“Take it easy, bro!” The New Zealanders see things as relaxed. “She’ll be alright” is the motto of the kiwis – as they call themselves. In the island nation at the other end of the world, immigrants from Europe and Asia live relaxed with the Maoris, the indigenous people of the green island. They share a country that is just about the size of Great Britain in terms of area, but has an incredible variety of landscapes to offer.
The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy made the New Zealand landscape world famous: The rugged mountains with their glaciers, mountain lakes, caves, volcanoes and geysers and the wide plains with their gently rolling green hills. But New Zealand has even more to offer: The films do not feature the tropical rainforests, the wonderful sandy beaches and the exotic animals.
While nature is largely untouched, the cities are pulsating with life. Almost a third of the 4.4 million inhabitants live in Auckland on the northern of the two main islands of New Zealand. The remaining kiwis live mainly in the large cities of Wellington, Hamilton or Christchurch on the South Island. The multicultural, young cities with their friendly, open residents have their very own flair. There is a huge range of museums, galleries, street cafes, bars and leisure activities.
In the “land of the big, wide cloud” as the Maori call their home, nature is always within reach. In many places it is possible to stand on the surfboard in the morning and ski down snow-covered slopes in the afternoon on the same day.
Reasons for a semester in New Zealand
A semester abroad in New Zealand offers the ideal opportunity to experience the exotic country on the other side of the earth hemisphere live. Because not only the landscape of the “green island” is impressive, but also the university system.
The quality of New Zealand universities is in no way inferior to that of British and North American universities. On the contrary: the universities are characterized by innovative study programs, intensive research, a high level of service orientation and very practical teaching. International students particularly benefit from the relaxed, open nature of New Zealanders. It is very easy to make friends, improve your English and at the same time gain an insight into the culture of the Kiwis.
A particularly uncomplicated way of realizing the dream of a semester abroad in New Zealand is the so-called Study Abroad programs. These enable international students to study for a semester or an entire academic year at a New Zealand university of their choice.
Since the students do not strive for a formal degree, they are not placed in a specific semester or a specific course of study. They freely choose their courses according to their individual prior knowledge and interests. You can choose from exotic subjects such as Maori Studies or Glaciology, which provide a deeper insight into New Zealand’s culture.
If the courses roughly correspond to the curriculum at the home university, it is usually possible to have the academic achievements made in New Zealand recognized at the home university. A semester abroad in New Zealand does not necessarily lead to an extension of the course.
Another advantage of the Study Abroad programs is the uncomplicated application process. Applicants only need to have a high school diploma or a university entrance qualification and prove sufficient English skills. This is usually done using a standardized language test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Many New Zealand universities also accept the DAAD language certificate, which you can acquire at most German universities.
Costs and Financing – Semester Abroad New Zealand
The tuition fees in New Zealand are not cheap. At universities, the fees for a Study Abroad semester are between NZ $ 11,000 and NZ $ 13,000. At the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, they are often slightly lower at NZ $ 8,000-NZ $ 10,500.
Various funding opportunities make your semester in New Zealand affordable. For many students it is worthwhile to apply for BAföG abroad, even for those who do not receive BAföG in Germany. Because the assessment limits are higher for BAföG abroad. The office contributes up to EUR 4,600 towards the tuition fees and grants a subsidy for travel and living expenses. So a real financial relief! The BAföG office in Frankfurt (Oder) is responsible for funding study visits to New Zealand.
Another way of financing your semester abroad is through scholarships from the DAAD or other organizations. The requirements for receiving a scholarship are different. Perhaps one of our New Zealand partner universities just happens to have a suitable scholarship on offer for you.
The cost of living in New Zealand is below German standards or those of its “big neighbor” Australia. Depending on the region and of course the lifestyle, the expenses for rent, food and leisure activities range between NZ $ 15,000-NZ $ 20,000 per year.
Good to know: In the student visa, a work permit is included. During the semester in New Zealand, students can work up to 20 hours a week, and even more during the semester break. This can be a welcome opportunity to learn about working life in New Zealand while adding extra pocket money.
Visa and entry requirements
International students staying in New Zealand for more than three months must apply for a student visa online at Immigration New Zealand or the Visa Application Center (VAC) in Hamburg at least five weeks before departure.
You can only get the visa if you are enrolled at the New Zealand university and the tuition fees have been paid. In addition to proof of enrollment, you also need proof of sufficient financial resources, a return flight ticket and a valid passport for your visa. Processing the visa application currently costs around EUR 163.
The New Zealand government also requires all international students to have travel and health insurance for New Zealand. Since the New Zealand Ministry of Education has a relatively strict policy on insurance coverage, the easiest solution is to take out insurance recommended by the New Zealand host university. The cost for six months is around NZ $ 300.