Life in the Long White Cloud: Study, Beach, Smile, Repeat!

When one thinks of New Zealand, what may traditionally come to mind is a tropical beach on the opposite side of the globe, whilst surrounded by the most extreme water sports imaginable. However, only a few people know what an incredible study abroad destination the country is! In fact, according to several recent studies, New Zealand has been ranked in the top 5 destinations to study abroad; and here’s a brief on why:
First of all, New Zealand’s higher education system is truly on the top shelf! According to QS world rankings; New Zealand is the proud endorser of at least 7 majors ranking in the top 50 around the world; like dentistry (29th in the world); sports-related majors (7th in the world), veterinary sciences (23rd in the world); civil and structural engineering (38th in the world), law and legal studies (top 50); and many more. In the same vein, after pursuing a bachelor’s degree/diploma in any field, visa holders are eligible to remain unconditionally up to 3 years in the country with the option of working as well.  It boosts an impeccable balance between theory and practice whilst providing a stellar education to all students from across the globe; which takes after the next point;
Due to the  country’s very liberal immigration laws, it is considered one of – if not the most – diverse countries in the world, with inhabitants from across the globe seeking refuge, education, livelihood, and jobs across its borders. The diversity of its population therefore provides a healthy ever-growing hub for human rights emphasis, equality, unity, and more. This projects really well for Lebanese students and allows them to ease into life in New Zealand in a nurtured and friendly environment.
Speaking of a friendly environment, New Zealand’s culture paves way to create a very laid-back and calm population, which helps international newcomers integrate well into society. Not to mention the world-renowned historical landmarks and traditions that reside there, like the traditional Maori way of life that can be beyond interesting to discover and practice.
Another suitable geographical aspect that would definitely encourage Lebanese students to consider studying in New Zealand is the weather; as it is quite similar to Lebanon’s with its 4 seasons and close proximity between the beach and the snowy mountains. It should feel right at home!
Delving into the cost of education and livelihood in New Zealand, statistics show that the cost of the same (if not higher) level of education in New Zealand is only a quarter that of the UK and the US; with tuition being around $13,000 for an international student; with no disregard to countless scholarships, grants, bursaries, and financial aid. It is also important to note that rent, transportation, food, and leisure are all subject to noticeable discounts tailormade for students to emphasize the importance of education and diversity in the country.
Last but certainly not least, acquiring a visa to travel to New Zealand is an easy process in comparison to other destinations also due to its liberal immigration laws, hence making it no hassle to immerse oneself into such a journey.
In a nutshell, New Zealand is the perfect nontraditional study abroad destination that will allow students to grow spiritually, mentally, and spiritually; rather than sufficing with a stellar education alone; as “education is not always a classroom with four walls.”

Nathalie Chatila

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