand, Massey University, Lincoln University and Auckland University of Technology, are all ranked among the world’s top 450 institutions in the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017.
Five steps to studying in New Zealand
Choose your programme, course and institution. There are high-quality educational institutions in every region in New Zealand, so you’ll have lots of places to choose from.
Plan your budget
You may be able to support your studies by gaining an international student scholarship or working for up to 20 hours a week.
Apply for your course
Now you’ve chosen what to study, contact your institution to ask about entry requirements and confirm your costs.
Apply for your visa
You’ll need a student visa if you’re coming to New Zealand to study for more than three months. Visit Immigration NZ to check your eligibility and start your online application.
Get ready to go
Organise your travel, get health and travel insurance, and decide whether to stay in a flat, hall of residence or homestay. A New Zealand Government code of practice requires all educational institutions to ensure international students are well informed, safe and properly cared for.
Reference: Education New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the world’s best places to live and study. Discover more about our high ranking education system and incredible lifestyle.
Welcome to studyinnewzealand.govt.nz. The official government site for advice on studying abroad in New Zealand.
Get started by searching for courses and degrees, institutions and scholarships.
Reference: Education New Zealand (ENZ)
For US student Lauren Vargo, field work takes her out of the lab and onto a spectacular ancient river of ice.
Lauren moved to Wellington from New Mexico to research her PhD on New Zealand glaciers. Studying at Victoria University’s Antarctic Research Centre has been a chance to combine glacial modelling with field work in an extraordinary natural environment.
She’s studying the links between glacier fluctuations and changes in climate by observing glaciers in the Southern Alps, a mountain range cut through with glacial valleys and lakes.
Lauren also flew over the country’s glaciers on the annual End of Summer Snowline flight, which has taken photos of 50 New Zealand glaciers every year since 1977. Back in the lab, Lauren runs the photos through high-tech software to create 3D models of the glaciers.
“One of the reasons I wanted to get into geology was so I could get out into the field,” says Lauren.
“It is exciting to be able to make field observations about how our climate is changing, as well as using models to run experiments that cannot be done in the real world.”
She’s also been on a class trip to the west coast of the South Island to explore Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, which flow almost to sea level through beautiful rainforest.
Lauren has been impressed by New Zealand’s research quality, and its enviable work/life balance – she mountain-bikes with colleagues in her lunch breaks, and goes rock climbing in her spare time.
Hong Kong student Wing Ki Lam says she’ll never forget joining her classmates to lie on the grass and gaze up at the southern sky at night.
Wing Ki visited Mt John Observatory as part of a three-day trip for international students at Dunedin’s Bayfield High School. The observatory is within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, one of the best places in the world to go stargazing.
“I’ve never seen so many stars before, and they were so pretty. I could never have done this back home because of the light pollution,” says Wing Ki.
“In Hong Kong everything happens in the classroom. It’s good that in New Zealand we can learn in nature.”
Wing Ki is now planning to go skydiving to celebrate her 18th birthday.
Bayfield runs three annual trips that give international students the chance to try skiing, ice skating, jet boating and bungy jumping, and to explore environments as diverse as glaciers and glow worm caves.
Ewen Cameron, Bayfield’s Director of International students, says the school makes it a priority to encourage students to have new experiences in the outdoors.
“We don’t want our students to only learn in the classroom environment,” he says.
Ewen says many of Bayfield’s international students developed an interest in astronomy after the Mt John Observatory visit, especially after witnessing a shower of shooting stars.
The South Island is the ideal location for students who want to take their stargazing to the next level — the University of Canterbury offers the study of astronomy at all levels, and has a field station in Antarctica.
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