New Zealand

Brief Descriptions

Country : New Zealand
Capital : Wellington
Land Area : 270,534 square kilometres
Population : 4.4 million
Country Code : +64
National Flower : Kowhai
Languages : English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language
Currency : New Zealand dollar (NZD)

General Information

New Zealand, which the local aboriginal Maori called Aotearoa or the Land of Long White Cloud, is like a canoe floating in the Pacific Ocean. It is situated in the south western Pacific Ocean and is some 1,500 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea. This island state comprises of two main landmasses, the North Island and South Island, which shaped like a boot, and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand has a mild and temperate maritime climate. Its four seasons oppose those of the Northern Hemisphere; summer is from December to February and Winter is from June to August. Summer is warm and dry, winter is cool and wet, and small temperature variations throughout the year. New Zealand is reputed as a green country. Whole year round there are blue skies, white clouds, green country sides, fresh air and clean water. It is a serene and comfortable land to live on.

Education System

The education system of New Zealand is viewed as one of the best in the world. New Zealanders receive quality education since young through schools, universities, technical colleges and other educational institutions. They go through eight years of primary education and five years of secondary education. The final grade 13 is equivalent to the upper sixth form of Malaysia.
There are eight public university in New Zealand offering bachelor degree and postgraduate programmes. While every one of these universities offers Arts, Science, Social Science and Commerce programmes, they also specialised in certain disciplines such as Technology, Engineering, IT, Medicine, Agriculture, Built Environment, Forestry, Aeronautical and Environment. To provide more choice for students, there are also 20 technical colleges which offer industrial and vocational courses in all essential industries with emphasis on practical applications at the workplace. In addition, there are many private education institutions that offer higher educational courses.
New Zealand is becoming a preferred further education destination for more and more students. There were some 312,000 students studying in 1,259 universities and colleges in New Zealand in 2000. International students must apply for courses which are approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to obtain the student visa.

Living in New Zealand


The most spectacular dish in New Zealand is undoubtedly the hangi of Maori's origin. Stones are heated by fire and food parcels, packed in leaves, are placed on top. The packs are further covered with foliage and cloth, or, nowadays wet sacks, then earth. Hangi way of cooking keeps the original favours of the food ingredients. Other ways of cooking include the popular roasted meats, salad or boiled vegetables, omelettes and fried peas. Generally, New Zealanders are culinary art enthusiasts. Each family has a full set of six or seven pans and full set of crockery and cutlery to serve every culinary occasions.


When studying in New Zealand, you can choose to stay with a local family, in a dormitory or apartment. If you are leaving home for the first time, it may be advisable for you to have home stay, where the owner family provides you the comfort of home including a furnished single room that is conducive for study, lunch and dinner. You can stay in a dormitory of the university you studying in. A dormitory usually has two to four single rooms with a shared kitchen and laundry room. For more comfortable living, you can stay in an on-campus or off-campus apartment which offers single- and double-room accommodation and shared gymnasium, swimming pool and other amenities.


New Zealand has extensive nationwide road networks and its major islands have sea ports and airports. Its three international airports are located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. They are served by airport buses, taxis, vans with tow luggage trailer and rented cars. Do prepare some small change in NZD to take public transport when you arrive at the airport. Also get your driving license ready before leaving home country so that you can drive in New Zealand for a year without getting a local driving license. New Zealander driving license is necessary in the following year. The extensive, convenient and safe couch and sea transport services throughout New Zealand enable you to explore the country readily.


An international student spends in a year around NZD7,000 to NZD11,000 for accommodation, food, clothing, transport and leisure. To subsidise your expenses, if you are studying a long programme, you may apply to the New Zealand Immigration Department to work part-time, up to 20 hours a week, during the semesters and full-time during scheduled holidays. New Zealand government allows international students to apply once to stay on one more year after graduation to work in a field related to their studies. Most universities offer scholarships which you may apply.

Entry Requirements

The basic entry requirement is passes in three subjects including a 'C' in the STPM, GCE A-Levels, South Australian Matriculation (SAM), Canadian grade 13 or equivalent qualification, or an aggregate of not more than 15 in UCE.

How to Apply

Every year the academic year in New Zealand usually starts in February or March and ends in November. As most universities practise a two-semester year, many of them also take in students in July. The year-end break lasts from November to February. Before applying to study in New Zealand, you should gather and study all the information available and select the university you want to study in, then contact the university directly or the New Zealand High Commission to apply. To avoid missing the university admission date, you should prepare early for application the necessary documents such as academic records, exam result transcripts, and certificates including that of English proficiency test such as ToEFL and IELTS.

Visa Application

After receiving the letter of offer for admission from the university you applied to, you apply the student visa from the New Zealand High Commission. You can either obtain the application form online through the high commission website or obtain it at the high commission . Fill up the form completely and submit it with application fee and all the supporting documents such as the university's offer letter, your portrait photographs and others. Indicate clearly who will finance your study and if you are a sponsored student, the information of the sponsor, accommodation guarantee, medical reports and others.

For more information:

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