Study in New Zealand: Language & Culture

Living and interacting with New Zealand's culture can be easy for international students as the dominant language in New Zealand is English, with around 96% of the population speaking it as their first language. Other official languages are New Zealand Sign Language (0.51%) and Māori, the language of the indigenous Māori people (3.73%). Both English and Māori are official languages.

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A majority of higher education programs are taught entirely in English, with some specialist programs being taught in Maori or New Zealand Sign Language. Both local and international students can complement their studies by taking courses to learn any of these languages, providing opportunities to gain a broader, more immersive educational experience. There will also be a student-run study or community groups where you can go to learn, practice, and meet others studying or speaking these languages.

Talk to your university about what language opportunities are available. When it comes to languages, Kiwis are only too happy to help.

You’ve probably heard about Māori culture and their haka dance. Well, in New Zealand, Māori culture plays a part in everyday life. As an official language, it's common to hear Māori spoken, and many official place names are in Māori. You can easily learn the correct pronunciation of place names as well as a few simple Māori words and phrases, like kia ora, and other greetings.

Study in New Zealand

Over 30,000 international students choose New Zealand as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

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Education in New Zealand

The New Zealand education system is currently ranked as number 3 in the world. It reflects their unique and diverse society, open to different abilities, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, income levels, and ideas about teaching and learning.

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Student Visas

In most cases, if you are studying for longer than three months you will need a student visa in New Zealand. Learn more about the processes and documents you may need to enter the country.

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Housing & Living Costs

Most New Zealand institutions will be happy to help you to find accommodation before you arrive. Here you'll find information about the types of accommodation on offer in New Zealand.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

All higher education in New Zealand requires you to pay a certain fee per year of study. Although it is a substantial amount of money, compared to fees of many other developed countries, fees are relatively low.

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Application Process

Applications for higher education in New Zealand are made directly through the school in question. Here you'll find more information about what you need to apply to a New Zealand university.

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Last update: 28 Jun 2021


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