Study in New Zealand

New Zealand, the country of world-renowned scenic beauty and a modern innovative society. New Zealand is known not only for its beautiful environment but also for its world-class educational institutes. Even though it is geographically remote, New Zealand has developed techniques and technologies to remain at pace with the rest of the world, and often surpassing it. Young and free of constricting traditions, New Zealand has learned to be self-reliant and to forge its own way in the world.

New Zealand is the ultimate destination for adventure lovers. In a pristine natural environment of mountains, lakes and coast, you’ll find a great number of affordable and accessible activities that will satisfy your yearning for adventure.

Key Facts

Full name: New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Population: 4,745,062 (May 2018)
Capital: Wellington
Area: 268,021 sq km
Major languages: English, Maori, Samoan, Hindi, Mandarin, French, NZ Sign
Major religions: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism. A large percentage of New Zealanders are nonreligious
Life expectancy: 83,3 years (women), 80 years (men)
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Main exports: Dairy, eggs and honey, meat, wood, fruits and nuts, beverages, spirits and vinegar, fish
GNI per capita: US $ 37,190 (World Bank, 2016)
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +12 (summer +13)

Geography and areas

The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island and the South Island, which are separated by Cook Strait, and around 600 smaller islands. The South Island is the largest landmass of New Zealand and is the 12thlargest island in the world and the North Island is the 14th largest island in the world. It is less mountainous than the South Island but it’s marked by volcanism. New Zealand is long and narrow (over 1,600 kilometres along its north-north-east axis with a maximum width of 400 kilometres), with about 15,000 km of coastline and a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres. Because of its far-flung outlying islands and long coastline, the country has extensive marine resources.

New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country’s varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand is part of Australasia, and also forms the south-western extremity of Polynesia. The term Oceania is often used to denote the region encompassing the Australian continent, New Zealand and various islands in the Pacific Ocean that are not included in the seven-continent model.

Although the land Palmerston North is situated on is bounded by the lofty Ruahine and Tararua ranges in the east and south respectively, the city has a predominantly flat appearance. The occasional rise in elevation occurs further away from the river and is especially pronounced in the north and northeast, and also on the south side of the river. The typical urban area elevation ranges between 20–40 metres above sea level. The highest point is 760 metres above sea level. This is in the Tararua ranges, south-east of Scotts Road. The lowest Point is 10 metres above sea level. This is at the river bank near Te Puna Road. Incidentally, both these locations are in the south-west of the city, by Linton. There are 5.54 square kilometres dedicated to public reserves.

Climate and weather

New Zealand’s climate is predominantly temperate maritime with mean annual temperatures ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) in the south to 16 °C (61 °F) in the north. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average of more than 2,000 hours of sunshine. The southern and south-western parts of the South Island have a cooler and cloudier climate, with around 1,400–1,600 hours; the northern and north-eastern parts of the South Island are the sunniest areas of the country and receive about 2,400–2,500 hours. The general snow season is from early June until early October, though cold snaps can occur outside this season. Snowfall is common in the eastern and southern parts of the South Island and mountain areas across the country.

Palmerston North has four seasons in a year: Summer is January-March, autumn April-June, winter July-September and spring October-December. The city’s climate is temperate with maximum daytime temperatures averaging 22 °C (72 °F) in summer and 12 °C (54 °F) in winter. On average temperatures rise above 25 °C (77 °F) on 20 days of the year. Annual rainfall is approximately 960 mm with rain occurring approximately 5% of the time. There are on average 200 rain-free days each year. In the ranges that flank the city, there is often sustained wind, especially in spring. Much of this land is within the city boundaries and these ranges have the reputation of providing the most consistent wind in the country.

Palmerston North is strategically located in the lower North Island of New Zealand, with the capital city of Wellington being less than two hours south of the campus.


New Zealand dollars
New Zealand dollar denominations from 5 NZD to 50 NZD

The currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Within New Zealand, it is almost always abbreviated with the dollar sign ($), with “NZ$” sometimes used to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The dollar is divided into 100 cents. Altogether there are ten denominations—five coins and five banknotes—with the smallest being the 10-cent coin. The New Zealand dollar is consistently one of the 10 most traded currencies in the world.


There are plenty of ATMs in Palmerston North. New Zealanders often use an EFTPOS card as a means of paying rather than carrying cash. During orientation days students will have the opportunity to set up a New Zealand bank account to acquire this card.


In general, New Zealand and Palmerston North are very safe.

While enjoying nightlife it is recommended to stay in groups, watch your drinks and take a taxi home.

Students should also pay attention to the Outdoor Safety Code, the Water Safety Code (and swim only on patrolled beaches) and earthquake safety tips.

Checking out the latest weather report before venturing out on an outdoor trip is important, as New Zealand’s weather can change rapidly.

You may want to consult with your doctor about recommended vaccinations for New Zealand and other countries you are planning to visit during your trip. It might be good to consult a doctor with experience in traveling to those areas, since many general health practitioners may suggest more vaccinations than necessary and administer them all together in a short time before departure.