With a proud Māori heritage, awe-inspiring natural wonders, easy access to extreme sports, and British English with a charming Kiwi flavor, New Zealand is an inspiring and exciting place to study English.
1. Kiwi people
Kiwi is the nickname used for native New Zealanders, and it comes from their national symbol, the indigenous kiwi bird (not the kiwi fruit!). The locals are extremely relaxed, friendly and welcoming and have a passion for the outdoors and extreme sports. It’s an easy place to study as you’ll find conversation partners easily and be able to use your English daily.
2. Kiwi lingo
Kiwi English is a fun and charming mix of British English and local Māori terms. Kiwis have even invented their own words like “jangels” (flip flops), “dunny” (toilet)” or just “ta” for thank you. You’ll also come across words as” kia ora” (pronounced key-or-a) which is Māori for hello, or a “Tiki tour”, meaning a scenic or longer route to a destination.
3. Rich Māori culture
Although sidelined in the past, Māori culture has become an increasingly important part of New Zealand’s national identity, and a true source of pride. The indigenous ‘tangata whenua’ arrived on the island from a mythical Polynesian homeland and now about 15 percent of the population is of Māori descent. The famous traditional Māori dance Haka – made famous by the All Blacks rugby team – leaves everyone in awe of its power, originality and unity.
4. Excellent education
New Zealand has one of the best education systems in the world. Eight of the country’s universities even made it into the QS World University Rankings, including the University of Auckland and the University of Otago. If you hope to stay in New Zealand for longer than a few months, improving your English level first and then applying for a degree program in one of the country’s universities is a great idea.
5. Extreme sports
New Zealand is arguably the best spot in the world to channel that fearless explorer we all have inside (and sometimes just lose track of). You can try skydiving, bungee jumping, canyoning, rafting, jet boating, zip lining and off-road driving, to name just a few of the activities you can indulge in outside the classroom. The fact that the setting for all that adrenaline-seeking is so gorgeous is just a nice bonus.
The first official rugby game took place in 1870 and since then rugby has been considered a national sport. New Zealanders are very proud of their All Blacks super-team and watching a rugby game is one of the best – and most entertaining – ways to get insights into Kiwi culture.
7. Natural spectacles
The natural wonders in New Zealand will give you all the right feels; from glowing caves, stunning glaciers, sandy beaches, ancient forests, mountain vistas and volcanic landscapes, you’ll be in awe at every turn and will likely wear out the word ‘wow’ as you explore the North and South Islands. The country is practically made for exploration and it’s arguably one of the best places in the world to do a road trip with your friends. Again, we can’t think of a better way to spend your weekends of term breaks…
8. Unique wildlife
Many of the mammals and birds in this part of the world cannot be seen anywhere else. The Kiwi bird is one of those unique creatures and has become a unique symbol of the country. You can also see the world’s smallest dolphin species, alpine parrots, yellow-eyed or blue penguins, wood pigeons, fur seals and many more distinctive species on the islands.
9. Delicious food and coffee
Like their Aussie neighbors, Kiwis are known for their love of good food and great coffee. Make sure you order a “flat white” in your local coffee shop on your way to class and sample some local delicacies like kawakawa tea, hokey pokey ice cream, and Manuka honey as you work your way through Auckland’s exciting cafe and restaurant scene.
10. Best sunrise spot
Ever wanted to be the first person in the world to see the sunrise? While in New Zealand, you can cross this off your bucket list. The East Cape in the far eastern corner of the North Island is the first to welcome the sun (during the early part of the year; later in the year this point moves further north).