New Zealand is one of the most exotic and dynamic nations in the English-speaking world. Students seeking to broaden their cultural horizons, enjoy gorgeous scenery and live in a thriving, multi-ethnic metropolis should seriously consider studying abroad in New Zealand. Here are 10 facts and reasons why you should study abroad in the South Pacific.
1. The weather is amazing
With approximately 265 days of sunshine throughout the year, Auckland, located on the north island, boasts both phenomenal natural landscapes and a cosmopolitan identity.
The northern part of the south island is also known for its great weather almost all year long, particularly the Marlborough wine country region and Abel Tasman National Park area, north of Nelson. In the autumn months, March to May, temperatures drop a little from those in the summer, but the climate overall is excellent. It is possible to swim in some places until April, and hiking to see the foliage change is very popular in the fall. In the winter, although it might be colder, the weather is still nice. There are numerous places to go skiing and snowboarding throughout the north and south island.
2. New Zealand has a rich history of girl power
In addition to being the first nation to enact voting rights for women in 1893, it was also the first to have three women in the country’s most powerful positions simultaneously: Helen Clark, Prime Minister, 1999-2008, Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor-General, 2001-2006 and Chief Justice Sian Elias, 1999-Present.
3. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchise is a huge contributor to the New Zealand economy
All J.R.R. Tolkien fans know that the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films were made in New Zealand, but the lasting impact on the New Zealand economy is not as widely recognized. Although filming has long ceased, Lord of the Rings tours still generate millions of dollars annually, and a cabinet post was created just to regulate all of the revenue the production of the film generated. Lord of the Rings became such a huge part of the New Zealand identity that passport stamps actually welcome visitors to Middle Earth!
4. There is only one type of venomous creature in New Zealand
Unlike its neighbor Australia, which has dozens of poisonous snakes and spiders, the katipo spider is the sole venomous organism native to New Zealand. There is also a giant carnivorous snail in Kahurangi National Park that is about 3.5 inches across – that eats mainly slugs and earthworms. That makes camping and trekking great for so many reasons.
But the real gem of New Zealand is the sirocco, a rare parrot that is sexually attracted to humans and known to do, well, this.
5. There is a huge adventure culture
New Zealand is home to adrenaline seekers. This is partially due to the fact that a Kiwi, by the name of A.J. Hackett, was the first person to commercially organize the sport of bungy jumping. Since 1979, there has been a continuous adventure-sport boom throughout the region, which includes bungy jumping, skydiving, whitewater rafting and more. If you are an adventure sports enthusiast, then you will love Queenstown, because it is the adventure capital of the world!