When choosing a country to study in, it’s important to make sure you make the right decision as you’ll be spending a significant part of your degree there. There were a few reasons which contributed to New Zealand being my choice of study abroad destination, which I’d like to share with you in this post. New Zealand is somewhere I’d been wanting to visit for a while, so getting the opportunity to spend a year here was fantastic.
New Zealand is renowned for its beautiful and varied landscapes. It’s no wonder that lots of films including The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have been filmed here. New Zealand has definitely lived up to my expectations and it is just as beautiful as the tourist brochures suggest. I never tire of being able to see snow-capped mountains from the university campus.
As a geology student, New Zealand is an ideal country to study in. It’s location on a plate boundary means it has mountains, earthquakes, geysers and volcanoes meaning there’s no shortage of places to go for fieldwork and there’s always something going on. For example, this year I’ve already been on field trips to study fault ruptures from last November’s earthquake, rockfall from the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes and the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
Speaking other languages isn’t a particular strong point of mine, so an English-speaking country was an important factor for me in choosing a study abroad destination. Whilst many overseas universities offer teaching in English, I personally wanted to study somewhere where they also speak English (albeit with some slightly strange slang words). New Zealand culture also has quite a lot of similarities to British culture which reduces culture shock.
Size of the Country
New Zealand is only slightly larger than the UK, which means travelling around the country to explore its wonders is fairly easy. Having said that, long distance train services are few and far between in New Zealand which makes travelling around harder, but bus services and domestic flights are plentiful.
Whilst these were important factors for me in choosing to study in New Zealand, the best destination for everyone is different and you should consider your options carefully when choosing where to study abroad.