Embarking on a journey as an international student in New Zealand is an exciting and rewarding experience. It is essential to familiarize yourself with important aspects of student life and the resources available to make the most of your time in this beautiful country.
This guide aims to provide international students with valuable information and tips to navigate academics, accommodation, healthcare, cultural integration, and more during their stay in New Zealand.
Integrating culturally as an international student in New Zealand is an enriching experience that can enhance your education and personal growth.
Here are some tips to help you immerse yourself in Kiwi Culture:
Prepare for your arrival -
Check your visa requirements and timelines. Make sure you meet all the visa requirements and have all the documents, both soft and hard copies, handy. Pack all your essentials, make sure to pack your clothes, medicines, and utility items according to the weather. This will help with a smooth transition from your home country to the student accommodation in New Zealand.
Settle into the student life -
As you embark on your journey to your new university and academic life, make sure to be in touch with all the important events happening in your university, like orientation programs, icebreaker events, and student support services. You can enquire about the city that you are living in, find out about restaurants and clubs near your student housing, different places like museums, parks, libraries around your campus and other New Zealand specific activities like hiking, discovering the Maori culture, Exploring the Lord of the Rings Filming Locations in New Zealand, and so much more!
Cultural Integration and Social Life -
To integrate culturally in a place like New Zealand, you need to understand and learn about the history, traditions and values of New Zealand. Embrace the concept of maanakitanga (hospitality) which is very unique to New Zealand. Participate in cultural events, festivals, and celebrations like the Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, Pasifika Festival: the largest Polynesian festival in the world, and other sub cultural festivals on campus.
Explore New Zealand’s Natural Beauty
Take advantage of the outdoor activities like hiking across trails like the Milford Track, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Routeburn Track, and Abel Tasman Coast Track, to experience stunning landscapes, mountains, lakes, and native forests. Take wildlife cruises to spot dolphins, seals, penguins, and whales. Visit Kaikoura for whale watching or the Otago Peninsula for viewing albatross and yellow-eyed penguins! Engage in outdoor activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, zip-lining, jet boating, and white-water rafting in various locations across the country.
Embrace the local cuisine
Try traditional dishes from New Zealand like Hangi, Rewena Bread, Pavlova, Hangi Pie, etc. Traditional New Zealand food reflects a fusion of indigenous Maori culinary traditions and influences from European, Polynesian, and Asian cultures. You can even share and exchange your own cuisine with your friends in your student accommodation, through potlucks or cooking exchanges.
Take local trips
During the holiday season, or when you have a vacation and some money saved up, you should consider taking small trips to local haunts in New Zealand. Some well known places include Queenstown, also known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, where you can do activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, or Rotorua, which is known for its geothermal wonders like hot springs and geysers, or Bay of Islands, known for its coastal scenery and dolphin watching.
In conclusion, cultural integration is a vital aspect of a student's experience in New Zealand. By actively engaging with the local community, participating in cultural events, and forming meaningful connections, international students can enrich their educational journey and create lasting memories.
Amber and you- AmberStudent is an online student accommodation that helps you secure a home of choice on your study abroad journey. Having served 80 million students (and counting), AmberStudent is your one-stop shop for all your accommodation needs, with great choices for student housing in Australia and UK Accommodation. Amber helps with assistance, booking, and price match guarantees! Check out their Facebook and Instagram and stay connected!
Madhura Ballal plays many roles- a cat person, a food lover, an avid marketer, and a postgraduate from the National University of Singapore. You can find her painting and doing yoga, when she's not playing one of the most critical roles that she has taken on- writing.