All choices are linked to the interest and objective of each one. New Zealand offers a wide choice of English language schools across the country. It is possible to study in big cities with hundreds of specialized schools, as well as in smaller cities that can offer only one option. The ideal is to weigh what is most interesting and balance it according to what is sought and, thus, make efficient and conscientious choices on studying English in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, is undoubtedly the most sought after by exchange students, with around 80% of international students choosing this destination. There are more than 100 English schools in the city, as well as private institutions of higher education, polytechnics, and universities offering a wide range of courses. The city has around 1.5 million inhabitants, yet it retains that small-town feel. I always joke that it’s a “big farm”. It’s very cosmopolitan, with beautiful beaches and many islands around. It has events throughout the year, the museum and gallery offer incredible exhibitions, theaters with varied shows, and the biggest world tours always pass through the city. It really has options for all tastes.
You will find a lot of students in general and many foreigners too. The country’s government has been trying to split the flow of students a little better, granting some perks to students who choose a city in New Zealand other than Auckland as their final study destination.
It is important to note that for English students the rules are the same. The differences are only for students who choose to take undergraduate and multi-degree courses in New Zealand.
Another city option that is considered big in New Zealand is Christchurch. It doesn’t offer as many options as Auckland, of course, but it’s very interesting for those who want to improve their English and prefer smaller places. It’s very flat, with lots of gardens and lots of delicious cafes. The city was hit by an earthquake in 2011 and is still not entirely rebuilt, which attracts a lot of immigrants with intentions to combine studies and work.
Wellington, the country’s capital, should also be considered for those who like a more bustling, big-city vibe. The city isn’t that big but it’s delicious, with things happening all year round. As it is the capital and where all the embassies are, it has many cultural and fashion events, delicious restaurants, and a lot of movement during all seasons of the year. The museum is different, it’s interactive, and the IT and cinema areas are very strong. There are good options for English schools and it can be very easy to get around if the student lives in the city center.
Hamilton & Tauranga
Opting for medium-sized cities is also a very interesting option, as it will be possible to experience a little more of the local culture and live with the kiwis. Larger cities, as they have a greater mix of immigrants and exchange students, end up limiting this possibility. Hamilton and Tauranga are medium-sized cities for New Zealand and have been growing a lot in every way. Are in constant economic growth, the number of inhabitants, and also study options offered. They have attracted people by offering contact with places and work opportunities. For those who already have a little English and need to improve, it is the ideal option.
Hamilton has a fantastic location for those looking to explore the country and is considered to be one of the safest cities in New Zealand. University city, with many options for parks, restaurants, and cafes. Close to Raglan, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Taupo, and Hobbiton. Tauranga is a beach town and has a vibe very similar to Brazil. The city has a port that handles the kiwi fruit is a lot.
Napier, Coromandel, and Palmerton North
If your English is still not good, or if you’re thinking of starting from scratch, there’s nothing better than really immersing yourself in your study. Opt for smaller cities, with options for schools that will really help you take the plunge in the language. Small towns are not the first choice of many people, which ends up causing them to have fewer students, smaller classes, fewer immigrants, more contact with locals, and the student is really “obliged” to speak and listen to English all the time. There is no alternative but to learn. In New Zealand, cities such as Napier, Coromandel, and Palmerton North may be the right choices for students with this profile. They are small, hospitable cities, with incredible natural beauty and interesting tour options to be done during the exchange period.
In general, larger cities will have more options, not only for study, but also for leisure and work for those who want to balance work and study, but it is not always the best choice for those who really want to focus on English and evolve considerably as quickly as possible. It is interesting, yes, for those who already speak English and want to practice and travel around the country.
Medium-sized cities are suitable for those who speak a little English and want to improve their fluency by being able to study and work. For those who do not speak English and really want to focus on learning the language, there is nothing better than opting for a small town, with full contact with locals and few Brazilians.
In the end, everything turns to each one, and what matters is that the student is comfortable and happy with the choice. You can only relax and learn if you’re relaxed, and the exchange location has a lot of weight at this point. So, when in doubt, seek help from experts so that you can choose according to your profile and listen to your heart, choose what makes you comfortable and happy, only then will you find the perfect destination for your exchange and be prepared to learn and /or improve your English.